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Awkward as it may be, discovering disappointing experiences about your farm workplace can help strengthen weak areas of your business.

Kristine Penning, Creative Marketing Specialist

November 4, 2020

2 Min Read

The exit interview isn’t something anyone exactly looks forward to. It can bring about both disappointing and awkward feelings. However, it’s an important step for any organization as it can reveal insight into your employee experience and help you identify and strengthen weak areas, from management to daily processes and workflow. Here are some important questions to ask your exiting employees and why they are worth asking.

What made you interested in searching for another job opportunity?
Asking why your employee is leaving is important to set the stage for the rest of the exit interview. You may have many of your questions answered in their initial response. It could be for reasons not related to your organization (continuing education, moving, etc.) or it could be directly influenced by your organization’s shortcomings. Their answer can help you formulate follow-up questions as needed relating to compensation, management, advancement opportunities, or work duties.

What did you like best and least about working here?

This question will give you important insight into the position at hand and hopefully help you when it’s time to fill it. For instance, if the exiting employee struggled with the hours during harvest or planting, be sure to add that to the job description so future applicants know what they are signing up for (even if it might go without saying).

Related:5 tips for giving an employee negative feedback

How can we improve as an organization?

Again, this question helps open the door to your organization’s employee retention. Maybe the exiting employee will let you know that they dislike the management style or that they would have appreciated a bonus at the end of the year. You might not be able to make all changes suggested, but knowing what your employees find attractive can help you make plans for the future.

Did you feel recognized and appreciated as a valuable employee while working here?

Appreciation and recognition is critical to employee retention. Not only that, but it improves motivation and productivity. If your employees let you know they felt unappreciated and undervalued, it’s a sure sign that something needs to shift within your organization.

What could have changed your mind about leaving?

This might trace back to your original question about why the employee is leaving in the first place. But it’s also helpful to circle back to the core reason in case there is additional insight they’d like to share.

Be sure to also ask if the exiting employee has anything additional they’d like to share at the end of the interview. Then leave on the best terms you can. Parting on a positive note is what’s best for your farm’s future.

Related:Employee communication that’s less frustrating

Kristine Penning is Creative Marketing Specialist at

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress. 

About the Author(s)

Kristine Penning

Creative Marketing Specialist,

Kristine Penning works as Creative Marketing Specialist for, the leading talent solutions provider in the agricultural industry. She resides in Central Iowa and farms with her husband Reece. Reach her at [email protected]

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