How do you make exit interviews count?

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article |Exit interview|How do you make exit interviews count?When an employee decides to move on, you should be seriously curious about the reasons why. Understanding why employees leave is gold dust in your hand – uncover a problem in the workplace you weren’t aware of, and you gain the insight to do something about it.

It may be too late to save your impending leaver, but if you really listen and can avoid seeing employee exit feedback as criticism, then you have valuable information to prevent other employees following suit.

So, when an employee leaves, how do you make the exit interview count? Here, I’ll be looking at the purpose of an exit interview, why it is important, and how you can use the information to improve employee churn.

The purpose of an exit interview

The whole point of an exit interview is to find out the real reasons your employee has decided to leave, what the employee considers to be the company’s problem areas, and how the company can improve. It is the perfect opportunity to get some frank feedback about the day-to-day operations in your business.

While a resignation letter may give you some indication of the reason an employee is leaving, employees (particularly in businesses with a poor culture) often don’t feel comfortable telling the real truth about their departure.

Leaving for personal reasons is a common cover for dissatisfaction at work. If you think it doesn’t matter why your employees are leaving, think again. The cost to your business is huge and letting good people go is potentially damaging. An exit interview is a real opportunity for learning and employers would be wise to listen and act.

Why is an exit interview important?

In todays’ economy where skilled workers are hard to come by, replacing a valuable employee isn’t easy. According to Breathe HR, over a third of employees leave their jobs because they don’t like the company culture. An employee is unlikely to tell you all of the reasons they are actually leaving in a resignation letter, or even in an informal chat.

But, ask them to give you some honest feedback as you would like to understand why they are leaving and be able to learn from it, and you are much more likely to get them to open up and tell some truths.

The best procedure is to ask your employee to complete an exit interview form and to attend an exit interview with the HR manager. It’s not a good idea to have an exit interview set up with the person’s line manager. This just isn’t good protocol if you really want honest feedback. If an employee is leaving because of poor management, they are unlikely to reveal that if the person they are dissatisfied with is the person conducting the exit interview.

How to make an exit interview count

An exit interview with a departing employee is only useful if the information gleaned doesn’t just fall into a black hole. Candid opinions should be considered in confidence by leadership and not shared to bad-mouth an employee once they have gone – this will only add to poor culture, not fix it.

The whole point of an exit interview is to improve your staff retention rates. Here’s what you need to do to make an exit interview count.

Look for patterns

When people leave your business, are they all giving the same feedback in their exit interviews? If so, it is extremely costly to ignore them – according to Accounts and Legal, the average employee costs SMEs £12,000 to replace.

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) estimate the cost of replacing an employee at a whopping £30,000, which they say includes £25,000 in lost productivity caused by the time it takes to get a new recruit up to speed.

If you don’t fix a problem, the likelihood is that more people will leave.

If more than one employee is telling you something is fundamentally wrong, then you need to do something about it. A small few changes in the workplace could make all the difference to the happiness of your existing employees.

Let your employee vent

An exit interview isn’t the time to argue against every point that is made and justify company actions. Let your employee have their say. Of course, there will be bitter employees along the way. Some of them will have genuine gripes, others will be disgruntled employees that can’t be pleased no matter how great your culture is. It’s up to you as a business leader to use your integrity to recognise when they have a point.

Understand psychological safety

How willing your departing employees are to share how they really feel will depend upon their personality, how psychologically secure they feel in your organisation, and whether they think you will actually be bothered to listen, take notice and act.

If your culture is toxic and an employee is leaving because they feel bullied, it is unlikely they will spill the beans. If lots of your people are leaving, yet they are keeping schtum, you may want to address any issues around psychological safety.

Employee engagement surveys

As most exit interviews happen when an employee has already disengaged (usually in the last week of their employment), it can be difficult to get a true picture of how most employees in the business are feeling. If you really want to understand your employees, why wait for them to give feedback when they leave?

Conducting regular employee engagement surveys serves the same purpose as an exit interview, but helps you to quickly pick up when employees are unhappy at work and take action to prevent people leaving. Let’s face it, exit interviews have a sense of ‘closing the door after the horse has bolted’.

Summary

Far too many companies follow good exit interview protocol but don’t utilise the information effectively. Feedback gets filed and not acted upon, or inappropriately shared to discredit an ex-employee, and then business leaders wonder why more people leave.

Making an exit interview count means acting on the information you glean from your leavers to improve your organisation and make it a better place to work. Don’t try and fight good feedback, especially if the same messages are being heard over and over again.

Be grateful for feedback that is difficult to hear. Interpret, reflect and understand the issues your leavers are sharing with you. See them as strategic improvement opportunities being handed to you on a plate. Remember, employees are your greatest asset. Learn from them, don’t lose them. Ask them to fill in the blank, “I don’t know why the company doesn’t just …..”

