Using interactive surveys to support the offboarding process

Male employee leaves office with packed box

In this blog, we show how interactive surveys made using Near-Life CREATOR might help improve your offboarding process and provide an alternative to or support for an exit interview.

Interactive surveys for better insight

SMM Sales & Marketing Management produced a Focus Report on Onboarding: Setting New Hires Up for Success Begins Before Day 1 (Feb 2022). The report also discussed the importance of OFFboarding.  Often, managers focus on replacing leavers and miss the valuable opportunity that offboarding offers.

Offboarding usually covers the actions that (should) take place when an employee hands in their notice.  This process often includes an exit interview.

“When structured and timed properly, an exit interview can provide valuable information about what competitors are offering, reinforce a company’s commitment to listening to employees — even when they are departing — and gain clear direction on how to reduce turnover.”

SMM Sales & Marketing Management

By using interactive surveys, to inform (or replace) the exit interview, organisations can reduce the burden on managers and still capture valuable data.

Timing is everything

“Studies have shown that exit interviews conducted two to six weeks after termination tend to be richer, more balanced and more helpful in identifying patterns in responses,” a Work Institute report states. But who is best placed to conduct the exit interview?

Keep it neutral

According to the SMM report, HR consultants advise against direct managers doing the exit interview suggesting that former employees are more likely to open up to someone they consider neutral.

A study of 88 executives and 32 senior leaders from 210 organizations in 33 industries by the Harvard Business Review found that 70.9% of exit interviews were handled by HR departments; employees’ direct supervisors completed 19%; 8.9% delegated the job to the direct supervisor’s manager; and 1% used third parties.

Interactive offboarding experience

At Near-Life we talk a lot about how CREATOR can support the ONboarding process, with things like interactive pre-interview information films and post-hire-pre-start guides to the company, team and office. Electronic onboarding was extremely popular during the pandemic, when recruiters were doing the majority of their work online.

The SMM Focus Report got us thinking that the same approach could be used to off-board a departing employee as well.

Interactive surveys can be quick and easy to complete - reducing the burden on former employees and managers.

A face-to-face or virtual meeting six weeks into a former employee’s new role may not feel appropriate. Scheduling and prioritising the interview over the new job’s responsibilities could be an issue. So, instead of an in person or virtual meeting, what about an interactive survey that takes less than five minutes?

A good starting point

The SMM Focus Report provided excellent examples of what to ask in the exit interview. We’ve used the suggestions to create this interactive offboarding survey.


Identify areas for improvement

CREATOR aggregates anonymous feedback and data so that HR and management teams can look at trends across the business. This data is especially useful for identifying organisation-wide areas for improvement.

Use data to understand what you're getting right and what you can do better.

If you need to know who actually responded, CREATOR allows you to capture names and email addresses. You could then use the leaver’s responses to inform the face-to-face interview, if you manage to get one in place.

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