Ah, the exit interview. For the organization, this is seen as a good opportunity to get some insight and feedback before the person leaves. For the interviewee, the exit interview can be a quandary. Do I tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Do I try not to burn bridges and go through the motions, not really revealing my true perspective?
One leader Humanergy works with recently said, “Forget exit interviews. We should do STAY interviews.” “Stay interviews” happen when you frequently check in with your direct reports, not just on key projects, but on how they are doing, what needs your attention and your personal connection with them.
Ken Shur wrote in a LinkedIn article, “Regularly scheduled one-on-one meetings are a key action that successful leaders plan and execute with their direct reports. They provide an opportunity for you to help your employees by listening, coaching, motivating and staying connected which leads to happier, more productive employees.”
So go on. Set up regular, short meetings with your direct reports and start reaping the benefits of a more engaged workforce. This may seem like a huge investment of time. However, an engaged workforce is worth it, decreasing turnover and absenteeism, increasing profitability and customer ratings, among other stats.
Have an amazing strategy for tapping into what your people are thinking? Comment below or message us.
Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash
My company performed these “stay” interviews last year and there are a couple of insights I wanted to share on my observations…
1) The interview was conducted by HR only, which I assume, was to allow for a more accurate, less filtered response to see how management was perceived holistically.
2) It took a long time to conduct the interviews across the organization because there was one person performing them. This slowed down the effectiveness of the intent, because low-hanging fruit was not addressed as quickly as it could of been. Additional time was taken to “compile and analyze” the results and there was large communication gap that left people wondering why they even bothered because there was no feedback on the results.
3) People still felt as though they should “play it safe” because of fear of lack of confidentiality. Ensure people know what the intentions are of the interviews. Having the direct-report there or not provide two completely different mindsets.
4) Survey or Interview? A lot of people felt that a survey to sense how people in general felt about their workplace could help guide better pointed interview questions.
Our company does three things in this vein:
1. our business model, EOS or Entrepreneurial Operating System, has built into it Quarterly Conversations. Each team lead meets with each of their team members for this two-way conversation to discuss successes, areas of improvement for both the team member and the team lead (are they providing support, tools, etc.), and any plan of action to make improvements in the next 90 days.
2. twice a year all team members complete an online survey from a third-party company which asks about how things are going at work (with their team, co-teammates, team leads and leadership), communication, transparency, support and resources, paths to development, etc. Each questions is on a 5-point Likert Scale and comments are required to give details to support the choice. The results are compiled by the third-party and results are shared with the company.
3. we do Entry Interviews at both 30 and 100 days from start date which are anonymous. Newer team members are asked about their hiring, onboarding and orientation experience; if they know and understand our core values, if people at the company live our core values and if yes, how, if no, how not; do they feel a part of their team; do people have integrity and can leads have the hard conversations; what they like or dislike about our culture; and finally do they have any suggestions for improvements. This is not a conversation about their specific job or team, more a company-wide view. The answers are put in a randomly ordered spreadsheet – no names attached and all identifying comments are made generic (not listing specific departments, etc.) – bi-annually the trends (ex: 15 out of 18 people do not think we live our core value #1) are given to the Leadership Team to discuss and act upon.
These all seem to work well so far.