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Do you talk to them when they leave?

Do you talk to them when they leave? Why not talk to them when they stay! We’re in a time where levels of employment are higher than they’ve been since the 1970s. That has serious implications for businesses. Not only is it harder to recruit new staff but there is the constant risk of head-hunters […]


Do you talk to them when they leave?
Why not talk to them when they stay!

We’re in a time where levels of employment are higher than they’ve been since the 1970s. That has serious implications for businesses. Not only is it harder to recruit new staff but there is the constant risk of head-hunters trying to poach the people you’ve already got. That means dissatisfied people find it easy to move on quickly to new opportunities.

It’s common for organisations to carry out exit interviews. But these are often formulaic, rushed and with both sides knowing it’s too late. It’s another ‘process’ developed by HR or consultants which, along with appraisal, performance reviews or probation interviews managers and team leaders often feel uncomfortable doing, have to use template paperwork that forces the process into an impersonal ‘box’ and see as another tick-box exercise.

Which is a shame, because finding out what motivates people to leave your employment is the first step to making sure you deliver what your remaining people need to keep them committed. Of course, that only tells you what those who leave are looking for (if they are even honest with you in the conversation)

How much better would it be to know what motivates and engages your team before they get to the point of leaving? Instead of last-minute exit interviews – why not have ‘Staying’ conversations with them before things get to that point?

There are lots of reasons why you might not want to do that. Perhaps you feel they will only ask for more money – and you’re not in a position to satisfy that need. But all the research shows people’s needs are a mix of extrinsic and intrinsic factors – and pay is only one of the extrinsic factors. Challenge, stretch, respect, communication, social needs are all things that can build a workplace that really attracts and keeps the sort of people you want to work with.

You might ask ‘how do I know what it is their looking for? Well, you could ask them – and that doesn’t have to be a formal process. Their interests and enthusiasms can all be found in informal chats if they trust and respect the person they’re talking to.

And just in case you fear I’m saying you’ll have to satisfy all these needs, I’m certainly not. Satisfying those needs is a two-way street in which staff tell you what they want and then you discuss with them what they have to do to earn that reward.

If all that sounds a bit time consuming, then there’s another way to do it. If you’re interested in finding out how else to identify the factors that will engage and retain your team then please contact us on info@thirdphasecoaching.co.uk or give us a call on +44 7916 499908.

And one last thing to bear in mind. If you have 30+ staff, you’ll be amazed at how little you’ll have to invest to get the information you need.