Many people experience an exit interview when they leave a job for one reason or another. But what would happen if “entry interviews” were conducted at the time of hiring? Leaders could sit down with new hires on their first day, and ask them some questions to determine how the company can best support and retain them.

At a recent Qualtrics experience management summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, Arianna Huffington, formerly of the Huffington Post, touched on the idea of entry interviews. At her newest endeavor, Thrive Global, they conduct entry interviews as part of their onboarding process, and as a way to gauge, as Huffington put it, “what is important to you and how we can support you to be able to do that and experience what you want in that area while you’re good at work.”

Huffington shared a couple of examples from entry interviews with recent hires. One employee said taking her daughter to school at 7:30 a.m. every day was important to her. In her previous job, her boss always scheduled calls at 7:30, so she was never able to share that time with her children that she so cherished.

Another employee said it was important that she attend physical therapy appointments every two weeks for her frozen shoulder. When Huffington asked her when she had last been to therapy, the employee said three months ago.

Knowing these things will only help you as an employer. Your employees will feel more appreciated and understood, which ultimately leads to increased productivity and loyalty to the company. There may be times when calls or meetings overlap with these important personal items, but if you give employees a chance to communicate that up front, it is easier to accommodate.

Why conduct an entry

Overall company improvement

Employee wellness and a company’s bottom line are very closely related. Huffington talked about being able to take data regarding an employee’s work habits and looking at business data from a similar time-frame to find a correlation.

“For a long time, employee well-being was considered a soft benefit. And now companies are realizing the direct connection between an employee’s wellbeing and the bottom line,” Huffington said.

Prevent employee burnout

Entry interviews are just one of the ways that companies can prevent employee burnout. Huffington noted that approximately 87 percent of employees are not fully engaged in their jobs, and employees who have reported feeling burned out are 30 percent more likely to leave their job because of it. Employee retention is already so hard; why not do something that could help keep the employees that work hard for your company?

Improve company culture

So much of an office culture comes from the people who fill that office space every single day. If those employees are feeling good and satisfied with the work that they are doing, that is a great start. When an employee is not only feeling a sense of achievement and security at work, but also feels like they still have time for all of the things they enjoy doing outside of work, they are going to bring that positive energy and attitude to their place of work.

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