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Do you know why your staff are leaving?

Do you take the time to ask WHY when staff leave?

Do you know why your staff are leaving - article image

When you hear the word resignation, whether you are a CEO of a large corporation or your own business, there will always be an impact on the other team members and customers. My company has a team of 60 and over the years we have had our fair share of resignations, which has given us the opportunity to look at ourselves and ask why. There have been a couple that really took me by surprise and shook me to my core, and had me truly wondering if it’s true what they are saying about my management style.

When receiving criticism on your management style it is important to reflect on the information and if possible to clarify with the staff member the points they have raised as well as discussing the comments with another on your team to identify if the thought is a common one across the business.

Pattern forming

It is important for you as the CEO to see if there is a pattern forming. Ask questions if you begin to see a noticeable change of team members. There may be a logical reason, however there could also be an issue with a manager, or even you. Ouch!

Feedback on your management style

In business we focus upon external customer service, however, do you take the time to reflect on internal customer service? Internal customer service comes from the top of the ladder and is all about how you mould your management style to accommodate the various personalities and preferences. Understanding that what works for one person isn’t going to work for everyone can be done by you asking your team 4 key questions on how they would like to be managed and from there you can figure out what will work best for your team.

You may not be able to accommodate every request, but once you ask the questions of your team you may be able to make small changes.

The longer employees resent your management style, the less productive they become over time, which will impact on your customers and may result in employees resigning and leaving you, your business and customers in chaos.

Take the time to ask your team these 4 direct questions that you may not always like to ask or hear the answers to, but they will make a difference to your business:

  1. How do you want to be rewarded?
  2. How do you work best?
  3. What do you like about my management style and what can I do better?
  4. What can I do to make your job easier?

Exit Interviews

For many people, actually saying what they are feeling when they are leaving their employment is not easy. Therefore it is critical to connect with them either face to face or have them write in an email or letter the reason for their leaving and what changes your business could undertake to recruit and keep others like them in the role. Here are some responses that when conducting exit interviews for our clients we have heard:

  1. Lack of resources
  2. Lack of direction — not knowing their immediate boss / chain of command
  3. Business values not congruent with their personal values
  4. Under-delivered the promises made in the interview
  5. Lack of training
  6. No opportunity to provide feedback to management

Exit interviews also provide opportunities to hear and learn from the frontline team how information is being disseminated through the team when changes occur and if systems and procedures have become out of date and if new or updated resources are required.


It takes more energy, money and time to recover from an incident due to poor internal customer service than it does to create a harmonious work place.

Take the time to identify the issues, build on the strengths that you have, recruit to your existing and future needs, and don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions and listen to the feedback. Even if it is a bitter pill to swallow at times!


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