Are you curious why your employees are quitting?
Conducting an exit survey is a fantastic way to find out what made employees leave and what you could have done to make them stay.
So in this post, we’ll talk about the must-ask exit survey questions you’ll want to put on your survey to get the best data from your past employees.
What Is the Purpose of an Exit Survey?
Employee retention is super important when running a small business. You want your time and resources to be focused on growing your income, not just on hiring new employees to fill gaps from previous ones quitting.
So the purpose of an exit survey is to see what you can do better as a business owner. Conducting an exit interview is a great way to find out more about an exiting employee’s decision to leave.
If you have a Human Resource (HR) department, they’ll be especially interested in how to improve employee engagement by finding out potential issues.
That way, you can use those employee exit survey questions to try and keep others around longer.
What Makes a Good Exit Survey?
Asking yourself how do you write an exit survey that’s actually good and people will fill out?
Here are a few exit survey best practices for creating a good exit survey:
- Keep It Brief – You may want to know everything about an employee’s experience with your business, but try and be respectful of their time and privacy and ask only for what you need. Make the form seem shorter with things like Conditional Logic and Multi-step Forms.
- Avoid Distractions – Add your exit survey to a distraction-free landing page to help encourage people complete it.
- Using Conversational Marketing – People get bored easily, so if you’re conducting your exit interview over the internet using an online survey form, it’s important to try to make it at least feel like a face-to-face conversation. Try Conversational Forms to help keep your conversion rate high.
- Track It – Along with other important Google Analytics metrics your business should track, you can also see how many people are visiting your survey page and finishing it, so you know if you need to change something.
So now that you know some of the exit interview best practices out there, let’s chat about exactly when you should do your exit interview and send your exit survey email.
When Should an Exit Interview Be Done?
Exit survey questions are best sent when the job is still fresh on an employee’s mind.
You should conduct the interview during the last few days of someone’s employment, or within a week of their official departure.
That way, you can get an honest and detailed response to your questions. If the exit survey email doesn’t get sent soon enough, you risk the employee forgetting some important details that might help you make things better for employees in the future.
Must-Ask Exit Survey Questions
Here are some exit survey questions that are often asked for you to try:
1. Why are you quitting this job?
This is an obvious one you’ll want to ask right away.
2. What made you look into a new job?
Figuring out a specific time or event that caused someone to leave can help you pinpoint where and by who changes need to be made.
3. What could have been done for you to remain employed here?
Not only do people love being asked this, but you can get some more great specifics on incidents or other employees that may have caused someone to want to quit.
4. Did you share your concerns with anyone at the company prior to leaving?
Perhaps someone already knew there were issues and didn’t report them to you. This is a good question that uncovers if you’ve got communication issues in your business.
5. What would you have changed about your job?
This could provide some great answers to help you decide what you might need to change in the role for the next person coming into that position.
6. Did you have clear goals?
You can figure out pretty quickly if you need to make organizational changes if employees say they didn’t have clear objectives.
7. Were you given enough training for your job?
You can uncover if you need a better training process (or if it’s already great) by asking this question.
8. What extra responsibilities would you have taken on?
Another helpful exit survey question to ask if you’re looking for ways to improve the role that was just vacated.
9. Does the company stick to its values and mission?
If you really value your mission and the ideals you created when you started your small business, it might be painful to see employees don’t think you have stuck to these. But it can also be a positive eye-opener to discover where you need to make changes.
10. How would you describe the company’s culture?
Culture is a subjective term and means something different to everyone, but asking employees directly what they think about yours can give you deep insight into how other employees feel about your business.
11. Do you believe that upper management communicates well?
Communication is often a big complaint when people are quitting jobs. You should always ask about this on your exit survey.
12. Do you enjoy the way we conduct employee reviews?
You may want to dig into the appraisal, review, promotions, and raises process (however your business conducts them) and see what employees have to say about that.
13. What did you enjoy the most about this job?
It’s important to ask what people liked about their job just as much as you ask about challenges. This way, you can keep doing what you’re doing right while also working on improvements.
14. What did you enjoy the least about this job?
This is a given and if you see a specific answer pop up a lot in this spot, you’ll know exactly what needs your immediate attention.
15. Are there any specific issues you’d like us to know about?
Specifics are the name of the game in exit surveys. Ask for them a lot, and often.
16. What would need to change for you to consider returning to this job?
Here’s a solid question to ask on the exit survey to get concrete examples of changes you can make for the role. And, a possible chance to get insight into what you can do to win this employee back if you’d like to pursue that.
17. Did you ever feel bullied or harassed in any way?
This is a super important question to ask on an exit survey to make 100% sure your employees never feel in danger at work and that the culture isn’t even a little bit toxic.
18. What new company will you be joining?
If they’d like to share, you can find out where people who are leaving your company are going to in your exit survey by asking this one.
19. How can we make your transition smoother?
This is a kind gesture and shows you care about the person and not just the data on what can be done better.
20. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Add an open-ended question at the end to give people space to include any details they might think are important.
Get Started With Your Exit Survey
It’s super easy to whip up an effective and professional exit survey using a WPForms survey template.
There are a few you can play around with, but we’d recommend starting with an NPS Survey template then editing it to your liking.
And you can analyze all your results in a gorgeous reporting dashboard.
Not only do you get amazing surveys like this one, but WPForms Pro comes with some other really effective small business tools for your website’s forms like:
- Tons of Templates — Easily set up tons of forms including job application forms to find new employees.
- Email Marketing Integrations — Set up your exit survey to automatically send data to your email lists in Constant Contact, Sendinblue, Mailchimp, and more.
- Unlimited Forms — Create as many forms as your site needs.
- Conversational Forms — Use highly engaging Conversational Forms to impress people with interactive marketing.
- Landing Pages — Get more people finishing your forms by creating distraction-free form pages.
- Secure Forms — Protect forms with different anti-spam options like custom captcha, hCaptcha, or Google reCAPTCHA v2 or v3.
- …and so much more
Final Thoughts on Exit Surveys
And there you have it. We hope this list of must-ask exit survey questions helps you create a great questionnaire that lets you discover what you’re doing right for your employees as well as what you could improve on.
For some ideas on what not to do on your surveys, check out our guide to the top complaints customers have about online surveys.
So what are you waiting for? Get started with the best WordPress forms and survey builder today.