The human Resource department is so central and crucial to the harnessing of the potentials of the staff of the organization that it must have practical and pragmatic policies that should bring out the creativity of staff for the success of the organizations as a whole. However, when the Human Resource Department neglects or does not take adequate care to conduct a proper exit interview for those who leave the employment of the organization, they miss a very crucial avenue to know if they, as the custodian and “harnesser” of potentials, are doing the right things and doing things right. An exit interview also points to know if the organization itself is running in the right direction concerning its goals, objectives and purpose.
The truth is that almost all the time, what management thinks and feels about their connection and contribution to the success of the organization and how the employees thinks and feels about same often run contrary to each other, management and employees most times think in two different directions. Management may be thinking that it is achieving an organizational aim with certain policies and procedures while employees may think that management is disrespecting the principles of the organization with the enactment of the same policies and procedures.
During a workshop in which I participated, the lead speaker told us of a poll that was conducted in the state of San Francisco in the country of America. The poll asked about one thousand managers what they thought were the greatest needs to run their various organizations effectively. The top three things that were mentioned, as we were told were: innovation, technology and delegation. The same question was asked from the employees: what do you think your bosses need to run the organization effectively and the top three of the employees were: empathy, understanding and recognition.
There is always a difference in the way management thinks and acts and the way employees thinks and acts and organizations that have transcended this harmful dichotomy are those who have a flat and inclusive structure where there is a respectable but consistent camaraderie between the management and the employee. These kinds of structure guarantee a free flow of ideas along the reporting lines. New and innovative ideas will be exchanged and the products and services of the organization will remain relevant.
Another way in which an organization may know how they are being perceived by those whom they manage is via an exit interview which should be conducted in honesty and openness. One of the main aims of an exit interview should be to find out if the organization contributed to the personal and professional development of the employees in question, if the working condition of the organization is favorable for growth. Exit interviews should not be used to witch hunt those who wish to leave the employment of the organization.
When I left the banking industry several years ago, my former employer conducted an exit interview for me in the form of a questionnaire and I answered as wisely and as truthfully as I could without any form of malice and anger as I was leaving the organization with a pure motive.
For whatever reason any staff is leaving the organization, the HR must be sure to conduct a proper exit interview to know the reason(s) the employee is resigning and if he/she has any advice for the organization that might help in building and maintaining her success.
Whenever a staff informs the HR of his/her plans to resign their appointment with the organization, the following must be done.
As soon as the HR department receives the notice of resignation, the employee should be personally interviewed to know the exact reason(s) for the resignation without any form of harassment and threats.
When the HR interviews a departing staff, it must not draw on intimidation or use a forgiven/reprimanded offense to coerce the staff to stay on in the organization. Every staff that signifies an interest to leave the employment of the organization must be given the freedom to do so.
Every suggestion by the resigning officer must be treated with confidentially. It must not be openly discussed at meeting with the staff name mentioned as the reference.
Recommendations made by departing staff should be examined in the light of what is really happening in the organization. Management must use whatever reason and suggestions the departing staff has given to update itself on determining if the goals and objective of the organization is being followed.
If the resigning staff is the creative and highly productive type, he/she should be ask if there is anything the organization can do to retain him/her within the employment of the organization. Good employees are scared and successful organizations do not let go of their very productive staff easily.
Organizations cannot and must not prevent a staff from leaving its services, however, an organization with a progressive HR department to man its staff affairs must ask questions and learn the reason(s) for an exit. If the management, acting through the HR does not do this, the organization will have a very high attrition rate which is often detrimental to the success of any organization.
Information derived from exit interviews forms a crucial part of the strategies for making career friendly policies that will mitigates against a high resignation rate by employees.
Oluwabusayo Madariola is an human resources expert
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