Any time an employee elects to leave your organization, it puts you in a vulnerable position. But the effects are much more severe when that employee is one of your top performers. The contribution they make could be equal to that of several others, and the hole they leave in your workforce is never easy to fill.

This situation is even worse when your top talent leaves you for one of your competitors because the strength they’ve gained is equal to the weakness that you’ve suffered, putting you far behind. That’s why it’s essential that you understand why top talent is leaving and take steps to retain them in the future. That all starts with an exit interview. Here’s a few tips to help you glean deeper insights from the process.

  • Focus Your Efforts – Limit your exit interviews to top talent that you regret to see go. It’s typically a waste of resources to interview every single person who decides to leave.
  • Choose Your Interviewer Carefully – Never have a direct supervisor conduct the exit interview. The closeness of their relationship tends to compromise the process. The more objective the interviewer, the better. You should also only use one interviewer if you want the employee to feel comfortable and give honest answers.
  • Explain Yourself – Let the employee know why you are conducting the interview and what you hope to gain from the process. Also, make it clear that the information will be kept strictly confidential and not held against the departing employee in any way.
  • Keep it Simple – Try to be as brief and focused as possible throughout the interview process.
  • Be Sensitive – People leave jobs for lots of reasons. In some cases it’s because they’ve gotten a better job elsewhere, but in just as many cases it is for “personal reasons.” Respect the employee’s privacy and do not force them to divulge information that could be sensitive.
  • Get a Summary – Before you begin asking specific questions, ask the employee to simply summarize their employment experience. This type of open-ended inquiry tends to produce valuable and unexpected insights.
  • Assess and Tabulate – After every exit interview you conduct, enter the information into some kind of ongoing document. This can help you identify patterns that are compromising your retention strategies.

Last but certainly not least, don’t try to woo an employee back during the exit interview. You should respect the professional’s decisions even if they affect you negatively. Once the interview is over, it’s time to jump back into the recruitment process. Find the candidate you need to replace your top talent by working with the team at MedPartners HIM.

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