Bristol employers avoid exit interviews

Most Bristol employers are shunning exit interviews and missing out on valuable feedback from employees, according to a survey by recruitment consultancy Lucy Bristow. 

Two-thirds of Bristol employees said they were not offered an exit interview in the last company they worked for. The research indicated that staff who were given a final interview when they left were more open and honest about the company, and gave genuine reasons for leaving.

Wendy Trevett, operations director at Lucy Bristow, said exit interviews gave managers an opportunity to get more of an insight into their organisation.

“This research suggests that the emotion behind resignations and redundancies is perhaps preventing companies being objective about the situation and using it as a learning opportunity,” she said.

“Feeling snubbed and betrayed if an employee has  handed in their notice, or guilty and anxious if the company itself has asked an employee to leave, is understandable, but what is needed is a mature and honest conversation which benefits all parties.”

Sue Tumelty, managing director of HR outsourcing firm The HR Dept, said exit interviews were only worthwhile if the organisation was prepared to listen and respond to the feedback.

“From the individual’s point of view, it can be quite difficult because they don’t know whether to be truthful because they need a reference,” she said.

“I think [exit interviews] are really valuable and it’s good practice to do it, but more than that, it can be very useful.”

Trevett said exit interviews provided a final chance for a company to gather direct information, and that most employees appreciated being asked their opinion in a constructive manner.

“It is the last chance a business is likely to get to gather direct feedback and, as such, should not be missed,” she said.

“Whoever conducts the interview, the most important thing is to be objective and not to let immediate emotional responses hamper practical planning for the future.”


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