Your Employees are Leaving. Do You REALLY Know Why?

Today’s post comes to us from Workforce Institute board member Chris Mullen. Here he reviews the questions to ask to determine why your employees are leaving.

In today’s booming labor market, organizations cannot afford to lose one of their most important assets: their employees. This is the first time in decades that there are more jobs than there are employees to fill those jobs.

There are all kinds of theories and bodies of research out there about why employees leave their jobs from being underappreciated, to not being compensated competitively, to bad managers.

But the only question that really matters is: Do you know why YOUR employees are leaving YOUR organization?

We all have beliefs about why employees leave, and some of them might even be true. But unless you are systematically tracking why your employees are leaving, the real reasons might surprise you.

Here are some steps to take to make sure you have a good understanding of why your employees are leaving so that you can do something about it.

  1. To start, you need to have a good understanding of your turnover rate. Your HRIS software system should have the capability to accurately track the turnover rate and reasons for the turnover.
  2. If you want to delve deeper into the data, then you could look at your turnover-per-month or you could look at it over the last 3-5 years. Reviewing the numbers over time can give you a sense of how well your organization is doing when it comes to turnover.
  3. If you want to go even deeper into the data, you could look at whether each employee separation was voluntary or involuntary. This could give you insight into your workforce. Are employees being terminated? If so, maybe there is a theme as to why? Could you get ahead of future terminations with more proactive training or policy reminders? For instance, if employees are being terminated for tardiness, do you have a progressive disciplinary policy? Do managers have insight into employee lateness to have proactive conversations with those employees?
  4. Do you perform exit interviews to find out why employees are leaving the organization? Exit interviews are a great tool to have. It’s important to know that you are asking the right questions in your exit interviews. The insight and data they provide can prove to be invaluable to the future of your workplace, and your bottom line. Ask questions like: Why are you leaving your position?; Do you believe you were you compensated fairly? Why or why not?; What could we have done to keep you at our company?; Would you work for our company again? Why or why not?

This type of data can create insight into why employees are leaving your organization for HR and executive leadership. It can also help inform and create strategy to lower your turnover and improve employee retention.

The labor market these days is just too tight to lose good employees for reasons you don’t fully understand. Take the time to better understand turnover and you’ll find you can probably do something about it and better position your organization for long-term success.

2 thoughts on “Your Employees are Leaving. Do You REALLY Know Why?

  1. Excellent suggestions for organizations to consider in a tight labor market. There is a lot of emphasis on innovative ways to recruit and equally important is to focus on how to retain good employees.

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