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Why Organizations Should Take Exit Surveys Seriously

Why Organizations Should Take Exit Surveys Seriously
06th January 2022

Employees are an integral part of any organization and nobody can argue with that. It is also a fact that employees tend to leave the organization after a period of time. Though we can never make an employee stay in the organization against his or her wishes, it is important to understand why the employee wants to leave the organization in the first place.

Understanding the reason behind an employee's desire to quit the organization will help the concerned organization to put efforts in the right direction while working towards retaining the remaining employees.

At this point, an employee exit survey could be conducted to understand the pain areas of the organization that are driving employees away from the organization.

What is an Exit Survey?

Exit surveys are a set of questions or statements that are designed to collect information from the employees who are leaving the organization.

The exit survey answers submitted to the employee exit survey questions are of crucial importance to the organization. Organizations can learn not only the reason behind attrition but also about the views and thoughts of the employees about other important aspects of the organization such as organization culture , remuneration, work life balance, growth opportunities, management style.

Exit Interviews V/S Exit Surveys

Exit interviews are the most commonly opted alternative to gather information about the reason behind an employee leaving. These interviews are conducted face to face. The biggest advantage of exit interviews is of course that the interviewer can direct the conversation in any direction according to the flow of the conversation and interviewees responses. The interviewer can also get clarification on any response of the interviewee if he/she wants.

However, in interviews there is a higher chance that the interviewee will not be 100% honest while sharing his or her opinions about the organization. The reason behind this behavior could be that he/she doesn't want to leave a bad impression on the interviewer or that he/she is intimidated by the interviewer or that he or she doesn’t want anything bad to happen to his/her recommendation letter. This will directly affect the quality of feedback the interviewer is receiving on the organization.

Exit surveys on the other hand are usually conducted in an online mode where the employee doesn’t have to sit across from the interviewer and answer questions, therefore, reducing the chances of getting intimidated by the interviewer.

Most employees who are leaving the company are willing to provide honest feedback about the company, it is only about giving them the right medium to do that. A survey allows the employee to reflect on the questions and provide a more genuine answer. Moreover, surveys allow the company to conduct a trend analysis and identify the major areas they need to work upon to manage employee turnover.

Exit Survey Benefits

The feedback that is received after the exit survey could be eye-opening for some organizations. Such a survey could reveal information about an organization that might have gone unnoticed before. It can reveal information about what needs to be improved in the organization which is causing employee turnover.

The exit survey can help the organization in the following ways:

  • Retain employees Once the company conducts a trend analysis and identifies what is causing the most employee turnover, it can start taking immediate action and retain the employees who were probably also thinking about leaving the organization for the same reasons.
  • Improve organizational culture When an employee leaves the organization, he is more likely to give honest feedback. Many times, the reason behind a person’s leaving the organization is the culture of the company. If the culture of the organization is unhealthy, employees would be willing to move to another organization that provides a more healthy culture. This happens because organizational culture directly impacts the employee's well being and everyone wants to work at a place which takes care of them.
    Therefore, after an exit survey analysis, if a company realises that there is something wrong with their culture that is making their employees quit working at their company, they should immediately take action on improving their culture.
  • Employee Engagement Since employee exit surveys are easier to analyse and allows one to even conduct a trend analysis, it becomes possible for a company to identify the areas where they need to work upon to ensure retention of their employees.
    When a company takes action on their weak areas, it shows employees that they are being looked after. This leads to an increased respect towards the company among employees along with an increased morale. Such employees often turn out to be engaged employees who are an important asset to the company.
  • Find what motivates high performing employees Employees who are confident in their skills, abilities and potential leave an organization for different reasons than other employees. They are the first ones to leave a company as soon as a competitor company tempts them.
    An analysis of the exit surveys completed by these employees could give an insight into what are the factors motivating high performers to leave the company and move to a different one.
    The status of these factors in their own company can then be evaluated and required action can then be taken. This will help keep in check the attrition rate of high performing employees.


To sum up, exit surveys come with an advantage of providing honest feedback to the company about the company's work environment, policies and other important aspects. This information, if used in the right way, can be of huge help to the leadership to make their organization a great place to work. This will not only help retain high performing employees and reduce employee turnover but may also lead to more engaged employees.

An exit survey, therefore, can be of vital importance to the organization. If used for the right purposes, it can help increase overall productivity of the organization and create a positive image of the organization in the eyes of its employees and the public.