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Show exit interviews the door


Many companies use exit interviews, interviews with employees on their way out, to seek clues on better retention. But HR consultant Jacque Vilet thinks we'd be better off trying "stay interviews," talking to top performers to find out what keeps them motivated.

On, she tells how she worked with one company that felt exit interviews provided questionable results, since the people leaving generally gave the easiest answer to why they were departing rather than an honest statement. Instead, the company met with its high performers, told them their work was appreciated, and had an insightful chat revolving around four questions:

–Why do you stay at this company?

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–If you have been contacted by a head-hunter, why have you not been interested?

–What are the things that you enjoy most about your job?

–If the company could do anything better, what would it be?

On, HR writer Ashlie Turley says you can counter turnover by asking employees three questions, either in interviews or a survey:

–Starting right now, what three things could I do differently that would make you enjoy your job more?

–If I were a recruiter, what would I have to offer you to persuade you to change jobs?

–What do you like about your job?

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She says managers should worry if the answers to the first two questions don't mention how they appreciate their boss, job responsibilities, pay, job stability, or chances for promotion.

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About the Author
Management columnist

Harvey Schachter is a Kingston, Ont.-based writer specializing in management issues. He writes Monday Morning Manager and management book reviews for the print edition of Report on Business and an online column, Power Points. More

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