What goes around comes around. According to MRINetwork, one of the largest recruitment organizations in the world, employers should expect as much as a 50% increase in employee turnover as the economy picks up again. So while it's good that you'll be able to lift your hiring freezes in the coming months, it's not so great if you find yourself saying goodbye to quality employees walking out the door in search of greener pastures.
When it comes to employee turnover, parting can be such sweet sorrow ... AND a unique learning experience. That is, if you take the time to conduct an exit interview and find out why an employee is packing her briefcase and hitting the road.
“Most companies routinely conduct exit interviews,” said Tony McKinnon, president of MRINetwork, “but unfortunately few of them use the information they garner for the company’s benefit. And yet, a poorly delivered exit interview can affect the morale of the existing employee population and undermine the company culture.” WorldatWork.org
McKinnon adds that the primary aim of the exit interview is twofold: 1) To learn the reasons for the person's departure, on the basis that criticism is a helpful driver for organizational improvement; and 2) to allow the organization to transfer knowledge and experience from the departing employee to a successor or replacement.
In other words, ask probing questions to find out the good, the bad and the ugly from the departing employee (and be prepared to listen when the news is less than flattering) and then, use that information to improve upon the position (and the corporate culture) for the person filling the departing employee’s shoes.
For additional direction, check out the article, Exit Interviews Reveal What Went Wrong in the G.Neil HR Library. From the article:
It’s important to gather profiling data on employees such as age group, length of time employed, department, division, and job classification or title. This information helps you identify the typical high-risk turnover candidate.
Understandably, most employees won’t want to level with you about their reasons for leaving. Some are merely ill at ease; others may fear reprisals from ex-supervisors. Nevertheless, you’ve got to encourage them to supply enough details to let you pinpoint the main reasons why most people are quitting. It’s the only way to get to the root of the problem. Your discussion should focus on these topics:
• Opportunity for advancement
• Relationship with supervisor
• Relationships with coworkers
• Reasons for leaving that aren’t related to the job or company