Stay interviews – a new retention strategy (Guest commentary)

Conduct exit interviews before workers hand in their resignations
By Michael Rosenberg
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/17/2008

Has anybody ever thought about the logic of asking people why they are leaving when they have one foot out the door?

During one of my exit interviews, I was asked why I was leaving. Part of me wanted to say, “Geez, because my manager is such a hypocrite that I would rather be boiled in hot oil than have to work with her another day.” But I knew better — after all, why burn a bridge? No, I gave another pat answer about wanting to move on. My only thought was I wish somebody (other than my manager) had asked me this question before I handed in my resignation, and maybe I could have stayed with the company in a different area.

While I may not have been open, HR professionals who conduct exit interviews have undoubtedly heard talented employees say something on the way out the door that made them think, “If only I knew that, we could have rectified the situation and not lost this person.” But all too often, departing employees simply say the politically correct thing, or that they’re moving on for more money.