exit conversation

Collect Your Gold Nuggets Before They Go Away

Most businesses spend much effort on hiring. We write a job description, recruit, select the right candidate, and onboard.
What about offboarding? What can we learn from doing a great job at offboarding and collecting your gold nuggets before they go away?

Some companies do exit interviews; others don’t. If you do them, which questions are you asking? Are you planning them, or are you pulling them out of your brain from experience?

How To Offboard Systematically And Keep Valuable Information

The subject of systematic offboarding came up in a recent Brilliance mining cohort. The business owner mentioned that one of the company’s employees is about to leave. She said it probably would be a great idea to think about an offboarding form or system. I agree!

We brainstormed on the questions she could ask. Since we recorded the session, it was easy to grab those questions we came up with.

The next step is to organize the questions into a usable form or guide for the exit interview. Or perhaps, it would be better to think of it as an exit conversation. To me, that sounds more inviting of a meaningful conversation.

The Benefits

Using a simple yet organized system for the exit conversation has several benefits:

  1. It makes the exit converation so much more productive than having to pull the questions out of your brain at the moment.
  2. If the owner is not available, other people in the company can step in and have the exit conversation.
  3. As you use the exit converration guide, you can see what other questions you want to add. Or perhaps, you discover that you want to change how you ask some questions.

The conversation has inspired me. Most small to medium-size businesses do not learn enough information when an employee leaves.

  • There is too much “brain drain.”
  • New people step into the previous employees’ shoes not knowing valuable information.
  • The questions you ask ideally span questions that are company-specific and job-specific.


For example, someone who handles your clients/ customers/patients could tell you who is happy, who is disgruntled, who has what quirks, and so on. Think of how valuable that is!

A software developer without client contact can give you completely different information. How good are your tools? What insight does he have on the team dynamics? And so forth.

If you need support with creating a systematic offboarding method, let’s talk. Creating an offboarding system is impactful, and yet, it is pretty straightforward and fast. It is a quick Brilliance Extraction exercise and I bring “fresh eyes.” The benefit begins immediately and will last for years to come.

I’m Curious

How do you go about offboarding? Think of your company, government agency, school, and non-profit.

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