It might be a tough situation when a valuable employee resigns. Apart from the 12 essential exit interview questions you need to ask, we spoke to Luigi Bellopede, ASEAN human resources and organisational director of Prysmian Group on how to manage a smooth offboarding process in this exclusive.

When it comes to a staff leaving, what are the top complications that HR usually overlook?

If we talk about staff leaving, there will be a lot of external and internal factors that is making it happen. The top four complications that we are facing in Asia are related to career speed, work culture/environment, remuneration and the lack of engagement.

What do you think HR can do to avoid such pitfalls?

Let’s start from the last, but not the least, which are the lack of engagement and work culture/environment. First, the business needs to understand that this is more than just the HR’s responsibilities. The top management in general has the leading role for this complication. But, HR could be the main catalyst in improving the engagement among employees in the company.

In order for this to be successful, HR should raise the awareness among top management that this lack of engagement will not only make employees in the company leave, but also disengage employees – which may become the biggest threat to company failure.

The key way to avoid the lack of engagement is to build trust in the company’s management – by showing how management care for the employees with high integrity on the progress. HR should really understand employees so as to know how to get the employees; mind and heart into the business. For example, we have the annual View Point Survey which involves the participation of all employees in sharing their opinion about the company.

The key way to avoid the lack of engagement is to build trust in the company’s management – by showing how management care for the employees with high integrity on the progress.

Secondly, as for career speed and remunerations, performance management and career development systems are key processes for the company to monitor staff performance. This helps to interpret information and datas to retain staff. Succession planning is vital to allow better retention of high performing staff.

Imagine a high performance staff who has worked for over five years and has been doing the same task day in day out. For them, management team/first line managers/HR should be able to quickly draft a development path, making the employee feel that they are important and valued. Taking Prysmian Group for example, we have implemented two successful process P3 (Prysmian People Performance) and P4 (Prysmian People Performance Potential).

When it comes to exit interviews, what are the top 3 questions that HR should ask?

Exit interviews could be a golden moment for HR to get useful information about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. I suggest to be simple and direct:

  • Why are you leaving ?
  • What did you like least about your job ?
  • What would have made you stay ?

Exit interviews allow HR to identify what the company is lacking in terms of retaining employees and to further learn and improve the business to achieve an ideal 0% employee turnover. The ultimate goal is to have employees who are keen to go the extra mile.

What is the key challenge in exit interviews, and what can HR do about it?

Departing employees may not always provide an honest feedback to the interviewer when it comes to exit interviews with the worry of burning bridges. Hence feedback may be superficial and may not be beneficial to understand what could have been avoided.

With that said, there should be a standard exit interview questions so that feedback received are consistent and could be analysed. At the same time, the interviewer is also required to know how to interpret the feedback properly (interviewer need to be 100% neutral and not have any bias feelings towards the departing employee).

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This article was first published in Human Resources Online Bulletin and is reproduced with permission. Original article can be found at

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