Article: Why An Online Form Makes Sense
by Paul Quinn, 2006.
Human resource (HR) departments typically conduct
exit interview surveys to gather information
from departing employees to help the company improve
working conditions, retain existing employees
and identify problem areas within the organisation.
One of the great aspects of exit interviews is
that the departing employee often feels less concerned
about the ramifications of 'treading on toes'
and hence is typically willing to provide extremely
open and honest feedback about their reasons for
leaving and their thoughts about what the company
could do to improve.
while exit interviews clearly have their place
and are a vital tactic for any organisation serious
about retaining their staff, there are many pitfalls
to avoid. Some of the key challenges that companies
face in conducting exit interviews include:
Interviewer bias: The person charged with asking
the questions may not be 100% impartial or may have
negative preconceived notions about the departing
Interpretation: Often, the departing employee
says 'X', yet the interviewer writes down 'Y'. They
hear what they want to hear and record what they want
Data entry: Often the person responsible for interviewing
the departing employee is at Management level, and
places a low priority on data entering the results
of the exit interview into a centralised system that
authorised Managers can access.
Reporting: As notes are typically hand written,
there is not one central place where all exit interview
data is stored. The data also needs to be held on
secured servers (as the information is often sensitive)
and results accessible to only those with appropriate
Consistency: Without a standard exit interview
questionnaire, the questions asked and information
collected can vary wildly.
Confronting: The departing employee can sometimes
feel as if it's too confronting to provide open and
honest feedback face-to-face, especially if the interviewer
is personally known to the employee or if the interviewer
has a good working relationship with the departing
Timing: If the departing employee leaves the organisation
suddenly, the task of conducting the exit interview
is often overlooked. However, employees departing
in this manner still have valuable information and
feedback to contribute.
what can be done to help minimise these pitfalls?
the centralised Exit Interview process.
many companies are turning towards a centralised online
exit interview process. In simple terms, once an employee
leaves the organisation (or in the final weeks of their
tenure) the following steps occur:
HR is notified of the departing employee's name /
last day of work.
2. HR e-mail the departing employee a link to a structured
online exit interview survey, and ask that they complete
it at a time that suits them over the next 1-2 weeks
maximum. The survey form is pre-coded with the employee's
name, their division, their Manager's name, and their
location so that HR can easily report and filter results
by this information.
3. As soon as the survey has been completed, HR is
notified by e-mail, AND, the survey results are automatically
entered into an online database where reports can
be run and charts produced.
(Optional) - HR can phone the departing employee if
any matters raised in their feedback survey require
5. (Optional) - HR can then invite the departing employee's
Manager or the 'Next Up' Manager to review the feedback
and add any further comments into a separate section
of the same survey (this section cannot be viewed
by the departing employee).
6. HR then log online and run date-defined reports
to review cumulative exit interview results, spot
trends, and measure the change in ratings over time
for the whole company, or broken down by department
or location. Key areas of weakness are spotted and
an action plan to address developed.
we map this online process against the traditional problem
areas of decentralised exit interviews highlighted above,
we find it addresses many of the challenges faced:
Interviewer bias: Problem removed - the interview
is in the form of an online survey.
Interpretation errors: Problem removed - what
the departing employee types is exactly what HR report
Data entry: Problem removed - the online survey
stores the exact data and ratings entered by the departing
employee. Management's data entry requirement is removed.
Reporting access: Problem removed - anyone given
authorisation can access the results from any web
browser in the World, at any time, with the data securely
held on encrypted servers.
Consistency: Problem removed - the exit interview
survey issued is the same for all employees.
Confronting: Problem removed - the departing employee
can complete the survey in their own time, at their
own pace, without feeling like they need to sugar
coat the tone or nature of their comments to meet
the expectations of the interviewer.
Quick Departures: Problem removed - if an employee
departs suddenly, the survey can still easily be sent
and administered remotely in the days or weeks following
short, a well constructed exit interview process can
provide invaluable insight, improve employee retention
levels, and should be a mandatory consideration for
any employer serious about improving employee satisfaction
an Australian-built online exit interview tool:
is an Australian built online feedback and survey tool
used extensively by Australian and New Zealand based organisations
to conduct online exit interviews. The tool can also be
used by HR to conduct cost effective staff climate surveys,
training needs analysis surveys, and 'new starter' feedback
surveys to name a few popular uses.
Please complete the
form below to arrange your FREE custom-branded
exit interview demonstration and a PeoplePulse
pricing and information sheet.
completing the form below, a PeoplePulse representative
will contact you to discuss your needs and current
situation. From there we will set up your demo
and arrange a suitable time to show the system
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