6 questions you should ask a departing employee


It’s a given that employees will come and they will go, but don’t let their exit be in vain. As a business owner, turn such opportunities in your favour by gaining important feedback from them about your company. Simply asking your employees, “Why are you leaving?” won’t be of much use. Be an opportunist and find out what more you could have done to make them stay or find out exactly what is making them leave. Getting the perspective of your departing employees on what can be improved in your company will help structure and develop better strategies for the future.

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Here are some questions to ask your departing employees:

Why are you leaving? 

When your employee is leaving, chances are that they would have genuine reasons. Since this is a zero-pressure opportunity, they won’t shy away from telling you what made them leave – be it just a better career opportunity elsewhere or their dissatisfaction with their current roles.

What is your new company offering you?

An honest answer to this question can feel like heartburn. Not only will you get an idea of how and where your competitors have an edge over you but also about what your company lacks. Be it a dearth of flexibility or developmental opportunities, try to pin down on the reasons that made them make an exit.

Were you on the same page with company policies and developments?

This is very important to maintain transparency. If an employee felt like they were not made a part of the team and that made them leave, chances are that others might feel the same way, too. Use the opportunity to discern if they were always informed and updated about company policies and changes from the management team.

What can the company do to improve?

A leading reason for employees quitting their jobs is that they feel like they do not gel with the company culture or their manager. Ask them what you can do to improve the quality of the work environment to suit employees better. Even if this isn’t their reason for leaving, it doesn’t hurt to get their perspective on this.

Would you recommend this company to a friend who is looking for a job? Why or why not?

The last thing any entrepreneur wants is bad publicity from an ex-employee about their company. So, if your employee is exiting with a bitter taste in their mouth, it’s better to resolve the issue behind closed doors before things go public. An answer to this question will reveal exactly what is wrong with your company’s insides.

Additional comments and issues

Office gossips can be a mood kill! Avoid them by asking an open-ended question and learning any and every bit of information that might be important for you later on.

However, as a business head, make sure that you check with your employees repeatedly to understand office dynamics. Don’t let this exit questionnaire be the only time when you actually follow up with your employees.


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