Why do people leave organisations?


There’s a well-known statistic that around 40% of people leave their jobs because of factors outside the organisation’s control.

Illness, being a carer, spouses’ job relocation are just 3 examples. The other 60% have vital insight that they can share with you on how you can improve your organisation. There is now lots of evidence that proves the link between this kind of engagement and productivity.

Three quick fixes learned from exit interviews

In our experience, employers want simple data that shows what they can do to make the most difference quickly.  Let’s look at just three examples of things that can be done at nil cost to improve how people feel about their jobs. 

The job wasn’t what I expected.’ Tell people the truth about the job.  If you’re too embarrassed to tell the truth, that says a lot.  Address it or be inventive in tackling it.   Can you re-balance some of the mixed management of expectations, eg. ‘yes it’s hard work but we have fun’.  To make this work, you’ve got to make the fun bit happen, of course, but the cost of that is less than re-filling the vacancy – repeatedly.  Top up the attractive aspects, like allowing some high spirits away from the customer interface.  Help managers to be more tolerant, which may mean being more tolerant with them in turn.

‘You can work extra hard all shift, and not even get a thank you.’ Not getting intrinsic value from the job is made worse when there’s no human encouragement either.  You can ask bosses just say ‘thankyou’ more often, and make sure the managers receive thanks too.  Exit surveys reveal practical tips to include in line manager training.  Sometimes it can be as simple as giving permission to take time to get the human aspects right, and rewarding it.

‘It’s just boring.’ Feeling part of something and having a sense of purpose is key.  Share the bigger picture of why the work is important.  Tell the story of how their job fits in, and what it means for customers.  You don’t need a consultant to tell you how to do this, you can get managers or team leaders together to come up with ideas.

Why does it matter?

Roles vary, but on average it’s estimated that it costs the equivalent of six months’ salary to have to recruit and train a new employee.  There are also wider implications: ‘Employee turnover becomes problematic when it starts to have a negative impact on an organisation’s performance. By understanding the reasons behind employee turnover, employers can devise recruitment and retention initiatives that reduce turnover and increase retention.’ CIPD Factsheet on Turnover and Retention’ 16.11.16

Exit interviews/Surveying leavers

Every organisation is unique.  Finding out from your own employees why they decided to leave can open up ideas for improvements that impact overall effectiveness as well as the retention of your employees.  Click here to read about how its quick and easy to use Exit Insight to deliver powerful insights that make a difference to your people and to your business.