Retaining employees

Selecting the right people in the first place seems self-evident (see article 32) and the most common approach to addressing retention issues is improving the onboarding and induction processes. From the start of the recruitment process prospective employees should be given a ‘realistic job preview’ to avoid raising expectations that can only be disappointed, e.g. clarity on training and career development opportunities. New employees should also receive an appropriate induction and/or onboarding to minimise departures during the first six months of employment – see chapter 9.

The CIPD found that the reasons people give for leaving are frequently “untrue or only partially true...likely to be reluctant to voice criticism of their managers, colleagues or the organisation generally, preferring to give some less contentious reasons for their departure”. Where exit interviews are held, the interviewer should therefore not be a manager (much less the line manager) responsible for the individual, or anyone who will be involved in reference writing. The point of the exercise is to find out the real reasons an individual is leaving, not what they think people want to hear, or they are wary of saying.