The New Interview in Town

Many companies conduct Exit Interviews when people leave the company.  These interviews are conducted assuming that the employee who is leaving will have nothing to lose and might share confidential information about their boss, colleague etc.

If you are one of those companies living in this fantasy world then here is something for you to think about. Why would a person, who was incapable of coming forward whilst they had the chance to influence their work, suddenly do so now? The truth is, in our work culture, personal relationships are so much more important than anything else; one doesn’t want to burn any bridges.

So in my view there is no value in Exit Interviews.

Instead I believe in the concept of ‘Stay Interviews’. Have frequent conversations with your employees where you ask them what it would take for them to stay and shift their performance into top gear. Now this would be an interesting and valuable conversation. You might not be able to ‘satisfy’ all the needs of the person you have this conversation with, but that’s not important. You know why? Because the goal here is to give your employees the chance to have their voice heard and assure them that their position within the organization is valuable and lets them know their opinion matters.

This will also help you strengthen your relations with you current staff members and allow you to show your commitment towards their development. In the long run, that is what counts. So go ahead and ask your team members three simple questions:

  1. Where do you think you are now?
  2. What do you want to become?
  3. How can I help you?

Start having Stay Interviews, ask these questions, offer your support and I promise you, that your HR department will need less Exit Interviews.

– Paul Keijzer


3 thoughts on “The New Interview in Town

  1. Paul that is sage advice.
    However, exist interviewers should be done since some employees may well say something useful. Post exit interviews conducted a month or more after departure by an outside agency who will maintain confidentiality may provide more insight comments.
    I agree with you about why an employee will open up as he departs the building rather than speaking up while still employed is s good question but it says more about management than the employee. Why did the manager not ask? If he did ask, why would the employee not share his ideas? Again, it may speak more to the manager’s behavior than to the employee’s willingness to speak up.

    • Thanks for the comment Bob. An outside agency could certainly help in identifying reasons why people leave, but again it doesn’t solve the core question. Like you said ‘why are managers not asking the questions whilst a person is employed.’ – Encouraging line managers to have a Stay Interview is exactly aimed at trying to do just that.

  2. Paul,

    An excellent reading certainly a better pro active approach to have the feel of your organization and keep a check on your attrition as well

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