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A study of more than 1,500 HR professionals in 2022 has revealed that the cost to hire an employee has doubled in a year to $23,860.[i]  Most people remain in the workforce for around 45 years (typically from their early 20s to their mid-60s), and the average person changes jobs every two years and nine months.

So, it’s possible that an employee could easily accumulate around 16 jobs in their working lives. Of course, this may vary quite a bit due to factors like the industry they are in, personal circumstances of the employee, and their level of education. However, some of the most common reasons staff move from one job or career to the next include:

  • to pursue a better opportunity (this could mean better pay and/or more fulfilling work)
  • to get away from a toxic work environment or industry
  • to find a job with more room for growth or progression
  • to get away from a specific boss or manager
  • due to being dismissed or made redundant.[ii]

So, knowing WHY your staff are leaving is critical to save on your recruitment costs and to increase retention rates. How do you get this information? One simple but very effective way to obtain this information is via conducting exit interviews.  Exit interviews serve as a platform for departing employees to open up about their experiences working with you.

A few merits of conducting exit interviews:

  • Preventing Future Turnover: An in-depth understanding of the relationship between employee health practices and job satisfaction can help organisations proactively address issues before they lead to turnover. By addressing concerns identified in exit interviews, you can implement preventative measures to create a healthier work environment and reduce the likelihood of future departures.
  • Demonstrating Commitment to Employee Well-Being: By actively engaging in discussions about health practices during exit interviews sends a powerful message to employees. It demonstrates that organisations are genuinely interested in the well-being of its staff and is committed to creating an environment that supports both professional and personal growth.
  • Enhancing Workplace Wellness Programs: Insights collected from exit interviews can inform the development or improvement of workplace wellness programs. By understanding the specific health needs and concerns of departing employees, organisations can tailor their wellness initiatives to better meet the needs of their current workforce, ultimately improving overall employee health and satisfaction.
  • Understanding Mental Health Challenges: Mental health is a significant aspect of overall well-being. Exit interviews provide a confidential space for employees to discuss any mental health challenges they may have faced during their employ. Insights gained from these discussions can help organisations implement measures to address mental health concerns and foster a more supportive work environment.
  • Uncovering Physical Health Issues: In some cases, employees may leave a job due to physical health issues. Exit interviews can shed light on whether workplace conditions, job demands, or the lack of accommodations contributed to an employee’s health-related decision to depart. This information can help organisations to make necessary adjustments to create a healthier and more inclusive workplace – often a simple but effective tool to understand employees’ requirements.

Embracing exit interviews as a tool for assessing and addressing departing employee health practices is not just a strategic move; it’s a commitment to the long-term success and vitality of the organisation.

Understanding attrition rates is vital for you to be able to design future programs around retention. Please get in touch to explore this option further by emailing our senior workforce consultant Brooke Wilson at [email protected] who would be happy to help conduct this for you.


Acknowledgement of Country