with technology impacting so many facets of the Human Resources function many
employers today are migrating away from the in-person exit interview. This trend, may save time and be the most
efficient way to collect data but it is not always the best decision from a
talent retention perspective.
in-person exit interview should always be conducted with those employees that either
have a long history with the company or have demonstrated excellence on the job
or both. Based upon the criteria
established by the Human Resources department, key leaders in the HR function should
make effort to follow this four step program to evaluate the reasons behind the
#1 Evaluate the Departing Employee’s Work History
the receipt of a letter of resignation Human Resources should conduct a
mini-audit to review the background of the departing employee to include work
history, performance reviews and career progression. If the employee has a long history with the
organization and/or has exhibited excellence on the job, the employee should be
encouraged to have a one-on-one meeting with Human Resources. This meeting would be in addition to taking
the web-based off-boarding survey.
the departing employee has been a marginal performer then the on-line exit
interview may be sufficient.
ensure consistency if any employee
regardless of performance or tenure wants to have a one-on-one meeting this
request should always be afforded to the employee.
#2 Prepare for the Interview
for the exit interview is key to obtaining information from the employee. By reviewing the departing employee’s
performance reviews, career history and salary progression the HR conducting
the exit interview will be a better position to ask probing questions,
understand the complexities of the job and learn more about the challenges the
departing employee faced each day. Good
preparation by HR can also lead towards the departing employee having a
positive impression of the company and allow for any issues to be explored and
#3 Conduct the Exit Interview
to conducting the exit interview is the ability to deviate from the standard
questions and explore the reasons behind the employee’s departure. Often times it is not just one work challenge
but a combination of reasons that resulted in the employee resigning. Listen to the employee, do not interrupt
their responses to your questions and ask follow-up questions to ensure your
longer service employee will also bring a perspective as to what has changed of
the years and how has management addressed these changes. The employee that has excelled in their
career at the company will often share that a lack of recognition, engagement,
accountability or shared values were possibly an impediment to their success. Finding the reason why an employee is
departing will allow you to learn more about what motivates and keeps employees
#4 Communicate the Results
to conducting an in-person and/or electronic exit interview is the need to act
on the findings. Results by department
should be evaluated and measured against previous data. The goal of spending the time conducting an
exit interview and off-boarding survey is to reduce turnover and improve
employee satisfaction and engagement. If
Human Resources communicates the findings then management can take action and
improve the work environment.
of the steps outlined above are intended to allow the HR professional to
conduct an effective exit interview and improve the processes for collecting
data which can lead to employee retention.
learn more about the benefits and stages of the exit interview process check
out this site for additional information:
there has been some discussion in social media as to the future of the HR
Generalist role and is this type of position needed today?
are constantly reviewing whether to centralize their HR professionals or
decentralize the Human Resources function.
There are typically three approaches regarding the structure of HR.
Decentralized: If you have
talented individuals that are resourceful, knowledgeable and are skilled in the
process of explaining the HR programs and policies then the closer they are to
support the business the better it is for the company. Decentralization is the optimum approach with
respect to building a partnership between HR and the business. It is also the most costly from a budget
Blended: If the HR
staff lack the depth of experience then the goal is to train these individuals and
hire “specialists” that can share their knowledge with the newer
employees. While these employees remain
close to the business their lack of skill can often be an impediment to their
success. This structure also takes time
to build and commitment from the leadership team is critical to maintaining
this type of organizational platform
Centralized: A centralized
structure is a skilled and talented staff that are pro-active, reach out to the
business units and provide sound advice from a call-center or centralized
corporate office. This approach is being
used by an increasing number of companies that have 500 employees or more. With employees becoming familiar with the
self-service approach to obtain information about pay, benefits, promotions and
career paths the need to have an intermediary is becoming less necessary
organizations are looking for cost effective talent to support and partner with
the business. With budgets being scrutinized
and HR metrics becoming an even more important part of the performance process
the future of the HR Generalist particularly in larger organizations is very
future of the HR Generalist in larger companies (employers with 500 employees
or more) will ultimately go away and be replaced with experts in a call center
or corporate office. The business units
will only have an HR Generalist if they are willing to pay for this
personalized support. In our opinion,
the business leader will determine that the HR Generalist is redundant and
unnecessary. Furthermore, the laws are
changing rapidly at the state and federal level and with many companies having
a global reach the need for “specialists” is even more important in today’s
work environment. The HR Generalist role
is often one of sharing information that is provided by the corporate HR
function anyway. The timely sharing of
information is critical to meeting the needs of the business and any follow-up
action is often delayed as the skills of the HR Generalist are at times not as
strong as the specialist. This requires
that the HR Generalist reach out repeatedly to the skilled expert in the
corporate office to obtain clarification.
This takes time and costs the organization additional expense.
future of the HR Generalist in smaller companies (employers with 499 employees
or less) is a very different story.
These skilled professionals will continue to be relied upon, typically
report to the CEO or COO and have significant influence on the
organization. They will also have
between 3 and 5 subordinates which provide specialized services to the company. Further career opportunities in this area
will continue to grow and expand.
learn more about what is best for your company Human Resource departments are often
conducting employee surveys to evaluate department performance, establish year-over-year
metrics, review the success or failure of the established programs and policies
and finally how to best meet the needs of the organization and staff. Consider conducting an employee survey to
discover what your employees are thinking.