Over the last 8 years in recruitment I’ve been asked to conduct a lot of exit interviews, from direct sales staff through to middle and senior management. An alarmingly high percentage of exiting candidates (I would estimate upwards of 50%) say the primary reason for them leaving the organisation lies in issues with their current manager. In speaking with other agencies, this figure seems to be in line with what they too have found in the market.

What has always surprised me, and what should be of immense interest to employers, is when I ask them if they would have stayed with the organisation had the issue been resolved, 70% – 80% of them say yes. 70% – 80%! Given the costs associated with replacing lost talent (direct recruitment cost, lost revenue, diminishing morale through increased turnover); imagine having a chance to retain even a small percentage of those staff that leave your organisation.

So the question that must be asked is; at performance review time, should the review go both ways? Absolutely it should. While the objective of a performance review has been, and will always be, to review your staff members’ performance with a view to make them better, try looking at what you’re doing from their point of view.

How are you performing in terms of providing them what they need to conduct their job to the best of their abilities? Do you even know what it is they need?

How are you performing in terms of delivering what you said you would during your interview process / their last performance review?

What could you do to make their role within the business more enjoyable? More successful? More fulfilling?

It is crucial these questions are asked before they walk into your office with a letter of resignation still warm from the office printer.

“What do you need in order to enjoy your role more or be more successful?”

… will ALWAYS beat

“What can we do to change your mind and make you stay?”

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