Steph Chamberlain

Why are people leaving?

Retention is about so much more than just incentives.
At its heart retention is about culture. So, to put it bluntly, if people are leaving your organisation more often than you expect them to, you more than likely have a cultural problem.
Good cultures lead to commitment and people leaving is a sign that they are not committed.
And so how do you create a “sticky culture” or “a culture of commitment?”
Retention is a complicated subject and analysis is needed. However, here are a few obvious reasons as to why organisations sometimes have a retention problem:

01 — A lack of purpose

Do you know why your organisation exists? If it was a person what would be it’s cause? What would it take to the streets to defend? Who or what is your organisations enemy?
Often organisations think they have the answers to these questions and they may well have. However, quite often, if they have those answers aren’t repeatable by every staff member.
If your staff don’t know why they are there, it’s difficult to see why they would stay.
On the flip side, if staff know your purpose but don’t subscribe to it, that’s also a problem!

02 — Ludicrous Bureaucracy

Sometimes an organisation is so bogged down in making people do things right - that it makes them leave for an easier life.
In aligned and autonomous cultures bureaucracy is normally a guard-rail, protecting employees from the greatest of risks. In others, it’s used as a weapon or an instrument of power for one person or department.

03 — Hypocritical leaders

In this video clip Professor Damian Hughes puts this point across nicely. No-one follows a hypocrit..
If you organisation has certain values, then your leaders must reflect those values in their behaviours.

04 — A lack of learning opportunities

Sometimes, people leave because they’ve stopped learning and actually, sometimes that means there is a natural point to move on. However, more often, it’s because an organisation has not realised the potential of an individual and isn’t making the most of their skills. Other times it’s the employee themselves who are lacking insights and need some help identifying their own competencies or learning goals. Either way, a culture of learning is central to a high-performing culture.  Learn more here:
Created with