Turning Exit Interviews Into Action
Despite voluntary turnover being a normal part of any workplace, it can still come as a surprise when employees turn in their resignation letter. Most companies seek to learn from these instances with an exit interview, but are the takeaways being acted on in a way that can actually reduce future turnover? The information that companies gain from exit interviews is vital and can offer a look into internal operations to see what is working and what is not. Common questions asked in an exit interview can look like the following:
- What prompted you to look for a new job?
- What offering led you to accept the new position?
- Did you have all the tools needed to be successful at your job here?
- Were you given clear goals and objectives?
- What could we be doing better?
Questions like these give valuable insight into your company’s unique internal processes and can show gaps in communication, goals, and employee engagement. Both exit interview data and research show that the top two reasons that employees give for leaving their jobs are inability to reach compensation goals and lack of opportunity for advancement. Additionally, 74% of talent rate a lack of career progression as the top reason why they would consider quitting their job.
You are not alone if your company has received feedback that was in line with these stats, but the good news is there are processes you can begin utilizing today to reduce this type of feedback in the future.
How to learn from exit interviews
Let’s look at how you can begin tackling the problem of talent leaving due to a lack of opportunity. Since employees are statistically more likely to leave a job once they’ve been in the same role for one year or more, companies need to look at mapping out career progressions as early as they can. Visibility goes both ways. Employees need to be aware of internal opportunities and management should understand how employees’ career aspirations and goals compliment those opportunities. This can be accomplished by performing a skills audit to understand which skills and capabilities the organization possesses today and where there are gaps to fill and develop. If you can show exactly where a current employee stands with their skills, aspirations, and goals, you can begin to compare them to openings that would be an ideal fit for them.
Skills assessments are not just a tool to help with promotions. They can be critical to pinpoint overlapping skills between departments and allow for internal moves inside the company. This also includes lateral career moves. By making employees’ transferable skills apparent, your organization can showcase moves that they can make in both the short-term and ones that they can work toward in the future through learning and development. Once job roles and skills are assessed, career pathing can be used to create a visual aid for allowing your employees to chart out their progression within your business. This strategy can in turn help with employees leaving due to the other top reason, inability to reach compensation goals. By providing resources for employees to understand how they can grow within the company, they can also know that they are working toward a promotional role, which may include the benefit of higher compensation. This provides your talent with a mapped-out plan to reach their goals and better visibility into their future.
“There are many reasons people leave companies, but the biggest is the belief that ‘this job is not taking me where I want to go’. One of the most important factors in selecting a position (and for managers to consider in hiring and leading people) is making sure the job is going to help you learn and fulfill your own career goals. For some people, this means rapid advancement and challenge; for others, it means a reasonable workload and supportive work environment. When these expectations are clear and aligned, people love their work and stay for many years.”
– Josh Bersin, Global Industry Analyst
What can we do when turnover happens regardless?
Whether it comes from voluntary turnover or talent moving into retirement, some amount of turnover is inevitable. When critical roles are left open, creating a plan to fill these internally can save both time and money. The estimated cost of turnover is shown to be 1.5-2X an individual employee’s salary. Promoting internally can also help keep people who are already onboarded to your company culture, brand and industry working for you. Companies can use the foundation set from reviewing exit interviews to create talent pools that are built around employees’ unique skill sets, preferences, and career aspirations. When you cultivate this data, you can align it with organizational goals in a way that helps fill open positions when talent leaves and propel your current workforce to where they want to go. Career pathing sets the stage for succession planning and allows for calculated internal mobility strategies.
Turnover is inevitable, but being thoughtful when it occurs can take a disruption and turn it into a learning opportunity that can lead to real change in your workplace. Taking time to review the information you gain from exit interview data can be a very meaningful evaluation of your internal culture and give early insight into potential issues. When looking to retain top talent, organizations must be open to the feedback that they are receiving, both from current and past employees. Employees shouldn’t have to jump ship to a new company to be able to accomplish their career goals. One of the best ways to turn exit interviews into action and help employees accomplish their goals with you is by communicating available career opportunities to them. When you begin mapping out organizational opportunities, it helps to think holistically. When creating a system of skills and career paths for each individual in your company, you need to opt for a system that is scalable and able to be updated as needed. Having a software solution that can help categorize job roles, store skill data across departments and show the development needed for career moves makes creating real change much more accessible. By doing this, you can work towards creating an organization of opportunity that benefits both employees as well as your business.
Increase retention and plan for the future of your company with TalentGuard. Learn more about how we can help with intuitive career pathing to increase opportunity visibility here or request a demo today!
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