In 2020, almost every employer stopped hiring. In 2021, businesses faced a whole new challenge: a tidal wave of resignations. One in four people quit their job last year, and the numbers continue to grow. As the “Great Resignation” continues to upset companies across every industry, employers are searching for answers.

The cost of employee turnover is well studied. Losing trained employees requires the organization to invest significant resources to recruit, interview, train and socialize with new workers. Those who are not engaged or don’t feel comfortable with their current workplace, or have confidence in their peers or leaders, are more likely to leave in search of a better work environment.

How do perceptions of workplace fairness matter today?

Workplace dynamics irreversibly changed after COVID. Employees bring radically different expectations that come from radically different experiences. Many are rethinking what work means to them , how they are valued, and how they should spend their time. Managers can create an environment that can foster or hinder employee motivation. The effects of poor motivation in the workplace are well-known: higher employee turnover , lower levels of engagement, poor communication, and diminished productivity are just a few of the issues that may lead to a demotivated and toxic work environment. A study by the American Psychological Association found that 75% of Americans say their “boss is the most stressful part of their workday. An important factor that affects employees’ internal motivation is their perception of how fairly they are treated with respect to their tenure in the organization.

Especially for remote workers, there are far fewer interactions with peers, which is consistently in the global top 3 reasons that someone worked at, or stayed with, their employer. With less of the intrinsic value, or buffer, or stress release that coworkers provide, the manager’s influence escalated. With more isolation, manager and leader interactions now account for much more time (proportionally) that an employee spends with people at work.

Now employees are especially sensitive to issues of fairness and how organizational leaders treat them. When employees feel supported at work, they are more likely to indicate that they work in a highly fair environment. Organizations that use radical transparency, progressive wellness-programs, peer networks and direct recognition score significantly higher on how employees experience fairness at work.

What supervisory behavior impacts voluntary turnover?

The problems that lead to quitting because of a manager share 3 major characteristics:

  • They are frequently displayed by the manager
  • They are habitual patterns of the manager
  • They are preventable

A report finds that 63% of employees who have a bad manager are considering leaving their companies within the next year.
Managers employing an autocratic leadership style are unsuccessful at building long-term commitment with their subordinates. An organizational culture can become toxic and unproductive if they advocate an environment built on fear. These are the hallmarks of this management style that employees can recognize:

  • 1. Inconsistent, unpredictable messages that lack clarity
  • 2. Lack of emotional control when encountering a stressful situation
  • 3. Inflexibility when managers repeat mistakes and do not take steps to improve or learn new skills
  • 4. A lack of mentoring knowledge
  • 5. Disinterest in guiding their report’s long-term career goals
  • 6. Lack of acknowledgement and appreciation

The role of supervisors is the most influential to an employee’s job experience. Managers who fail to see or recognize individual contributions stifle productivity and creativity amongst their team. Employees who feel suffocated with their manager are more likely to think about finding a different place to work.

How will exit interview questions reduce employee turnover?

Get to the heart of the problem. First, gather feedback from your employees. The good news is employees want to share feedback to improve the workplace.

An employee’s experience is very valuable information and is the first step in creating a successful retention strategy . Consider using a range of exit interview questions to discover some of the reasons why an employee is leaving, including specific questions about their manager relationship.

When you listen to trends across data with an open ear, you have a real opportunity to make the organization a better place.

Exit Interview Conclusion:

Managers are not the only reason why employees leave, but they do contribute to staff decisions to stay. It takes more than one exit interview question to understand the state of the workforce. A strategically created exit interview gives insights into the organization into why an employee chose to leave and provides recommendations for improvements and changes. More organizations who conduct exit interviews will more accurately uncover employees’ actual reasons for leaving

Customized exit interview forms gives data-driven insights into why employees chose to leave and prioritizes recommendations for improvement. A commonly repeated quote is, “People don’t leave jobs, they leave managers”. However, it’s been said for so long, the people who heard it grew up making sure they weren’t them. Most managers want to be “good”. Exit interview answers for them support direct growth and professional development.

Since the reason why employees quit is a mixture of factors, getting exit interview reports that indicate how managers contribute to turnover, and how much, gives leadership the tools to reduce it.

For more information about how Retensa builds the perfect exit interviews in over 50 countries and nearly 20 languages to boost employee retention, sign up for a free ExitPro exit interview software trial.


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