Companies Making the Most of Feedback from Exit Interviews

Survey Shows Majority of Companies Act on Feedback from Departing Employees

Toronto, ON -- Many employers are taking their workers’ parting words to heart, new research from staffing firm OfficeTeam suggests. More than half (54 per cent) of human resources (HR) managers said their company commonly acts on feedback from exit interviews.

When asked how they follow up on information gleaned from these meetings, 46 per cent of respondents stated they address comments about management. Another 20 per cent make changes to the work environment, while 14 per cent update job descriptions and 10 per cent review employee salaries.

Exit Interviews

How often companies act on information from exit interviews:

22% Very often
32% Somewhat often
33% Not very often
12% Never

Actions HR managers most commonly take based on information from exit interviews:

46% Update job descriptions
20% Discuss feedback regarding management
14% Make changes to work environment/corporate culture
10% Review employee salaries
8% Review employee benefits

Source: OfficeTeam survey of 230 Canadian human resources managers who said that their companies act on information gathered during exit interviews. Some responses do not total 100 per cent due to rounding.

© 2016 OfficeTeam. A Robert Half Company.

“While losing a high-performing employee can hurt a team or business, companies must recognize the opportunity it offers to gain valuable insight into improving their organizational structure or culture,” said Koula Vasilopoulos, a district president for OfficeTeam. “Departing workers can offer firsthand feedback that current staff may not be as willing to share which can help companies deal directly with issues and may mitigate further turnover down the road.” 

OfficeTeam offers some do’s and don’ts for employers when conducting exit interviews:

  • Do time it well. Consider scheduling the meeting on one of the worker’s last days. Keep the conversation brief and professional. 
  • Don’t make it awkward. Because departing employees may be uncomfortable discussing certain subjects with their immediate supervisor, have an HR representative conduct one-on-one meetings in a private setting. 
  • Do cover the right topics. Ask general questions about why the worker is leaving, what the person liked and disliked at the company, and recommendations for improvements.
  • Don’t get defensive. Avoid correcting or confronting the person. Listen carefully and gather as many details as possible.
  • Do be upfront. Explain that any information provided can help to better the organization and will be kept confidential. 
  • Don’t brush things off. Give all comments that are shared the proper attention. Also check for patterns in feedback collected from employees, which can signal persistent problems.

About the Research

The survey of HR managers was developed by OfficeTeam. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from more than 200 HR managers at Canadian companies with 20 or more employees.

About OfficeTeam
OfficeTeam, a Robert Half company, is the nation’s leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled office and administrative support professionals. The company has more than 300 locations worldwide. More information, including job search services and the OfficeTeam Take Note blog, can be found at Follow and @RobertHalf_CAN on Twitter for additional workplace advice and hiring trends.

For further information contact: Naz Araghian, (416) 865-2140, [email protected]

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