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Posts Tagged ‘employees’

Management Tips

Stay Focused at Work – 5 Easy Ways

Are you constantly checking your phone and refreshing your email? Whether you find yourself scrolling through status updates or disrupted by your coworker in the next cubicle — who suddenly decided to hold a conference call on speakerphone — it can take up to 23 minutes to recover from even the smallest distraction.With all the demands on your time, it can be nearly impossible to stay focused.

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Company Culture and the Employee Experience

Company culture has a lot to do with employee experience, and vice versa. In fact, they are essential to each other’s success: a great company culture fosters a great employee experience, and a great employee experience both reflects and fuels a great company culture. Together, they can lead to valuable business benefits like increased productivity, reduced turnover, and greater employee satisfaction.

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Effective Employee Exit Interview Questions

Are Employee Exit Interview Questions Actually Important?

While negative feedback can be hard to take, employees who are willing to share their genuine thoughts can be invaluable resources for improving your organization. After all, the core purpose of an exit interview is to gather honest feedback that your organization can then use to make changes and improve the employee experience.

Unfortunately…

Poor exit interview questions and strategies often get in the way of this honest exchange happening. As a result, organizations are losing out on the opportunity to improve the employee experience and boost retention. But with the right questions and the proper approach to the conversation, you can find gems of useful feedback within an employee’s answers.

 Asking the Right Exit Interview Questions

The questions you ask during an exit interview should encourage honest, in-depth responses from the employee. Ask them with an open mind, regardless of the circumstances surrounding the employee’s departure, and don’t be afraid to ask follow-up questions for clarification. Below are some ideas for your own employee exit interview questions template. We’ve found this list to be the most effective exit interview questions to ask.

 Reasons for Leaving

  1. Why did you begin looking for another job?
  2. If you could change anything about the organization, what would you choose?
  3. Did you voice your concerns to anyone else at the company?

 Experience

  1. Did you think your work goals and responsibilities were clear?
  2. Did you feel you had all the resources you needed to do your best work here?
  3. What did you think of the way you were managed?
  4. Did you receive frequent, constructive feedback from your manager and peers?
  5. What benefits or programs did you feel were missing from the organization?
  6. How would you describe the culture of our company?
  7. What did you appreciate most about working here?
  8. Is there anything we could have done to make you want to stay?

 Looking Ahead

  1. What are the biggest risks for our company that you see?
  2. What advice would you like to give to your team? To the executive team?
  3. What would make this a better place to work?
  4. Would you ever consider working here again?
  5. Would you recommend others apply for a position here?

How to Conduct the Exit Interview

Whether you decide to ask all or only some of these questions, it’s vital to approach exit interviews with the right mentality and a defined plan of action. According to Harvard Business Review, exit interviews depend upon two elements to be effective:

1) The employees’ honesty & forthrightness

2) The organization’s willingness to change

Let’s discuss honesty first. Employees who leave your organization may not express their true thoughts for a variety of reasons. If employees leave on negative terms, they may be unwilling to offer their feedback because they have a “good riddance” attitude. Others may be worried about burning bridges with former managers. In that same HBR article, an HR professional at a European mining company explained, “Are they really going to tell you they’re leaving because they don’t like their boss? Probably not, because they want references.”

The best tips for conducting such interviews:

  • Make the experience as positive as possible.
  • The interviewee should feel like you have their best interests in mind—personal development above company interests.
  • Help the interviewee feel completely free and encouraged to give candid input without repercussion.
  • Be grateful for the perspective and for the relationship. Even though this is an exit interview, it’s not an exit interview for the professional relationship. You never know who you’ll end up working with again.
  • Treat them, for the moment, like an expert on your business. Listen authentically.

Once you’ve set the right tone and encouraged honest employee feedback, it’s up to you and your organization to do something about it. HBR’s research revealed that, when asked for examples of a specific action taken as the result of an exit interview, fewer than one-third of executives could identify one. That means about “two-thirds of existing programs appear to be mostly talk with little productive follow-up.”

While it might not matter to former employees what actions your organization did or did not take based on their feedback, it certainly matters to the employees who are with your organization right now. If an employee leaves your organization because of a specific pain point (toxic culture, lack of learning and development opportunities, non-challenging work, etc.) it’s likely that another employee who’s still with your company is also dissatisfied. Unless you address these pain points, it’s only a matter of time before that employee leaves as well—after explaining their reasons to their coworkers. If your organization earns an uncaring reputation, you can get stuck in a cycle of turnover.

To break out of the cycle and boost retention, listen carefully during exit interviews, analyze the results, and look for trends. Have several people complained about the same thing? Make a note of it and follow up with your current employees to learn how to improve their experience.

 Conclusion

Employee exit interviews were designed to be a valuable tool to help organizations improve. By asking strategic questions and approaching employees with the right attitude, you can discover the true value of an effective interview once more. Try some of these questions next time to get the most out of your exit interview.

SOURCE:  Tori Fica

Sr. copywriter BambooHR

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FAQs About Exempt Employees, Minimum Wage and more…

Exempt Employees

Q: What is the difference between an exempt and non-exempt employee?

A: The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay most employees at least the federal minimum wage for each hour worked as well as overtime pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek. Employees entitled to the minimum wage and overtime are known as non-exempt employees.

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6 Exit Interview Best Practices: Tips and Precautions

People aren’t usually great at goodbyes, and work is no exception. Sometimes, you’re sad to see employees go because they are talented, and you care about them personally. Other times, you might be relieved that they’re moving on to pastures you don’t have to shepherd. Either way, it’s crucial to treat these transitions with care, and an exit interview can be a great way to leave the relationship in the best place possible.

