OUR VIEW: Exit interviews a useful insight

Published 6:59 pm Monday, August 31, 2020

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When employees leave, it’s important to know why, especially when it’s in a highly competitive field like education.

A few weeks ago, during its board meeting, the Troup County School Board reviewed data from teachers who decided to leave the school system at the end of last year.

Through exit interviews, TCSS was able to determine whether teachers were leaving for more pay, retirement or another reason.

The good news is that the majority of those exit interviews were positive.

Nineteen of the 42 educators who left were retiring and another 10 were moving to another location due to family. Most of the survey questions had a positive response when averaged out as well, which is a good thing.

Most were satisfied with their school or department, highly rated the benefits package and highly graded whether or not their supervisor or administrator supported them.

The only low score was in response to whether students were well-behaved. For that question, scores were all over the board on the 1 to 5 scale, with 18 responses of “1” or “2.”

That’s certainly a concern, though we’re not sure it’s all that surprising to TCSS leadership.

We’re also not confident that score would be different at other nearby school systems, but that doesn’t mean discipline shouldn’t be a focus. However, overall, we thought the exit reviews were positive.

You never really know what to expect when you start surveying people who are leaving their current place of employment, but it’s a good way to find out about problems you’re facing.

People are often their most honest and hold the least back when on their way out the door.

We know TCSS plans to continue these exit interviews in upcoming years, and we applaud the school system for that.

Using this data correctly can help TCSS identify problems and make the school system a better place to work.