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  • Writer's pictureAnushruti

The Fuzzy Logic behind Exit Interviews

Fuzzy logic is a mathematical concept of many-valued logic which claims that the truth values of a variable may be any real number between 0 and 1, both inclusive. It is employed to handle the concept of partial truth, where the truth value may range between completely true and completely false.

The exact opposite of this, is the Boolean Logic where the he truth values of variables may only be the integer values 0 or 1.

When an employee decides to part ways with an organization, it is an opportunity for the employer to gain valuable insight into what went wrong and use it to mend the company culture or even retain the employee. All organizations formally or informally have an exit interview as a part of off boarding process. But very few organizations are able to run successful Exit Interview Programs.

A successful EI is one which is able to do the following:

  • Extract an actionable insight which will help to improve workplace culture

  • End the journey of employee on a positive note so that employee feels valued and becomes a prospective boomerang hire or at least a good brand ambassador

  • At best, retain the talent and save the employee turnover cost

But still, most exit interviews are not able to achieve either of the three.

The main reason I believe for the same would be poor data quality. The usefulness of an EI depends highly on the honesty and forthrightness of the departing employee. As HR professionals we tend to categorize their responses in one of the few identified buckets like better prospects, Location Issues, Became self-employed, Personal Reasons and hardly a couple more.

Unfortunately, there cannot be only one compelling answer for a choice such as job switch. And the answers of the departing employees that we conveniently try to fit by Boolean logic of 1 or 0 in any one of these boxes, are in fact much more complex and Fuzzy in nature. The true value is not a simple integer of 0 or 1 but a scary real number with number of decimal places our mind might only hope to comprehend.

Therefore, it is extremely important to understand that and have an engaging conversation during the exit interview-to make it more revealing than a customary tick in the box activity.

So let us explore a few things that we can do to improve the process.

1. Mode of the interview is best if face-to-face, but ensure that if you sense some discomfort- you have an E-feedback option available.

2. The more the questions, the better chance at getting close to the true value

  • Begin by understanding the individual- Professional Goals and what inspires the employee to work

  • Perception of the work place that the employee has (Most liked and least liked aspects)

  • Reasons for joining the company and how the company has changed since the employee joined

  • Overall experience with specifics such as likeness for the role, team dynamics, relationship with manager, growth opportunities etc.

3. Choice of the interviewer is important. This works best if the employee is interviewed by a familiar HR professional- it could be the recruiter for the employee, the HRBP etc.

4. Ask the employee for a recommendation to improve the workplace culture. The chances that this would revolve around the most pressing pain point for employee is high.

5. And lastly, speak with the colleagues in the same team. Simply relying on exit interview is like only reading the last page of a book! It doesn’t make any sense without knowing the rest of the story.

Exit interview shouldn’t be the first time employees are asked how they feel about working for the organization. A culture of constructive feedback must be inculcated amongst the employees since their joining day. This way, the likelihood of getting more honest and layered constructive feedback becomes greater.

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1 comentário

26 de set. de 2020

Well thought & articulated! I feel and it’s purely my personal opinion that employers should treat and behave with employees considering them as human beings... like the way they would behave with their friends or kids or with a person in close relationship... and then the need for finding out reasons during exit interviews wouldn’t arise in as much frequency as it happens

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