Exit Interviews

Conducting an exit interview can be a valuable experience by getting information about an employee’s work experience within the University and identifying the need for changes/improvements within your school/research institute/service. It gives the employee an opportunity to provide open and honest feedback about their reasons for leaving and what was the catalyst that started them looking for a new job opportunity in the first place.

The undernoted are some areas you may want to cover.

  • Reasons for leaving – Why are they leaving and was there anything the University could reasonably have done to aid their retention?
  • Their role – Identify what they most liked/disliked about their role and why. Did they understand how their role fitted into the goals of their departmental and the University?
  • Communications – How did they feel about communication within their team/department; inter-departmental communication and in the University as a whole? Were there opportunities or barriers to feed information or ideas upwards or across the University?
  • Working relationships – Did they feel supported in their various working relationships? Was there any inappropriate behavior or bullying/harassment that they received or observed? Did they work in an effective team? Are there any barriers to effective working relationships that need to be addressed? How would they describe morale in their department? How would they describe their working relationship with their colleagues/line manager?
  • Appraisal and development – Did they receive regular appraisal and supervision? Did they feel their appraisal was an honest and constructive reflection of their performance, with clear and stretching objectives being set and linked to their professional and personal development? Did they receive adequate training/coaching to perform their role? How would they describe the prospects of advancement/promotion?
  • Working environment – Did they have the necessary resources and facilities to undertake their work within their physical working environment?
  • Work-life balance – Were they able to achieve a reasonable work-life balance while working for the University? Was their workload manageable? Did they make any request for more flexible working hours? If so, what and was it accepted?
  • Overall employment experience – Overall how was their experience of working at the University? How did this compare to other organisations they may have worked for?

Having discovered the real reasons for the staff member leaving the University, you should now consider ways to improve the workplace, incorporating positive change and enhancing staff retention.