3 Reasons Why You Need to Conduct Exit Interviews

Exit interviews are no longer seen as unpleasant protocols often dismissed, but a positive exercise that carries many advantages. That’s why global mobility managers must include them as part of their program, especially when they decide not to renew an assignee’s contract.

The experience, while initially uncomfortable, can prove to be a valuable learning tool for all concerned:  the manager, the assignee, and the organization. Done correctly, the company can emerge stronger because of this interview. Global mobility managers also have an added advantage over their human resource counterparts, as they will be getting possibly rarely voiced insights from foreign nationals.

Here are several important reasons why you need to conduct exit interviews.

They maintain ties with the assignee and avoid burning bridges with them. According to Lonely Entrepreneur, an open discussion with your assignee on the reasons that motivated them to leave will pave the path to understanding. It can also neutralize festering resentments and clear misunderstandings. The assignee will also be able to express opinions that they had kept to themselves for a long time. As a result, you can maintain friendly and cordial relations with them. They might be leaving the company now, but a graceful parting can bring them back in the future.

They strengthen the culture of your company and improve its operations and processes. As Bright HR points out, exit interviews can provide you an honest and revealing look at your organization: its strengths and weaknesses, the good points it can build on, and the bad elements it has to weed out. For example, an assignee who no longer has to fear any backlash just might tell you how successful (or not) your inclusivity programs truly are. They might just air out that, as foreign nationals, they encountered glass ceilings or subtle forms of discrimination from their colleagues. Some of them might finally illuminate to you why the company is not making any dent in this regional market it wants to capture (Hint:  the CEO is not listening to contributions from ethnic minorities). 

During these moments, swallow your pride, disregard that small voice of denial, and just listen. Take careful notes. Then, at a more opportune time, study them to see if they are true or not. See what you can implement to make your company more robust.

They send a message to the rest of the team that the company does listen to their feedback. Your assignee’s colleagues may not be leaving any time soon, but chances are they have their own hidden issues with the company. Just knowing that they will be given their day in court one day gives them hope and added motivation to stay on. Seeing that their former colleagues’ opinions lead to positive change increases their trust in the company.  Effective exit interviews can lead to increased retention.

They show the workforce that the company embraces change and evolves. Inc.com points out that lessons learned from the interviews also illustrate to the rest of the team that the company is not afraid to change. The organization and its management team implement the needed changes because they want to remain agile and competitive. This is one cornerstone in the corporate culture that has made a lot of tech companies in Silicon Valley succeed. This perception can influence the team into thinking that they have a bright future ahead, and will perform optimally to reach it.