Employer Guidelines for the Exit Interview

While there is no law in Texas that requires an employer to conduct exit interviews for departing employees, many businesses do so anyway. The exit interview can provide valuable insights into the employee experience and can pave the way for a company’s future growth and improvement. The guidelines below are best practices for employers to use during the exit interview in order to leave your employee with a positive impression of your company and to avoid getting into any legal trouble. If you would like more information on how to best conduct an exit interview, contact the attorneys at Simon Paschal today to learn more.

Always Meet in Person

Whenever possible, exit interviews should be conducted in person and not on the phone or via email. A lot can be lost in translation when you do not have the opportunity to see the other person’s facial expressions and immediate reactions to your questions or statements. You also want to give your employee the courtesy of taking the time to sit down with them and have a final conversation.  Simply giving the employee a genuine opportunity to be heard can go a long way.

Plan Ahead

While you do not want the exit interview to sound rehearsed, you do want to prepare ahead with some questions to ensure all the important points are discussed and to ensure you do not say anything that could harm you later. Some questions you may want to consider adding to your list are the following:

  • Why are you leaving the company?
  • What would you do fix the problem, if any, that is causing you to leave?
  • What are some things the company is doing well, and what are some changes the company could make to be better?
  • What are some things you enjoyed about working with your supervisor, and what are some things you did not enjoy?
  • What were your favorite things about working at the company?
  • Are there any new initiatives you wish you could have taken on while you were here?
  • What advice do you have for the next person to come into your position?

In addition to making a list of questions to ask, you may also wish to make a list of questions not to ask. Generally speaking, refrain from asking questions about specific individuals in a way that would incite gossip in the office. While it is acceptable to ask about the employee’s supervisor, it is not acceptable to provide your own opinions and commentary about the person during an exit interview. You also want to steer clear of making any remarks that can be interpreted as discriminatory, such as remarks relating to gender, race, or sexuality.

If the departing employee makes any discrimination, harassment or retaliation complaints during the exit interview, you should get all the information in order to conduct an investigation.  Although the employee is leaving, an investigation is still necessary and you may determine that discipline is warranted for any remaining employees.

Stay Calm

Another benefit of being prepared is that you will be better able to stay calm in case the employee says anything negative about the company. If you do not think you can stay calm in the face of an employee who is aggressively criticizing the organization, consider practicing the exit interview with someone else beforehand. By role-playing the interview, you will feel more relaxed and confident during the actual event. 

Contact a Texas Employment Attorney Today

As you can see, conducting an exit interview well is an art and a science in one. It requires preparation but also requires calmness and discernment. This post merely contains an overview of employer guidelines for the exit interview. For a consultation on exit interviews or any other HR matter, contact the employment attorneys at Simon Paschal online or at 972-893-9340 today.

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