It is inevitable that employees will exit our organizations to see different opportunity, grow in their career, relocate or we manage them out of the organization through progressive discipline, performance improvement plants, last chance agreements, etc.  Voluntary versus involuntary are different process of exiting an organization that should follow a consistent process.  If the employee is leaving voluntarily, we should gather information regarding the reasons why and make changes as needed.  This can include; communication, training, employee growth, benefits, compensation, etc.

Considerations for Exit Interviews:

  1. Discussion on reasons for leaving
  2. Communication throughout the organization
  3. Relationship with supervision and leadership
  4. Relationship with peers
  5. Working hours, wages, benefits
  6. Suggested changes in the organization
  7. Performance feedback
  8. Performance review process
  9. Liking most and least about the job
  10. Any relevant suggestions to improve the workplace

We are not going to please every employee that leaves the organization.  However, we should take the process serious and reflect on opportunities to communicate or improve process, procedures and practices.  The worst thing to do is conduct a 30-minute exit interview and file it in the terminated employee file.  A non-value add for the exiting employee and the organization.

Exit Interview Checklist (not all is applicable to every organization):


___ Received employee resignation letter. (If verbal resignation, provided employee with a written confirmation of resignation, retained copy).

___ Scheduled exit interview.             ___ Completed exit interview. 


___ Provided employee with termination letter (for-cause terminations).

___ Provided employee with severance agreement if layoff and severance eligible.

___ Received signed severance agreement.

___ Provided employee with WARN/OWBPA notices (if applicable).


___ Provided employee with termination/continuation of employment insurance benefits
        information (COBRA, life insurance, supplemental insurance, etc.)

___ Checked FSA/HSA participation and informed employee of remaining funds and
        reimbursement deadlines, if applicable.

___ Checked PTO balance and informed employee of any remaining PTO and how it will be processed at termination of employment.

___ Informed employee about retirement plan options.


___ Provided notice of policy regarding any outstanding balances for money owed to 
        company: educational loans/pay advances.

___ Notified Payroll department to process final paycheck.

___ Informed Payroll of any unused but earned PTO amounts due to employee.

___ Notified Payroll to process severance pays and whether lump sum or salary continuation (if applicable).


___ Provided letter reminding employee of any legal obligations post-employment (such as noncompete/confidentiality agreements/employment contracts).


___ Notified company immigration attorney of termination if employee is on temporary work visa.


___ Pulled personnel file to be stored with terminated employee files.

___ Pulled Form I-9 to be stored with terminated employees’ I-9s.  

___ Obtained written authorization from employee to respond to employment verification requests.

Information Technology

___ Disabled e-mail account.

___ Removed employee’s name from e-mail group distribution lists; internal/office phone list; website and building directories.

___ Disabled computer access.

___ Disabled phone extension.

___ Disabled voicemail.

Facilities/Office Manager

___ Disabled security codes, if necessary.

___ Changed office mailbox.

___ Cleaned work area and removed personal belongings.

Collected the following items:

___ Keys (___office, ___building, ___desk, ___file cabinets, ___ other)

___ Company files, records, etc.

___ ID card

___ Building access card

___ Business cards

___ Nameplate

___ Name badge

___ Company cell phone

___ Laptop

___ Uniforms

___ Company credit cards

___ Tools

___ Username _______________     Password _______________________

___ Username _______________     Password _______________________

___ Username _______________     Password _______________________

___ Username _______________     Password _______________________

Form Completed by: ____________________________________

Date: _________________

The section below is critical to capture during an exit interview or exit checklist process.  I would encourage organizations to develop a signature section similar to this, as mentioned below.  Again, this is not legal advice but the process I currently have in place.

Signature Required:

I acknowledge at this time that I do not have any complaints against my supervisor, co-workers or any company agent or representative that have not been otherwise reported in writing during my employment.  I also acknowledge that I have reported in writing any and all injuries that have occurred during my employment. 

I understand that my last paycheck will be provided within the time required by applicable law.  I also understand that benefits will cease per the Organization X policies and applicable law.  And I acknowledge that I sign this resignation/termination willfully and voluntarily. 

Employee Name (Print): ________________________________    Date: ___________________

Employee Signature: __________________________________

If you are unclear on how to develop an exit process or exit checklist, I am happy to work with any organization to ensure an efficient and timely process is in place.  Username and passwords are necessary to collect prior to an employee leaving.

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