No matter how big or small your company is, you need to know what’s going on with your employees. After all, they reflect who you are and how you want your business to be perceived.
So, how do you find out how your employees feel about you, their peers, or the company in general? There are two really simple ways you should try: Exit and stay interviews. You’ve probably heard of them before, but putting them into practice – and doing them right – is easier said than done. Here’s what I’ve learned:
The Exit Interview
When someone leaves our company, we hold a casual exit interview before they leave. We want to get insights into why they’re leaving and what we could have done better to keep them. Our human resources director, Leslie captures all the feedback and circulates it to their managers and me. Sometimes it’s a tough read, but it only helps in the long run to assist us in addressing issues.
Tip: Exit interviews are the last impression an employee has of your company so ensure it is professional, respectful and leaves them feeling valued for the work they contributed. Give them a chance to communicate what they liked and what can be improved upon. You can learn a lot from this feedback.
The Stay Interview
A stay interview is essentially an exit interview that happens before an employee is out the door. Leslie came up with a similar idea: a one-year check in. She sits down with folks after a year of service and asks them questions about what they’d do to make our company better, how they like their work and what their aspirations are. Afterwards, she shares it with their managers and me so we know how we’re doing. We use this feedback to make positive changes on the inside, because everything we do inside affects the outside.
When we make changes, employees know they’ve been heard and that’s priceless.
Tip: Hold a touch-base with folks at a regular set interval to get feedback. In the beginning, it might help to check in after their first month and then at the 90-day mark. This can help identify and address issues early on.
What are you doing to understand what’s going on with your people? I’d love to hear what’s working in the comments.
This article by VerticalResponse CEO and founder Janine Popick originally appeared on Inc.com.
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