7 Ways to Get the Most Out of Exit Interviews
Treat your exit process the same way you treat your onboarding. Creating a welcoming experience to becoming an alumni will make the transition easier and more fulfilling.
When employees voluntarily leave their jobs, conducting exit interviews to gain insights about what’s working and what could be improved is invaluable for a company. For alumni program managers, the parting goodbye is actually just the beginning. It’s a great opportunity to establish a life-long relationship with former employees before they leave the building.
1. Identify Who Conducts the Interviews
In most firms, the human resources team is in charge of the process, but that’s not always the case. It could be the departing employee’s manager or department head. If you don’t have an exit interview process, consider starting one or outsourcing the process to a third-party. A lot of valuable data can be gathered from either a 15-minute conversation or a survey. Talent relationship management is a foundational element of a successful program.
2. Make Your Case to Include Alumni Materials
Schedule time with the individual responsible for conducting exit interviews to explain the benefits of the alumni program and the opportunity to engage departing employees during the exit interviews. Find opportunities to work together to support each other’s goals.
Note: only employees leaving on good terms should be invited to join the alumni program.
3. Integrate Alumni Platform Registration Into the Exit Process
Make it easy for current leavers to register for the alumni program during the exit process. The interviewer should promote the alumni program and point out how they can register. Whether that’s making sure their personal email address is in an HRIS system, such as Workday, that seamlessly integrates into a platform like PeoplePath, or directly to a link where they can sign up on the platform if the systems aren’t connected.
(Don’t have a program yet? Ask for their personal email and mobile phone number at a minimum, as well as info about where they are headed. This step will be extremely helpful if you decide to start an alumni program later.)
4. Offer Parting Gifts
Provide departing employees with something they can take with them. A leaver’s packet that includes a note from the CEO thanking them for their time, a checklist of things to do next, and a guide on how to stay involved are really nice and easy to put together, but an incredible gesture is to provide a simple branded gift that acknowledges their contributions to the organization. If you receive a gift on your first day, it makes sense that you should receive one that says “Alumni” on the last day.
5. Use that Personal Touch to Follow Up
A week after closing down the employee’s information, send a follow-up email welcoming them to the program as an Alumni. Make sure they have the link to either register new or update/create their password on the alumni platform. This step can be automated or done individually.
6. Data, Data, Data
With most alumni management software, the former employees will enter their data online as part of the registration process. Ideally, this information will also be in your company’s HRIS or CRM system to use in reports and communications. Keep track of new joiners and encourage them to be active in the community.
7. Keep in Touch Using Alumni Management Software
A few months after someone has left the company, encourage their former manager to check-in and see how things are going. Ask them if they’ve joined the alumni program and what they’d want to see out of it now that they’re out in the world. Have that manager share with you any interesting feedback or suggestions to keep improving the program.
By implementing these seven key tips for exit interviews, you’re telling departing employees that you value them and want to stay in touch. It’s the first important step to engage former employees to become brand ambassadors for your company, and ensure the company will also see benefits in the future.