Albert Einstein is widely credited with the saying, ''The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.''
For an organization to be effective and stand the test of time, leaders must be willing to listen to its staff. I grew up believing that even a fool has a story and should never be isolated. Listening to your staff can be done throughout their employment contract but more so, at the end of their term during an exit interview.
An exit interview is the last meeting between an employee and an employer. It generally occurs when a staff resign but should also be done when the employee has been asked to leave. The interview is meant to offer a platform for honest discussions for the benefit of the employer and the organization. It generally includes question regarding the management, the work environment, culture, morale, expectations, opportunity for growth, and processes among others.
The feedback is pertinent in recruiting new staff, reorganizing roles, improving processes and growing the company. The exit interview is not a space to justify yourself and the complaints the employee made, and is certainly not be a space where the departing employee is meant to feel bad and is coerced into staying. The exit interview should be an opportunity to share, listen, internalize what has been said and set specific course of action.
Exit interview
During a recent exit interview I conducted with an employee we were forced to let go, the person indicated that Transolution Services was the best company he had ever worked for. Our culture is not only based on consistent training but open and respectful communication. The exit interview helped us put certain strategies in place for the recruitment of his replacement.
Remember that the biggest asset of any organization is its people.
The questions of the exit interview should be open-ended and include generally the following:
  • How do you feel about management? Are there any suggestions you could give to help us improve our leadership style?
  • Was there a time when you felt proud/disgraced of your work/organization?
  • Do you feel you received adequate training to achieve your targets?
  • Do you think the company supported your career goals? Please elaborate.
  • Would you recommend our company to your friend if the person was seeking employment? And why? 
The exit interview is the best place to get honest feedback because the person is no longer afraid to loose his/her position. However, because your staff becomes your brand ambassador, it is important that he/she leaves feeling appreciated.