ITD introduces online exit interview process
to obtain quality responses from departing employees
ITD employees who voluntarily leave the department take with them valuable knowledge and perceptions. Their insight is important to improve the workplace and make conditions even better.
Exit interviews help administrators identify areas that can be strengthened, explains Human Resource Services Manager Mary Harker. But collecting employee suggestions on a consistent basis across the department has been a challenge.
“We have to have ways of getting good feedback from our exiting employees in order to have the opportunity to enhance the workplace,” Harker says.
A new process, implemented early this month, will make exit interviews even easier to complete and responses easier to report. All employees who voluntarily leave ITD will be asked to complete an online exit survey before their departure.
“Historically we have done face-to-face exit interviews,” Harker explains. The process was labor-intensive, required skilled interviewers to ask a series of questions to obtain quality responses, and was difficult to summarize.
Harker envisioned an online, database driven exit survey that makes information easier to collect, access, analyze and distribute. The survey includes 17 questions related to the workplace and working conditions. Most departing employees should be able to complete the form in about five minutes, depending on the length of their personal comments.
The idea of using an online survey first surfaced last May and was presented to ETS for initial development in the fall. The basic framework was completed by November.
Harker considers the online process an efficiency measure – enabling HRS to get more information, to process it faster and reduce the lengthy, personal interview process.
It also closely aligns with the component of ITD’s strategic plan that focuses on “investing in our people” and “leading through agency performance.”
“I’m pretty excited about it and hope managers will understand and appreciate the value we will get from it. The online survey will provide a lot of diverse feedback.”
HRS worked with staff in Enterprise Technology Services, especially Fred Thornton and Ken Stewart, to design the online application. It is located on the Intranet under HR Services, HR Services Home and Exit Interview at the bottom left column (http://intranet/admin_services/HRS/IndexHR.html )
The new process requires that district personnel technicians present employees who voluntarily leave the department a letter asking for participation in the online exit interview. The letter should be given to employees within 72 hours of their notice to leave ITD. If that is not possible, every attempt should be made to collect the exit interview information manually, Harker explains.
In her letter to departing employees, Harker writes:
“It is vital that ITD receive input about your employment experience with us so that we are able to assess the quality of employer we are and make improvements where we can. Without your perspective, we cannot hope to become the best employer possible."
Information provided will be compiled into management reports, but respondents can remain anonymous if they choose. Responses will not be placed in personnel files and only limited staff in the HR section at Headquarters will have access to run report summaries.
Completing the online survey is not mandatory, but honest, candid responses are extremely important to the department, Harker adds.