The effectiveness of an exit interview can be measured by the positive change it instigates.

5 Ways HCM Can Improve Talent Recruitment

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article |HCM|5 Ways HCM Can Improve Talent RecruitmentThe right talent is essential for the success of any organization. However, sometimes it can be difficult and even time consuming and expensive to find the right people to work for you. Choosing the wrong person for the job can ruin your reputation and bring your profits down. Thus, no matter what it takes, you have to do your best to find the right talent. One of the steps you can take to make the recruitment process more successful is to use a human capital management (HCM) system. Such a solution can be helpful in five key ways

Job Posting

An HCM system can simplify the process of sending out job posts or Ads. With most systems, you can share the post to job forums and even social media directly from the platform. You will also get an option for employee referrals. Referrals from your employees have higher chances of turning out right because they are like recommendations from people you know. However, you still need to do thorough screening for the referrals, just like you would for the other applicants.

Applicants Experience

Another key benefit of using an HCM system is that it can give the applicants a great experience during the entire process. As a business, you should strive to build a good reputation, not only with your customers but with potential employees as well. You can make a good impression on potential employees by providing a smooth application process and proper communication after one has submitted their application. When you offer something short of that, applicants will have a bad impression about your business and may leave before completing the application or getting feedback. By investing in a good system, you can avoid losing top talent along the application process.

Timely and Personalized Communication

Generic messages aren’t good for both the employees and the applicants. With a good system, you can send personalized messages to all your applicants. A personalized message shows that you appreciate the effort of your applicants. And with such appreciation, the applicant may be disappointed if they don’t make it but they are less likely to walk away bitter.

One Dashboard

Another benefit of having an HCM system is that you can track everything from one dashboard. With one dashboard, you can avoid duplication and repetition. Also, when everything is being coordinated from one centralized place, there will be better collaboration among the parties involved in the hiring process.

Background Checks

HCM software (also referred to as human capital management) includes background checks. Examples of checks you can complete using the software include criminal record checks, identity, and employment checks. However, note that while these checks are useful, they may not be comprehensive. You will have to do more checks by yourself before making a decision to hire someone.

With the right HCM software, you will be able to recruit and hire the best talent without spending so much time or going through so many struggles. However, it is important to remember that not all systems have the same features. The benefits you get will depend on the features of the system you choose. Thus, check the features well when shopping for software for your business.

Five Strategies For Retaining Your Top Performers

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article |Staff Retention|Five Strategies For Retaining Your Top PerformersIt is hard to get ahead in the business world when you are constantly having to hire new staff. It is important that you are able to retain your top performers so that you can consistently perform, create harmony in the workplace and avoid the recruitment process which can be lengthy, stressful and expensive.

So, how do you retain your top workers? This can be a challenge particularly when you are a smaller business that may not be able to offer the same wages that they could command at one of the bigger brands in your industry. That is not to say that it is not possible, however, as there are a few highly effective strategies to try.

Flexible Working

The days of working Monday to Friday 9-5 are disappearing and it is important to recognize this as a business owner. You should offer your staff flexible working whether this is remote working opportunities or early starts/late finishes. This can boost morale, show that you trust and respect staff, and help with productivity levels.

Create The Right Office Environment

A job is much more than just a paycheck; it’s a place where people spend most of their week. Creating the right office environment ensures that people can feel happy, relaxed and focused each day which will help with workplace satisfaction. Here are a few tips to create the right environment:

  • Open plan and open door policy
  • High-quality equipment, furniture and tech
  • Allowing open communication
  • High-quality staff break room
  • Maximizing natural light
  • Plenty of plant life
  • Attractive office decor

Social Events

Leading on from this, it is also important to host regular staff social events. This can improve employee retention because it can help to develop chemistry between employees, as well as show that you appreciate your staff. You can throw more formal events, but you may find that it is the informal events which are most effective. These might include:

  • Afterwork drinks
  • Team lunches
  • Staff BBQ
  • Sport/exercise classes

Listen To Feedback

It is hard to retain your top performers if you are not listening to your employees nor taking notice of what they say. One of the best ways to do this is to employ satisfaction solutions like happy-or-not.com, which can help you to determine how happy your employees are and identify ways in which you can make improvements to boost morale.

Development

The best workers are the ones who want to progress in their careers, and so it is important that you allow them room to grow within your organization. This means that you should provide training opportunities and promotion from within, but you should also listen to their career goals and find ways to help them to achieve this within your business.

It is frustrating to lose your top workers to the bigger brands but this is unavoidable if you do not take action to retain employees. Even if you cannot match wages they could earn elsewhere, there are always ways in which you can keep hold of your top performers.

