MANAGEMENT: How exit interviews can help your business

It’s never pleasant having an employee quit, but human resource experts say far too many employers – particularly at smaller businesses – miss a key opportunity that such departures offer.
“An exit interview with a departing employee is your opportunity to obtain information about what your company is doing well – and what your company needs to do to improve,” says Susan Heathfield, a management consultant who specializes in human resources.
Exit interviews can tell you a lot about your company because rarely is a current employee willing to offer as frank feedback as one who is on the way out. It can help you pinpoint weaknesses in a manager (or yourself), and can help gather helpful information about salary/benefit packages in your market as well as other information about your competition.
Effective exit interview questions include:
• If you were put in charge of your department (or the company as a whole), what are the first things you would change?
• What could have changed 3-6 months ago that would have prevented you from looking for a new job?
• What factors tipped the scale as you decided whether to stay or take the other position?
• Who do you think is next to resign, and why?
• Do you think your manager was fair and reasonable and communicated with you adequately?
• If one other person leaving the company would cause you to think twice about leaving, who would that person be?