90% of exit interviews are deceptive - 5 strategies to learn the truth


“There was no relationship between the reasons given for leaving

the organization on the exit interview and in the survey."

- Validity of exit interviews

Richard A. Feinberg, Nina Jeppeson

Purdue University

People Profits Principle #87

Exit interviews do not get to the truth 90% of the time

Why would an employee who is leaving not tell us the real reason?

  1. Nothing IN IT FOR THEM - why make it harder on myself?
  2. Managers might RETALIATE
  3. It might MAKE LIFE DIFFICULT for the ones not leaving
  4. NO confidentiality or security
  5. Impression management by HR to "STEER" the answers

Your exit interviews maybe sending you in the wrong direction.

Retention + Engagement strategies can spend

a ton of money "fixing" the wrong problems.

The results can be very costly:

  1. The turnover CONTINUES
  2. Time and costs of the WRONG RETENTION POLICY are wasted
  3. Your REPUTATION for high turnover will continue
  4. You will gain a reputation of NOT KNOWING what is REALLY GOING ON

What can you do? Here are five strategies to learn the truth:

  1. Confirm the exit interview procedure is not STEERING the employee
  2. Review each exit interview for PLAUSIBILITY
  3. Determine high turnover departments for EXTRA SCRUTINY
  4. Develop CONFIDENTIAL communication channels to the EX-EMPLOYEE
  5. Develop similar channels from SOURCES CLOSE to ex-employees

Each organization will have individual problems.

People Profits case study: A manufacturing company had high turnover especially in certain key departments. The retention strategy was clearly not working. Communication channels were developed and trust was earned. In time, the real reasons for the turnover became known. The retention strategy was adjusted and turnover was cut quickly and dramatically. Certain supervisors were retrained, demoted or terminated. Our reputation among the candidate pool changed. We began to receive more applications and some valuable ex-employees reapplied.

People Profits mission is to elevate your HR department to where you need them to be. The strategic driver of your greatest asset!! We do this by building a comprehensive Human Capital Strategy and Plan including all 7 elements of HR with no conflicts and focused on business and financial principles.

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Clark Ingram, MBA, SPHR, CEBS, CPCU is the principal of People Profits, www.PeopleProfits.com ©2015 People Profits, LLC

#engagement #turnover #profit