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{Excerpt} Together with staff engagement surveys, exit interviews are one of the most widely used methods of gathering employee feedback. The less tacit and explicit knowledge an organization captures from staff on a regular basis, the more it needs to capture when they exit. Exit interviews are a unique chance to survey and analyze the opinions of departing employees, who are generally more forthcoming and objective on such occasions. From an employer’s perspective, the purpose is to learn from the employee’s departure on the basis that feedback is a helpful driver of organizational performance improvement.

More recently, the practice of exit interviews has been revisited as a knowledge management tool to capture and store knowledge from departing employees and minimize loss through staff turnover. This is especially relevant in roles where the employee embodies significant human capital that may be passed to appropriate employees remaining in the organization. Most departing employees are pleased to share knowledge, help asuccessor, or brief management, in so doing yield information that may be used to enhance all aspects of an organization’s working environment including culture, management, business processes, and intra- as well as inter-organizational relationships. Not withstanding, participation in exit interviews and responses to exit interview questionnaires must be voluntary.


Suggested Citation

Serrat, O. (2010). Conducting exit interviews. Washington, DC: Asian Development Bank.

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This article was first published by the Asian Development Bank (