Often times, especially for small businesses, the proprietors will have taken a risk on bringing on a new employee and over the course of years will have groomed this person to perform at a high level. Then, as it also often occurs, this star employee pops into your office on a Friday late afternoon and announces that they are moving on to a better opportunity.
Your initial shock needs to be tempered. After all, you created this monster – you should be proud of your accomplishment! And you should immediately congratulate them and let them know you will always support their best interests. Don’t ever be the one to sour an employer/employee relationship. Stay above the fray. And if you do keep your wits about you, you stand a very good chance of getting one final, exemplary bonus from your protégé – an exit interview.
Here’s the bottom line up front – give your employee the chance to say what they dared not to while they were in your employ. Including ways for you to improve as a boss. And how processes and procedures could be improved. And how your company culture really is perceived by their peers who also are hesitant to speak out and tell you their true feelings because they need that monthly paycheck.
There are many google-able articles regarding how to conduct exit interviews. Here are just a few questions that should be included:
What is the company doing right? Doing wrong?
How do your peers feel about the company in general?
What did you enjoy the most about working here?
What advice would you give to the next person in your position?
If you could change three things, what would they be?