Saying goodbye: Exit interviews

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Just as there are "introduction" processes volunteers and staff members go through, there should be processes for when individuals end or complete their volunteering. After an individual leaves, the agency should know why she or he left, and get some feedback on her or his volunteer experience. One of the simplest ways to do this is an exit interview.

At an exit interview, former employees or volunteers are asked for their feedback on the agency and their experiences, and the reason(s) for leaving. An exit interview should be relaxed, and is a good time to recognize someone for their contributions (i.e. a card, gift, or plaque). The purpose of exit interviews is to understand individuals' perceptions and experiences. Only through this input can agency members best evaluate their programs.

Exit interviews are also important in instances where employees or volunteers have been asked to leave. This gives individuals a chance to air any grievances, and once again, to provide feedback. If negative evaluations have been given, follow-up is important. An exit interview should contain the following information:

  • Volunteer's name and the date
  • Total time volunteered (dates and hours)
  • Interviewer's name and signature
  • Reasons for leaving
  • Positive experiences
  • Negative experiences and things that can be improved
  • Overall satisfaction of experience

Excerpt from "Volunteer Synchronicity". To order this 400+ page manual please call (250) 762 2355 or e-mail the Kelowna Women's Resource Centre at kelwomenscentre@telus.net.

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