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Why Exit Surveys Fail (and One Possible Solution)

Your organization probably faces the same critical talent challenges your competition does, including motivating and retaining high-performers and preventing unwanted attrition.

Exit surveys are a tool that organizations use as one way to address these problems—an exit survey can reveal an employee’s reasons for leaving, produce data that affirms (or rejects) common hypotheses for turnover, and help you to dig deeper than the commonly cited and safe departure reasons like “career growth” and “better job opportunity.”

But, effective use of exit surveys requires overcoming some major hurdles:

  • Low participation rates – Exit interviews are notorious for low participation for many reasons—from the logistics of timely scheduling, to the departing employee’s natural reluctance to “burn bridges” by providing a response that might be construed as overly critical.
  • Inconsistency – When exit data is collected by several people—often HR generalists from across the company—those interviewers may ask different questions and attach a different meaning to what they hear, making it difficult to aggregate and analyze the data.
  • Lack of execution – Busy HR people have many competing priorities. Exit surveys are important, but facing the need to put out fires means these tasks often fall through the cracks. 

Now for a blatant product pitch…

One way to overcome the common pitfalls of exit survey data collection is to outsource it. Under the guidance of the senior HR leaders who form i4cp’s Advisory Board, we have developed an effective and robust exit survey solution: ExitMetrix™.

ExitMetrix helps your organization tackle the growing challenge of retaining your high-performing employees and understand why they leave (or stay). It overcomes some common limitations in running exit surveys internally by offering:

  • A confidential, third-party exit survey outsourced service
  • Standardized on-demand online exit surveys
  • Surveys accessible via mobile devices
  • Real-time and scheduled reporting

Customized data-gathering approaches tailored to meet special circumstances—phone interviews for high potentials or people in senior roles—are also available, and ExitMetrix’s data-gathering and analysis can be structured to fit ongoing retention and attrition projects.

ExitMetrix is designed to make a positive difference. If your organization wants to understand why employees leave and what motivates and retains them, visit i4cp.com/ExitMetrix.