For the most part, turnover should be avoided like the plague. The cost of turnover is astounding, as the total cost of voluntary turnover in the U.S. is more than $536 billion per year. And it can take up to two years for a new employee to reach the same productivity levels as the exiting employee.
Unfortunately, turnover is a reality that can't always be avoided. And in the event that one of your employees decides to head for greener pastures, you need to discover why they're leaving and how you can prevent their coworkers from doing the same with an effective employee retention strategy.
This is where the exit survey comes in.
Turnover costs your business time, money, and employee morale. And while you should do all you can to retain employees, some will eventually leave – there’s no way around it. You need to be prepared to mitigate the costs of those exits by collecting feedback.
Additionally, employee engagement is higher when leadership shows they are committed to understanding and improving turnover, including methods like exit interviews and surveys. The bottom line? Collecting exit feedback can help your organization avoid costly exits in the future and assures employees of your current commitment to their well-being.
Our experts recommend starting with an exit survey, then conducting exit interviews to fill any gaps the survey might have. This allows you to gather standardized data and dive deeper into employee responses, providing a complete picture of the exit.
Standardize organization-wide exit surveys, so HR leaders can identify internal trends and benchmark against other organizations’ data, like engagement, performance, etc.
Every organization has a timeline that is right for them, but optimize for these five elements when making your decisions:
You need to use an exit survey to capture a complete picture of the employee’s time with the organization. To uncover actionable insights, aim to understand these four aspects in every exit survey:
After you understand those, you may wish to add customized elements – or even gauge your remaining employees' level of engagement.
If you move past the stale, boilerplate questions and start making inquiries that really get to the heart of the departure, you can uncover insights that will help you retain employees in the future.
Why have you decided to leave this company?
What do you value about this company?
What did you dislike about your job?
How was your relationship with your manager?
Were you satisfied with the leadership of this organization?
Your employee exit survey questions should invite honest answers that’ll give you the insight your organization needs in order to reduce voluntary turnover. Swap out your age-old (dare I say worthless?) exit survey questions for ones that’ll help you uncover the real reason why your employees are leaving.
Asking the right questions is just one element of an effective exit survey strategy. What else do you need to know? Download our free guide, How to Conduct an Exit Survey, to get the whole story.