Measure Your Brand’s Culture Through Exit Interviews

ExitIf your company is experiencing higher than industry average turnover, or if you suspect there may be an issue with your culture, consider implementing an exit interview process as part of your employee retention strategy.

Measuring and monitoring the health of your culture, which drives productivity and operational performance, cannot be achieved simply by getting feedback from employees during their annual reviews. In fact, current employees will be the least likely to provide the insights management needs to hear as they don’t want to get peers in trouble, risk cutting their own throats, or become tarnished with a reputation of being a company snitch. Your best resource for getting the insights you need on your culture will be through those employees who have resigned and mentally checked out.


Facilitating exit interviews should not be done during that two-week timeframe between the submission of the employee’s resignation letter and the party colleagues throw on the employee’s last day. According to an article in the April 2016 issue of Harvard Business Review, Making Exit Interviews Count, the ideal time for an exit interview will be one month after the employee’s departure. The reason is because the conversation will be more relaxed, and potentially strong emotions harbored while still on the company’s payroll will have dissipated. This will provide for a much more productive dialogue.

The Interviewer

As you may guess, it would be beneficial to retain an outside consultant experienced in conducting exit interviews for two reasons: 1) they know which questions to ask, what not to ask and how to acquire the intelligence companies need to make necessary changes, and 2) the interviewee is more likely to agree to an interview and reveal sensitive information about his former employer than to a person from the company he may not like, trust or respect.

If you want to know why your people leave and what you can do to prevent further attrition, all you have to do is ask. It really is that simple.