Safeguarding Your Employees: It’s A Business Necessity

StrategyDriven Talent Management Article |Safeguard your employees|Safeguarding Your Employees: It's A Business NecessityWhat are you doing to safeguard your employees?

Despite your busy schedule, you need to give them your priority. If you don’t, and if you fail in your duties in any way, then you are putting both your employees and your business at risk of harm.

The following are some of the reasons why employee safeguarding needs to be a necessity within your business.

#1: You will protect your reputation

By putting health and safety measures in place in your workplace, you are less likely to fall prey to employee compensation claims should an accident occur. And this doesn’t only apply in the workplace, as you should also adhere to drivers’ hours rules to protect those employees who spend much of their time on the road. In this instance, you would also protect yourself from compensation claims made by injured members of the public too.

Of course, it’s not only compensation claims that you need to worry about. Should your employees complain about you on social media, perhaps because you have neglected aspects of employee care within your business, then word is quickly going to spread. You are also in danger of ex-employees who might whistleblow to the media about any neglectful practices within your business.

And when your reputation takes a hit? Your business will take a financial hit in tandem.

#2: You will have more productive employees

As a business owner, you need to focus on boosting your employees’ health. As we discussed in the linked article, you can do this by keeping the office clean, giving your employees more time off, and by making regular health and safety checks.

And the healthier your employees are? The happier and more productive they will be, and that can only be good news for your business. So, take the appropriate steps to safeguard your employees’ health. Add in more break times, find ways to reduce the need for overtime, hire a cleaner if you need to, and raise morale to promote positive mental health at work. Your employees will then have the capacity to work harder and with more focus on quality, and they are less likely to fall ill and take time away from the workplace.

#3: You will retain your best employees

Why should your employees remain loyal to your business? If you are doing little to protect their physical and mental health, and if you don’t take their concerns seriously, then they have little reason to show loyalty to you. As these employee retention statistics suggest, the job marketplace is in the hands of the employee and not the employer, as staying in an unhealthy job does not have to be a long-term option. So, if you aren’t safeguarding your employees, you can’t expect them to stick around. Consequently, you might lose your best employees, and what’s worse, they might head to your nearest rivals.

So, protect your employees. Keep them safe in the workplace. Take action when they report concerns to you. And do what you can to keep them happy. You will be receiving their resignation notices if you don’t, and your business might suffer without them.

Take heed then and do what you can to safeguard your employees. While this is your moral and ethical duty, it’s also a business necessity, as you will experience hardship if you are neglectful.

4 Ways To Boost Employee Health In Your Business

As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to look after your employees. The happier they are, the more productive they’ll be, so everybody benefits if you treat your employees well. But one thing that a lot of business owners don’t put that much thought into is their employees’ health. If they are unhealthy, it impacts your business in a lot of different ways. They are more likely to take sick days and when they are at work, they won’t be as productive. If you offer health insurance, you will end up spending more money because your employees will need treatment more often. It’s for those reasons that employee health should be a priority in any business. These are some of the best ways that you can create a healthier office environment for everybody.

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Keep The Office Clean

A dirty office is not just unpleasant, but it’s also bad for people’s health. If the office is dirty then people will not be as productive because they don’t have a positive environment to work in. But they’re also more likely to get sick because they’re surrounded by bacteria all the time. So, you need to make sure that the office is always kept clean. Get a corporate office cleaning service to come in on a regular basis and give the office a deep clean, but your employees also need to take some responsibility. If everybody keeps their own desk area clean and people chip in to keep the communal areas tidy, it’s a lot easier to stay on top of.

Increase Natural Light

Natural light is important for good health because we need it to produce vitamin D. Unfortunately, vitamin D deficiencies are incredibly common because most people simply don’t spend enough time outside and they sit in a dark office all day, under artificial light. Lack of natural light can also have an impact on mood and productivity as well, so it’s important that you try to boost natural light in the office if possible.

Regular Health And Safety Checks

Health and safety can be a bit of a pain, but it’s there for a reason and it benefits your business in a lot of ways. If you ignore health and safety checks, you just increase the risk of injuries. When an employee gets injured, it’s bad news for you because they could sue you and even if they don’t, you will have to go without a good employee until they are well enough to work again. But that could all have been avoided if you just carried out some regular health and safety checks.

Give More Time Off

Stress and mental health issues are one of the biggest health problems that you have to tackle. If your employees are overworked, they will suffer from burnout and they may develop a more serious mental health problem. That’s why it’s important that you give people more time off so they have time to recharge their batteries. They will be more productive when they return to work, so even though they have more time off, their overall output will be increased.

These are all simple changes that you can make in your business to improve employee health.