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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

Dec. 7, 2007

HR activates exit questionnaire for P&S staff

by Anne Krapfl

Beginning this month, P&S employees who voluntarily leave the university will be asked to share the reason(s) behind their departure. Either on paper or online -- whichever format they prefer -- they'll be asked to comment on their decision to leave Iowa State. Their responses will be voluntary and, if they want, anonymous.

The questionnaire comes at the request of the Professional and Scientific Council and the recommendation (January 2006) of a task force studying training and development issues for P&S staff. Since 2002, the council several times -- and for different reasons -- has requested a centrally administered exit interview system to help identify why P&S employees decide to leave Iowa State.

During the fiscal year that ended June 30, 174 P&S employees -- an average of 14 per month -- voluntarily resigned from the university, according to human resource services records. Currently, any sort of exit interview with a departing P&S employee is done at the department level.

How will it work?

A Human Resource Services team, led by associate director for recruitment services Vicki Brubaker, has developed the format for receiving and storing data received from former employees and generating reports. HR Services director Carla Espinoza provided the questions, with input from the P&S Council's compensation and benefits committee.

As planned, at the end of each month, P&S employees who have resigned from ISU that month will receive from Espinoza a cover letter and enclosure containing three multidimensional yes/no questions.

"It asks them to help me find out a little about why they left," she said.

They'll be invited to answer and return the paper questionnaire or, if they prefer, answer the same set of questions on a secure ISU Web site. They'll also be able to provide comments.

Espinoza said the questionnaire also informs former employees that if they want to leave their name and a contact number, someone from her office may contact them to get more information.

She said the questionnaire will be used for 10 to 12 months, during which time the effort will be reviewed for its effectiveness.


P&S employees who voluntarily leave the university will be asked to complete an exit questionnaire.