What is an Exit Interview?

While specifics vary widely between organizations, industries, and job types, a basic exit interview can be conducted in a variety of methods.

Any activity that allows an organization to exchange information with someone before their departure.

 Some common ways to conduct an employee exit interview include:

  • One-to-One Discussion: Because of the high importance of exit interviews, this method is the most ideal and common. A one-to-one discussion gives the interviewer the opportunity to ask useful follow-up questions, gain an understanding of how employees feel about the organization, and ideally leave the relationship as positive as possible.
  • Survey: If your organization has a lot of temporary or seasonal employees who leave in a mass exodus, an online survey might be the best way to conduct employee exit interviews. While certainly less personal, this method is better than not conducting exit interviews at all.

 What is the purpose of an exit interview?

An exit interview provides an opportunity for the organization to seek feedback about an employee’s experience. Gathering feedback can help organizations identify areas for improvement and reduce future turnover.

What are the benefits of conducting exit interviews?

Especially considering the relatively small investment (30 minutes to an hour is all it takes), there are plenty of benefits to conducting exit interviews:

  • Genuine Feedback: As mentioned above, the most obvious purpose of exit interviews is to gather feedback. Hopefully, employees feel safe providing feedback throughout their employment without it negatively impacting their jobs. But the great thing about a departing employee is they don’t have much to lose by speaking their mind. So, ask the tough questions.
  • Amicable Parting: Whether your employee is leaving because of their choice or yours, they’re still people who deserve respect. An exit interview might not be able to correct every less-than-satisfactory experience, but it can certainly help.
  • Employment Wrap Up: An exit interview is a perfect place to ensure employees understand any lingering obligations like equipment returns, non-competes, intellectual property agreements, etc.
  • Q&A: You might not be the only one with questions either; your employee might have a few things they’d like answered, too. Whether they’re looking for answers on setting up COBRA insurance or why they were passed up for a promotion last year, an employee exit interview can provide a lot of clarity.
  • Private Venting: People need to be heard. If you don’t give your employee the opportunity to share feedback privately before they leave, they may find ways to do it more publicly after they’re gone. Whether that means spreading their experience by word of mouth or leaving a scathing Glassdoor review, you’ll be much better off if you can help employees get things off their chest before they walk out the door.

Exit Interview Best Practices & Tips:

It can be tough to know exactly how to conduct an exit interview. While we can’t tell you what to say in an exit interview since each organization and each employee is different, we can provide some exit interview best practices:

  •  Schedule the meeting and clearly communicate the purpose. An employee’s last day is typically the best time to conduct an exit interview. In fact, it might even be a good idea to have it be the very last thing they do before heading on to their next adventure. It should be scheduled well ahead of the last day so your employee can be prepared. You should also provide an explanation or agenda of exactly what you’ll be discussing so that departing employees know you understand the importance of exit interviews. You’ll also enable them to provide more thoughtful answers to your questions by giving them time to think through what you’ll be talking about.
  • Have someone other than the employee’s direct manger conduct the interview. Even the best managers have areas of improvement. Your departing employee may not feel entirely comfortable giving open, honest feedback about all their experiences to someone who was likely involved with those experiences.
  • Outline appropriate (and useful) questions. Instead of rushing into the meeting and letting your intuition guide the conversation, take time in advance to outline the specific questions you’d like to ask. Knowing a bit about the employee’s specific circumstances might change what you want to ask.
  • Express excitement and support for their new opportunity. It’s a bummer when top performers leave, but if you genuinely care about employees (and you should!), you should be excited that they’re taking on new challenges. Where appropriate, express how much you and the company appreciate their contributions and how excited you are for their new journey.
  • Implement the feedback. This is perhaps the most important tip of all. The information you gather in exit interviews won’t do you any good if you don’t do anything with it. Take advantage of the full value of exit interviews by carefully recording and implementing the feedback. Of course, not all feedback will require action (sometimes situations are isolated or departing employees simply vent frustrations), but when you notice patterns or large issues, create a plan to start taking action immediately.

 Exit Interview Precautions:

As with many HR tasks, exit interviews should be approached carefully. Even employees you perceive as leaving with goodwill may be looking for any opportunity to gather a little dirt, and since it’s likely the last interaction your employees have, it’s a good idea to ensure you end on a positive note.

 

  • Keep it positive. It can be easy to take a defensive stance when someone is providing a lot of feedback (let alone criticism). Your organization wants the feedback, and the exit interview isn’t the place to refute any criticisms—whether the criticism is fair or not. Tell your inner debate champion to take a lunch break, listen, and try to steer the conversation to a constructive place by pushing for details that will help you make impactful changes.
  • Don’t overshare. Especially if you’re friends with the leaving employee, it can be tempting to respond to exit interview feedback with a bit of insider information. (e.g., “Between you and me, you’re not the only one to report that behavior from her.”) It’s especially important to ensure you walk the line and don’t let anything slip in the exit interview that could create any legal risk for the company.
  • Don’t force it. You may have employees who don’t want to do an exit interview at all. Bummer for you, but don’t force them. It’ll leave a sour taste in their mouth and likely won’t result in anything productive. If you have paperwork they need to sign or procedures they need to complete, swing by their desk or office and give them a task list with due dates. Then check in as their final day approaches to ensure all your offboarding ducks are in a row.

Conclusion

Before your employees walk out the door for the last time, ensure you’ve done everything you can to learn from them and leave the relationship in an amicable place. When done carefully, exit interviews provide a lot of benefits for your company and your departing employee. If nothing else, it provides an opportunity to wrap up any final to-dos and say goodbyes.

SOURCE:  Brian Anderson

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