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Making the Exit Interview Work

Exit Interviews in general are considered as a routine and mundane activity of the HR Department. Generally you get positive feedback / Good or Very Good rating and a definite yes for a question like Will you refer your friends /relatives for a job with us or Would you like to rejoin etc. especially when such interviews are held during the last week of departure when the employee is busy filling his/her “ No Due Forms” and running from pillar to post and yet to receive his formal relieving letter. Moreover when the HR Dept or the parent Dept of the resigned employee conducts the exit interview.

I somehow felt this process is not adding any value and you are just getting some information for tabulating and showing to the management that employees have expressed their gratitude and they have rated their Dept and Bosses as Very Good Plus etc but no insights could be derived.

Therefore I made a simple guideline especially for GM Plus resignations when I was the Global HR Head a few years ago of a 13 BN $ Natural Resources Company a few years ago that the resigned employee can chose the interviewer of his choice from the empanelled members preferably not his own Dept Head or HR Head. In addition, gave the comfort to the resigned employee that the feedback so received will be shared only after ensuring all dues have been duly settled including annual performance bonus if one was eligible for. Though there was initial resistance, the CEOS of all the Businesses have fully supported the above realizing the true spirit.

In addition, I spoke to Paul James, Consultant based at Chennai who had earlier carried out a detailed Employee Engagement Survey for our Green Field Projects in interior parts of Udisha and Punjab in a unique manner bringing in lot more insights and not just mean scores, tables and charts and engaged him to talk to a list of ex-employees who left us in the last 3-24 months. A formal mail was sent by me to all those employees informing them in advance that Paul’s team will be in touch with them and they are absolutely free to give their candid feedback, ensuring confidentiality.

Thus I was “not interested in who said what” but focused the attention on “What was being said“ only. Paul and his team did an excellent job in connecting with all those ex-employees and presented a consolidated report which again like the previous Employee Engagement Reports highlighted several new dimensions. While we can swiftly move forward and take a few actions based on the recommendations, what was unique was that we shared action taken / proposed action plan with Paul and he communicated the same to relevant individuals.

This made a tremendous impact on the lives of current and past employees and our all those Ex-Employees became our Brand Ambassadors forever and some as part of the Group again.

Thus Paul is not just yet another consultant who finds problem in every solution but helps you to find “The Right Solution” to the problem.

Mr. Thiru A

President - Corporate HR, JK Organization (EZ)

I have known Mr. Paul James for more than 15 years, as a very respectable HR professional, having held
leadership positions in reputed organizations.

In his avatar as a Consultant, we had the privilege of engaging him to carry out Employees Satisfaction Survey during the period 2005-2008 in Delphi-TVS, a TVS group company.

What impressed us was his sincerity of purpose, commitment for a professional execution, both for content and delivery, strict time line and persuasive coordination. The outcome of Survey provided an input for our strategic HR .He has now developed a professional team and taken up varied HR interventions in industry.

I wish him all success

Dr.S Venkataraman

Behavioural Catalyst and CEO Coach, DELPHI - TVS

"PSCS worked with us on couple of important assignments and we were pleased with their understanding of the subject , approach to the delivery and the value they added to the business need".

Mr. Praveen Purohit

Group HR, Vedanta

We at Siemens Building Technologies Pvt. Ltd., a division of SIEMENS INDIA, engaged M/s. PSCS, a HR Consulting firm, founded by Mr.Paul James, to conduct an Employee Satisfaction Survey, in the year 2009. The objective was to understand our employee’s reaction / response about the change in management, post a recent acquisition and also to gain insight on various aspects such as organizational culture, work life balance etc. The survey covered all employees working at various locations across India.

PSCS used a simple and a practical tool which we are given to understand was developed by Mr.Paul James, based on a Motivational model. Our assessment about the tool & the related process is that the entire exercise was focused, unambiguous which brought out issues that were either substantiated our assumptions or provided us clarifications and in the due process threw certain surprises too. The report was very detailed and by using regression statistical analysis, they gave us the list of priority issues as perceived by the employees which helped us to address areas of concern.

We understand that they have evolved as a specialized service provider in the subject space because of their multi-faceted customer portfolio and also have gained valuable experience through the number of surveys they have conducted for their clients during these years.

Mr. Stephen Sudhakar

Vice President HR, Siemens Building Technologies Pvt. Ltd