Employee Exit Surveys: Benefits, Approaches, and Sample Questions

employee handing boss a resignation letter

Employee exit surveys are not the same as a typical exit survey. A traditional exit survey typically refers to intercept interviews being conducted as customers leave a store.

Staff exit surveys refer to gathering information from those who voluntarily choose to leave their position for one at another company.

Turnover can be a significant pain point. With employee turnover reaching past 57%, now is an ideal time to start implementing exit research methods. These surveys collect information to increase retention rates and increase employee satisfaction. 

Learn more about the benefits, approaches, and sample questions for employee exit surveys!

Benefits of Employee Exit Surveys

As part of employee market research, exit surveys are a great way to understand areas of satisfaction and dissatisfaction.

Research shows employee turnover affects customer satisfaction, quality, lack of motivation, low employee morale, and it can cost twice as much as the employee’s salary to replace them.

Therefore learning from previous employees and why they began their job hunt with a new organization can help mitigate these concerns.

To truly reap employee exit survey benefits, it is important to gather unbiased feedback wiith a third-party market research firm.

Working with an Employee Survey Company

When choosing to outsource this type of survey, feedback can be gathered in a way that minimizes the perceived risk of giving honest, candid feedback. 

For example, if an employee truly disliked working for the company, it’s unlikely they will be completely honest with a human resources representative when leaving the organization.

In their minds, it is important to leave on a good note if they were to ever need a recommendation down the road. Additionally, the market research firm also diminishes bias when reporting on the data.

By using a third-party lens, an employee survey company can cut through the main types of bias in market research. This typically comes from analyzing feedback about employees that whom an HR representative would have a working relationship.

There are a variety of benefits when it comes to using a third party for employee surveys. In the next sections, we’ll cover key steps of how we approach the survey and more. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: Employee exit surveys do an excellent job of gathering unbiased information from staff. The data will convey satisfaction and dissatisfaction points of employees about your business. Ensure you conduct this research with an employee survey company so you can be confident you’re getting unfiltered feedback. 

Recommended Reading: Market Research: Is In-House or Outsourced Better? 


Approach to Employee Exit Surveys

There are a few different types of market research to gather feedback from team members who have left or as they are on their way out including:

In each of the following approaches, an employee survey firm, like Drive Research will either draft a questionnaire or interview guide using best practices to engage participants and reduce bias effectively.

Why an online survey?

An online survey is usually the less expensive option and is a great way to gather feedback from employees who choose to take a new position at a different company.

The one caveat with choosing an online survey is that participation is more passive and there is less of an opportunity to ask pointed follow-up questions.

Why a phone survey?

A phone survey is similar to an online survey but has some room to ask pointed follow-up questions.

A research interviewer can ask employees to expand on their answers if little insight is given or they do not understand their answers.

Why an in-person or video interview?

Lastly, an in-person or video interview has the most potential to gather in-depth feedback. This approach allows researchers to explore the answers given rather than just measure them with data and numbers.

It also allows for interviewers to pick up on body language. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: Some popular methods for conducting an employee exit interview are via phone, in-person or online outlets. Each method has its own benefits, but the in-person option allows for the most in-depth feedback. 

Employee Exit Survey Sample Questions

Here are a few examples of employee exit survey questions!

Q1: How likely are you to recommend [insert company] as a place to work? Select a rating.

employee exit survey question 1


Q2: Please explain why you rated [insert company] as [insert response] out of 10. Enter your response below.

employee exit survey question 2


Q3: When you think about working at [insert company], what are the top 3 words that come to mind? Enter your responses below.

employee exit survey question 3


Q4: How does [insert company] compare to employment at other organizations? Working at [insert company] is… Select one.

  1. Much better
  2. Somewhat better
  3. The same 
  4. Somewhat worse
  5. Much worse
  6. No experience with other organizations


Q5: [If selects a rating] Please explain why you rated [insert company] as [insert response]. Enter your response below.

employee exit survey question 2

What to Look For in an Employee Exit Survey Company

While searching for a third-party team to assist you with your employee exit interviews, you need to consider a few key details. Below, we’ll quickly cover some of the main things you should look for during your search. 

Keep an eye out for third parties that have the following attributes: 

  • They’re more than just a self-service platform
  • They create solutions and interpret data
  • They send third-party invites
  • They customize their questions to your unique objectives

Sure, self-service may sound handy, but it’s not the way to go if you want an in-depth research experience. 

More often than not, the client ends up having to work with the feedback by themselves and is handed banked survey questions. Not only does this not yield customized data, but it can also be a clunky and confusing process. 

When you work with a company like us, you’ll get a personalized research experience. We do the hard stuff and will leave you with clear, actionable data. 

With the right third-party team, you’re not just given data–you’re told the best steps to take going forward.

Say there’s a common issue that comes up with your exit surveys. A solid third-party firm will tell you what to do about it, not just what the issue is. 

Imagine this: you’re a less-than satisfied employee leaving your job.

You see a survey invite from your company pop up in your email inbox. Are you really inclined to answer it? Probably not

As we mentioned earlier, employees will typically feel more comfortable answering survey questions from a third party instead of their own company. This allows for the utmost transparency, and often, the best data. 

Third-party teams will also help you customize your survey questions.

Instead of just asking basic questions about an employee’s overall experience, you can tailor them based on the outcomes you want to see.

If company culture is the main point you’re looking for feedback on–you can focus solely on this, so you get specific feedback on that topic. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: Moral of the story: just use a third-party company to help you with your exit surveys for employees! Not only will it take the pressure off of your organization, but it will produce far more actionable feedback.

Contact Our Employee Survey Company

Drive Research is here to help answer any questions you may have about putting together employee exit surveys. 

Interested in partnering with our team? Contact us today to receive a custom proposal for your employee exit survey.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

emily taylor about the author

Emily Taylor

As a Senior Research Analyst, Emily is approaching a decade of experience in the market research industry and loves to challenge the status quo. She is a certified VoC professional with a passion for storytelling.

Learn more about Emily, here.

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Employee Surveys