The average millennial will hold 20 jobs throughout their career– nearly twice as many as members of the baby boomer generation. Do you know what that means? Employers will be receiving double the number of two weeks’ notices.

Despite their bad wrap, a two week’s notice is an opportunity for the employer to improve itself; and that opportunity comes in the form of the under-valued exit interview.

When an employee gives you his or her two week’s notice, he or she will likely also provide a reason for leaving: “I found a management opportunity,” “My new position pays more,” “The new company is closer to home.”

Yet, according to a survey by Ernst & Young, none of those reasons touch the top 5 things that make millennials leave their jobs:

  • Minimal wage growth (78 percent)
  • Lack of advancement opportunities (75 percent)
  • Excessive overtime hours (72 percent)
  • An environment that doesn’t encourage teamwork (66 percent)
  • A boss who doesn’t allow flexibility (66 percent)

The exit interview provides an opportunity to get more candid feedback from those who are choosing to end their employment with your company.

Typically, your departing employees will be more willing to provide honest feedback without fear of repercussions. This will give you a unique picture into your employee satisfaction levels, something that most current employees hesitate to comment on. You may be able to get feedback on certain procedures and policies, or even a heads up as to which individuals in your organization may be causing issues.

A good exit interview is managed by someone who is a great listener and interviewer. The interviewer must be trained to be empathetic, and able to stay calm even if the employee starts to vent. The obvious choice for exit interviews would be someone from your HR department, but a manager or mentor, or even a third-party, are also good choices.

Exit interviews are clearly beneficial, but it’s important to remember that they are one part of the employee retention puzzle. Think of them as a helpful glimpse in the rear-view mirror, but continue to look forward and plan proactively for employee retention.

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