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Don't make exit interviews your only way of knowing why people are leaving

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"Exit interviews aren't the only way to know why people are leaving. TINYpulse is a great way to get a sense on a dynamic or ongoing basis how things are going for employees."

Brooks Holtom, Senior Associate Dean and Professor of Management
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Transcript

In developing the concept of Job embeddedness we really wanted to understand not only, why are people committed to organizations, but how is their life outside of work connect to the organization.

And so we think not only about fit with the job, but also a person's fit with the community. Links in the job or organization but also links in the community and sacrifices if they were to leave the organization or leave the community.

And so we explain more variance in employee retention than constructs that only look at the job, because people live a totality of life and how those two things interact, like childcare and benefits matters.

I think it's helpful for business leaders to understand and be able to apply job embeddness to increase the odds of keeping their very best people. One hundred percent retention is not the goal. The goal is to keep your very best people. So if you can identify who the high performers are, and systematically increase the odds that they will stay, you're going to build a winning organization.

So if you are conduction exit interviews and you get feedback that you are under market, than you can remedy that with market surveys, right? So you can understand the salary market. If it's other factors like supervision, or lack of promotion, or other opportunities, I think you should systematically address that. Exit interviews are not the only way to know if or why people are leaving. TINYpulse is a great way for people to get a sense on a dynamic or ongoing basis. How things are going for employees and to the degree they can ask targeted questions, all the better.

One of the things that we have found in our research, is that people often will leave because of events that occur. And you may or may not have control over those events. You may not have visibility into those events. But if you're using a tool like TINYpulse, you can see the Eb and flow of satisfaction or commitment to an employer, and if you can then link it back to those events, and to the degree those are systematic something that the organization did positive or negative you can eliminate errors in the future. I think that that's a very helpful way to understanding why you're losing good people.

One of the great opportunities that exists with TINYpulse is to identify those things that are valuable to employees, and to the degree that you can help take burdens away or increase their satisfaction with the specific element of the organization or their job. Then you can increase the odds that they'll stay. There is no guarantee in life. There is absolutely nothing that's guaranteed to work, but if you are systematic, and you are surveying regularly and you're asking people what they value. Measuring with Tinypulse will help you dial in on what's likely to increase your odds of being successful.

So the company culture comes from the founders and the values they espouse, and then they hire people who are like them, and then they hire people who are like them, and it perpetuates to the degree that a culture is positive and functional. It will get stronger overtime. Now as an organization grows, there is a risk now because people are not closely tied to those founders. And so to the degree you can ask questions through a tool like TINYpulse, you can get feedback on are we true to our culture? We say one thing, do we also live that? The difference between espoused values and enacted values. TINYpulse can help you correct.

So to the degree you ask employees for feedback. You have a responsibility as a leader to then act on that. Now you may not be able to act on all ten things they recommend. But you will want to hit those top three, and explain why you won't do the other seven. So that you can build confidence in your employees that you've heard them and you are doing something about it. Then you need to communicate back to them what you did to help kind of close that loop. Overtime as people give you feedback, you act on it and then you share that information back, people will gain confidence in you as a leadership team.

I in fact have recommended it one of my students at Georgetown University. One of them is a very happy customer, he's built a company from one person to 125 people over a four year period. They've gone from 0 revenue to 15 million dollars annual revenue and they are very proud clients. TINYpulse is a tech company, young employees. I think they really value being able to give input frequently.