August 2, 2018
Exit interviews are important, and while they may not be entirely comfortable in all scenarios, they ultimately help your farm out with real feedback from a departing employee. After all, recruitment is expensive. To gain the best feedback needed to create changes in your organization, here are the best questions to ask in an exit interview:
What prompted you to look for another job?
Get to the root of why your employee is leaving first thing. They likely already told you but maybe there is more to it. Does it have anything to do with your organization? Or the position they were in?
What was the determining factor in accepting a new position?
What does this new organization have that has enticed your employee away? It could be as simple as salary, benefits, or distance from home, or it could be deeper, such as better company culture or opportunities for advancement.
What did you like most about your job?
Ask them about the positives. What is your organization doing right? Find out if your employee was happy or not on the job.
What did you dislike about your job?
It may just be the job itself, but it’s still important to know what’s wrong with the position and how to look for the right new replacement or make changes to the role.
Were you satisfied with the way you were managed?
Management is often a big factor in an employee’s happiness with their role or place at the company. You may be the manager yourself, but still ask this question and be aware of what you could do differently with your next subordinate.
How would you describe our company culture?
A very important question that often gets overlooked. Even if the position itself isn’t ideal, many employees will stay because the company culture is excellent. Ask your departing employee if they felt like they were a part of a team and if they felt welcome in their workplace. Find out what you can do to improve if your employee is disappointed with your company culture.
What could have been done differently for you to remain employed here? Do you have specific examples?
Specific examples are key in exit interviews and reveal much about what triggered your employee to leave. They may shy away from the question but do ask for at least one or two instances that stick out to them.
If you were to return to the company in the future, what would need to change?
This is a question that can be posed hypothetically, because your employee may very well have no intention of ever returning. But don’t close doors or burn bridges. If you valued your employee, and if you value your current employees, you owe it to them and yourself to know what to change to ensure retention going forward.
The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress.
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