The ultimate exit interview template for the UK
A structured, well-planned exit interview can provide a gold mine of information for HR professionals. It is a unique opportunity to improve your organisation’s culture, employee satisfaction and thus retention rates.
Why conduct an exit interview?
The purpose of an exit interview is multi-fold. Primarily, it provides crucial insights into an employee’s life cycle within your organisation. It allows companies to understand why employees are leaving, uncover potential issues within the organisation, and take steps to address them.
The exit interview is a tool for HR to facilitate a seamless transition, foster a positive relationship with former employees, and better their work culture based on employee feedback. You may even spot potential candidates for rehiring in the future.
How to conduct a productive exit interview?
Conducting a successful exit interview requires a receptive approach. It is not an interrogation, rather an open-ended discussion that enables the departing employee to share their thoughts and experiences, for a productive outcome.
Best practices for conducting an exit interview:
- Timing: Schedule the interview close to the employee’s departure date, but not on their last day – they are likely to be preoccupied with other tasks.
- Environment: Choose a private, comfortable setting where the interviewee can speak freely.
- Person Conducting the Interview: This person should be a skilled active listener, the interviewee should also be confident of their neutrality. Depending on individual needs, this could be an HR representative or line manager.
- Communication: Assure the employee that their feedback will be used to produce positive change and that their responses will remain confidential. Consider using an exit interview form to aid discussion.
Key exit interview questions:
To make sure you cover the right material, your exit interview questions should be open-ended and stimulate discussion. Allow the departing employee to impart whatever information they feel is crucial. A conversation moderated by you, but led by your interviewee will enable the exit interview to be the most productive.
Here are a few examples of exit interview questions, relevant to the context:
- Did you feel that the work here was fulfilling?
- How would you describe the culture of our organisation?
- Can you comment on the communication within the team/organisation?
- How effective was your manager in supporting your work and professional development?
- Were there any company policies that made your job more difficult?
- What suggestions do you have for improving employee experience?
What to include in an exit interview question template in the UK?
Every organisation has different needs, and it is important to tailor our exit interview template to best fit your organisation. That being said, here are some essential elements to include:
- Employee Details: Basic information and tenure.
- Departure Reasons: Why they’re leaving.
- Job Satisfaction: Opinion of their role and tasks.
- Work Culture: Feelings on team dynamics.
- Management Feedback: Opinions on supervision.
- Development Opportunities: Views on personal growth.
- Company Policies: Feedback on rules.
- Compensation: Satisfaction with pay and benefits.
- Final Thoughts: Space for additional comments.
Download our optimised exit interview template here:
Why use an exit interview form?
An exit interview form helps in capturing the details of the interview systematically. While it’s important to maintain a conversational tone, having a form can ensure no crucial questions are missed. Consider including space for interviewees to add additional comments or insights beyond the scope of the questions.
As HR professionals, it’s crucial to continually refine and adapt our approach to exit interviews. By utilising this comprehensive exit interview template and best practices, we can uncover invaluable insights to help shape a more positive, engaging, and productive work environment.
Q1: How should the interviewer be selected?
The exit interview should be conducted by someone neutral who can foster an open and honest dialogue. Often, this is an HR representative, but perhaps the departing employee feels most comfortable with their line manager or even a third-party facilitator. Allow the interviewee to have input to enable a productive conversation.
Q2: What is the best way to ensure honest responses during an exit interview?
Explain the purpose of the exit interview to your departing employee. Emphasise that their feedback will be used for positive change, and is integral to building a solid company culture, making sure to assure them of confidentiality. The environment should be non-judgmental and receptive to elicit honest responses.
Q3: What should be done with the information obtained from an exit interview?
The information collected from exit interviews should be analysed to identify trends, potential issues, or areas for improvement. Using an exit interview form will aid with this. HR professionals can then use this data to implement changes that can increase employee satisfaction and reduce turnover.
Q4: Should an exit interview be mandatory?
A4: While highly beneficial, exit interviews should not be compulsory. Forcing an employee to partake can lead to resentment and may not yield truthful or useful responses.
Q5: How should companies address the issues brought up in an exit interview?
A5: Companies should view the feedback from exit interviews as a learning opportunity. If an issue is highlighted consistently, it should be addressed directly through policy changes, management training, or other appropriate actions.