Exit Interview Procedures

Procedures for conducting employee exit interviews.

I. Summary

The City of Minneapolis is committed to the development and retention of employees. To support this commitment, the Human Resources Department has developed an Exit Interview process and survey.

In Human Resources terms, an exit interview is set of questions that are designed to elicit information from an employee who has decided to leave the organization. The exit interview can play an important part in understanding why employees choose to leave the organization.

The information received from each exit interview provides insight into the City’s work environment and the factors that may lead to an employee’s decision to leave the City. Trends can be identified that may lead to changes in employment practices and the work environment. The goals of any changes that are made will be designed to improve employee retention/reduce turnover.

II. Exit Interview Process – Step By Step Procedures

The Human Resources Department has developed and utilizes a number of tools to conduct the exit interview. The exit interview can be conducted via a 1) Face-to-Face Interview, 2) Online Exit Interview that can be accessed via Survey Monkey. 

The steps listed below should be followed:

A. Once an employee provides notice that they are leaving (i.e. retiring, resigning, etc.) the City, the immediate supervisor should contact a member of their assigned Human Resources Generalist Team about the pending employee separation and request that the exit interview process be initiated. The supervisor should provide the employee’s name, contact information and last date of employment.

B. After the supervisor makes contact with Human Resources, a member of the Human Resources Generalist Team will contact the employee and ask them to participate in the exit interview process. If the employee agrees to participate, they will be provided with the option of participating in a face to face interview and/or be given the option to complete the online exit interview via Survey Monkey. (Note: Separating employees will need a link to access the online survey.)

C. If an employee agrees to a face-to-face exit interview, they will also be asked to complete the online exit interview so data can be captured about the employee’s experience working with the City. Capturing consistent data on a number of variables (i.e. work environment, salary, benefits, etc.) can provide valuable data that can be analyzed on a citywide basis or by individual City departments to identify trends on why people are leaving.

D. For employees who are not contacted prior to their leaving the City, members of the Human Resources Generalist Team will send the former employee a notice requesting that they participate in the exit interview process albeit via the online survey and/or by completing a paper version of the survey and returning it in a postage paid return envelope. Former employees wanting to complete the online survey will need to contact Human Resources to get the link to the online survey. If the former employee wants to complete a paper survey, they can request that the form be mailed or emailed to them. Upon receiving the completed survey, Human Resources staff will input the data into the online survey.

III. Exit Interview Guidelines

Guidelines for the Exit Interview:

A. Human Resources will attempt to conduct exit interviews for all employees who voluntarily separate from the City including employees leaving appointed positions. The exit interview can be done via: 1) Face-to-Face Interview, 2) Online Exit Interview and 3) Electronic Exit Interview form that can be mailed or emailed to the employee for completion.

B. Face-to-face interviews will be conducted by a member of the department’s assigned Human Resources Generalist Team. This means that the employee’s direct manager or immediate supervisor should not conduct the exit interview. Having an employee from Human Resources conduct the face-to-face exit interview may improve the employee’s comfort level in providing direct and honest feedback. For employees not comfortable in participating in a face-to-face interview, online and paper and pencil options are also available as described above.

C. The exit interview is designed to solicit information from exiting employees about themselves, their department and management. Additionally, the interview will ask about satisfaction levels with different aspects of the organization that may have influenced their decision to leave the City.

D. Exit interviews are confidential and will be used by Human Resources to identify trends as to why people are leaving and which may lead to changes in employment practices designed to improve the City work environment and improve employee retention.

E. Request and verify that all company property (i.e. laptops, cell phones, etc.) and materials (Manual, Working Papers, etc.) have been returned.

IV. Conducting the Face-To-Face Exit Interview - Human Resources Staff

A. Try and set up the interview at least one week before the employee’s departure date.

B. Stress that the meeting is voluntary, informal and confidential. If the employee does not want to participate in a face-to-face interview, ask them to complete the online survey.

C. Before conducting a face-to-face exit interview, be sure the employee is provided with a data practices advisory.

D. Expect emotion and allow the employee to express their thoughts and feelings without interruption.

E. Listen and clarify any concerns. However, do not discuss how problems can be resolved.

F. Set the right tone. Be warm, receptive and interested in what the employee has to say. Listen. Don’t insert personal comments, provide opinions or defend the City and its actions. Your role is to gather information and stay objective.

G. Before or after completing the face-to-face exit interview, ask the employee to complete the online survey.

H. Be sensitive to legal exposure in the areas of harassment or discrimination.

I. Thank employees for taking the time to share their thoughts with you.

V. Job Comparison Questionnaire

A. At the request of the department, Human Resources can mail a 

B. The 

C. The information contained within a completed 

VI. Follow-up Steps

The Human Resources Department will periodically download the information captured in Survey Monkey to analyze the data that has been collected. Once the analysis is complete, Human Resources staff will develop one or more executive summaries; one for the entire City and others for individual departments.

These reports will provide summary information to individual City department management. The summary may include 1) Ratings on different variables such as the work environment, salary and benefits, quality of supervision, etc.; 2) Comments sorted by subject matter; and 3) Potential recommendations for improving the work environment and increasing employee retention. City departments will be asked to incorporate any recommendations in their business plans, as appropriate.

VII. Related Documents

A. Exit Interview Survey (To be completed by employees who voluntarily separate)

B. Exit Interview Survey (Transfer Version)

C. Exit Interview Cover Letter

D. Job Comparison Questionnaire