A recent white paper published on the Gallup website unpacks the process of turning ex-employees into brand ambassadors by means of a well-tailored exit program. Gallup is a global analytics and advice firm that focuses on talent acquisition and retention, mission-driven work, as well as growth and development in the workplace. Their mission is to build exceptional workplaces, starting with their own.

According to their most recent findings, voluntary turnover costs organizations in the United States over a trillion dollars every year in recruitment, hiring, training, and productivity. 51% of US employees say they are actively looking for new jobs or watching for openings and employees who have a positive experience upon exit are 2.9 times more likely to become a positive brand advocate when they move on.

This is why it is so important to tailor an exit program with these factors in mind. Here are a few key takeaways from the white paper:

3 Things to Bear in Mind When Tailoring An Exit Program

1. Understand Why Your A-Team Sticks Around

Start by taking a step back to understand why your best employees are choosing to stay. Once you know what you’re doing right in this sense, it becomes easier to create an environment in which their experience is replicated and becomes the norm. These ‘stay’ interviews can be formally scheduled or included in ongoing coaching conversations and should focus on your company culture as a whole.

This process seeks to uncover the positive aspects of your current work environment that you can develop and build out to attract the right kind of culture-suited talent in the future to prevent voluntary turnover in the first place.

2. View The Exit Experience From The Employee Perspective

Once an employee has expressed their intention to leave your organization, it’s very important to handle the process with care. Once these individuals move out into the world, their opinion of your business will be shared widely and as someone who experienced the company from the inside, these opinions carry a lot of weight. 

Make sure that these employees feel heard. Understand why they are leaving and what (if anything) could have been done to prevent it. Focus on the contributions they made during their tenure at your business, and offer them the opportunity to stay connected through an alumni platform. This lays the groundwork for valuable referrals and potential boomerang hires or consultation work down the line.

3. Collect and Leverage The Right Data

Use the exit process to gather data that can provide your team with actionable retention and engagement insights. Now is the time to get honest answers from people who experienced the inner workings of the business, and did not feel that it worked for them. Find out why and see how you can change that.


It is 100% possible to tailor an exit program that improves employee experience and retention even after someone has voluntarily decided to move on from your organization. It all comes down to knowing why your best employees stay, understanding the exit experience from the employee perspective, as well as collecting and leveraging the right information to form an exit strategy that applies these data insights.

Download the full white paper here.