The exit interviews are a powerful tool for the company to assess itself for the type of work environment it provides to the employees from the employees point of view, its policies, financial and personal benefits etc. which are the key ingredients of the popular term referred to as the employee satisfaction. They are the mirrors to an organisation provided they are conducted with the positive spirit and the results compiled and projected to the higher or the top management. These unbiased inputs can decide the fate of the organisation and if taken casually will take away the opportunity of being ready for the threat perception that exists, if any.
The exit interviews can be really fruitful if both the interviewee and the interviewer take it in a productive way and try to remain transparent to each other. Most of the private companies take it like a routine affair, as they know that the average life of an over-ambitious employee in a company is 2 to 3 years. Even in a government sector, it is treated as useless. They either ask the employee to fill and submit the exit interview ‘form’ or shower the responsibility of conducting the interview to someone unrelated. That in a way reflects the low competency level of an HR department in government sectors.
So, why do the organisations shy away from reaping the benefits of the exit interviews? Some of the companies feel that anyway the exit of the employee is inevitable, so why waste the time interviewing? Some feel that the departing employee may give some negative feedback, which may tarnish the image of the company. For some, the employee becomes useless, once he or she tenders the resignation. All these pre-conceived notions come heavily in the way of making the exit interviews constructive and productive for both the sides. That is the main reason the answer to the question, ‘How was your satisfaction level with the organisation?’ comes out as ‘Very Good’, ‘Excellent’, ‘Very satisfying’, though the employee must be leaving after getting sick of the companies’ policies or the work culture. And the question, ‘What is the main reason for leaving this organisation?’ fetches the answer as ‘Personal problems’, ‘Higher studies’, ‘A break from work’, which are reasons too hard to believe and conceive.
A good HR department need to take the opportunity provided by ‘exit interviews’ to improve the organisation by making them more friendly, meaningful and also by taking them more seriously because it is not just a number departing, it is the integral part of the company leaving and it may surely have an effect on the organisation today or tomorrow! There is also a good chance that the employee may reconsider his or her decision, if the exit interview is addressed with affection, seriousness, integrity and the proactiveness of the organisation to address the causes of resignation, if unearthed.