Why staff leaving can help your business

A member of staff resigning is part and parcel of being an employer. However, it can be a bitter pill for some employers to swallow when a staff member decides to leave. Having strived to make their business somewhere that people enjoy working and feel valued, a letter of resignation can sometimes feel like an act of betrayal or even a personal slight!

However, business owners must understand that people move jobs for many reasons. They may be offered more pay, the chance of progression, or greater flexibility. They may also feel it is time for a fresh challenge, or they can no longer work for their current boss.

High staff turnover, or staff leaving for the wrong reasons, can be damaging and costly to a business and a symptom of much more significant issues. However, some staff turnover should always be expected and can provide considerable opportunities for change. It may mean that existing staff can be promoted, teams can be reshaped, or it’s the chance to bring in a new employee with fresh ideas. One often overlooked opportunity that all staff turnover presents is the chance for businesses to learn from those leaving by carrying out Exit Interviews.

Exit Interviews are quite a simple process where employees are encouraged to share their experience working for a business and their reasons for leaving. If done correctly, Exit Interviews are an opportunity for constructive discussion and can provide valuable insight into what it is like to work at a business, what is done well, what could do done better, where issues may lie and why an employee has decided it’s time to move on; all things which those running a business may not be aware of, or may have over-looked because they are detached from the day-to-day operations and “office politics” employees are part of.

Of course, doing Exit Interviews simply for the sake of it is a pointless exercise. They should be done consistently across all employees, regardless of seniority, length of employment or function. Businesses should be committed to listening and acting on what they discover and using the findings to help steer change and drive improvements, especially in areas such as pay and benefits, which can directly impact the ability to retain existing staff and recruitment. In short, Exit Interviews are a cost-effective way of understanding a business better and what it is like working there without the need to undertake expensive reviews or audits.

There is, obviously, the possibility that departing employees may not feel able to “open up” because the person undertaking their Exit Interview is part of the reason they are leaving. That is why K Bater Consultancy undertakes this process for clients and delivers the findings in a format that can be used to address any underlying issues in a business.

There is also the possibility that an Exit Interview will raise the question amongst departing employees: “why are you only asking me now that I am leaving?”. Even if this does happen, or nothing seemingly insightful or constructive appears to come from an Exit Interview, its purpose is not lost. Providing a departing employee with the opportunity to discuss their time in your employment, offload any annoyances, criticisms, and gripes and, essentially, “clear the air” can be a positive way to part. It makes it less likely for them to be critical of you at their new employment – a place you may wish to target for new employees – and provides the opportunity to end your professional relationship amicably – even if, deep inside, you still feel a little betrayed.

About K Bater Consultancy

K Bater Consultancy provides human resource support, advice, and solutions to small and medium-sized businesses throughout the UK.

Its founder and principal, Kelly Bater, has more than 20 years of experience advising and supporting small and medium-sized businesses with all aspects of human resource management, is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and has a Post Graduate Diploma in HR Management.

To learn more about how K Bater Consultancy can help your business, call Kelly today on 07500 939255 or email at kelly@kbaterhr.com