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Five ways to best use your next employee exit survey

Posted on 1/19/2022 by Elizabeth in category: survey software articles
One of the most severe risks to any business is employee turnover. It's extremely expensive because recruiting, hiring, and training take time and money that most firms don't have a lot of. Some people will eventually leave, no matter how good your company’s culture is.

When an employee leaves, their exit survey reveals gaps in strategy or how the firm addresses employee engagement. The five ways outlined below can assist you or your organization in converting an exit survey into a workable plan to prevent employee turnover and achieve more employee retention.

1. Begin with the results.

Before establishing an action plan, thoroughly investigate the exit survey results. Where does the bread crumbs trail lead? HR and managers should meet face to face (or via video) to establish an open discourse, ask questions, and give color and depth to the data. Manager input clarifies why employees leave and the impact their departures have on the team.

2. Investigate aggregate trends.

Reviewing the reports from your online survey software results without context is unlikely to have much of an impact. While managers are intent on the health of their team, HR has a broader perspective on organizational and industry trends. HR may help managers understand where their teams stand and why employee turnover happens by presenting comparable figures from similar organizations or competitors, as well as other departments or teams within the organization.

Managers may believe that the causes of their turnover are unique, yet they may be part of a larger organizational pattern. Providing context has a two-way effect: if managers aren't used to turnover, it will help to alleviate their concerns. However, if their employees are facing increased turnover rates, HR can add some perspective to difficult conversations.

3. Determine the next actions.

The focus switches to future action after management understands why employees leave. HR should share best practices for dealing with turnover from other teams, as well as well-documented success stories. Equipping managers with appropriate information aids in reducing misunderstandings or frustrations caused by employee turnover. Create solid action plans to assist managers in taking actions to keep employees on board.

4. Encourage the manager to use one-on-one meetings and feedback to advance the conversation with staff.

When staff leaves, supervisors may feel obligated to assume the abandoned duties until new employees are hired, producing unneeded stress. HR should encourage them to engage with other team members in order to generate suggestions on how to divide the burden and move forward in the meanwhile. Because it is a collaborative effort, all stakeholders must participate in the discussion.

5. Identify your opportunities and strengths using exit survey responses

When reviewing feedback from an exit survey, you should start with the positives and work your way down to the negatives. Sort the questions in your exit survey by favorability to see which ones are at the top of the list. Because your outgoing employees will respond more negatively, your highest-scoring items are genuinely your strengths – celebrate them!

Then, go over your lowest-scoring items. These are the issues that are causing problems in your organization. Consider how these themes correspond to what you've heard from other sources of input (e.g., survey tool or conversations with employees).


You and your business will be more positioned to transform the employee experience now that you understand the ways to best use employee exit survey results. You can keep your top employees engaged and with you by recognizing the high-impact areas in which your organization is performing well and poorly.
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