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Why is everyone leaving? A CEO Story

There was once a small startup that was on its way to making big waves in the CPG industry. The company was filled with a close-knit group of dedicated and hard-working employees who were all driven toward the same goal of making the company a success.

One day, the CEO called an all-hands meeting to inform the team that several key staff members, including the CMO, CFO, and several key salespeople, had decided to leave the company to pursue other opportunities. The news shocked the CEO and the rest of the team, as they had all worked so closely together for so long.

The departure of these key staff members impacted the business significantly. The company suddenly found itself without the sales expertise and financial acumen that had been instrumental in its success up to that point.

Despite the challenges, the company rallied. The remaining employees came together to fill the gaps left by those who had left and worked even harder to keep the company on track. They held on to their determination and commitment to the company, and the CEO worked tirelessly to bring in new talent to replace the departed staff.

However, the CEO was not content to simply fill the void left by the departed staff. Instead, she was determined to get to the root of the problem and find out why so many key employees had decided to leave all at once.

How did the CEO  discover the root cause of turnover in her organization?

  1. Gather data: The first step in understanding turnover is to collect data on the individuals who have left the organization. This can include their job title, tenure, performance, and reasons for leaving.
  2. Look for patterns: Once the data is collected, look for patterns. For example, are most individuals who have left your organization in a specific role or department? Are they going after a certain length of time on the job? Are their reasons for leaving similar?
  3. Conduct surveys and exit interviews: Surveys and interviews can provide valuable insight into why employees leave your organization.
  4. Address Employee engagement: Employee engagement is a good indicator of how employees feel about their work, their manager, and the company. A low employee engagement score may indicate that employees are disengaged and may be more likely to leave the organization.
  5. Solicit Employee feedback: Employee feedback is another critical tool for understanding turnover. By talking to your employees, you can better understand their perceptions of their work, their manager, and the company.
  6. Measure/Benchmarking: Benchmarking your turnover rates against other companies in your industry can help you understand whether your turnover rates are higher than average and whether specific areas need improvement—track turnover rates to keep on top of it.

The CEO quickly realized that the root cause of the turnover was a lack of clear career development paths and opportunities for growth within the company. The departing staff members felt they had reached a dead end in their careers and saw better opportunities elsewhere.

With this newfound understanding, the CEO swiftly corrected the issue. She implemented new programs and initiatives to provide employees with clear career paths and opportunities for growth within the company. She also ensured that employees were regularly provided with feedback and support to help them reach their professional goals.

As a result of these efforts, morale within the company improved dramatically. The remaining employees felt a renewed sense of purpose and commitment, and new talent was eager to join the company because of its reputation for providing clear career growth opportunities. In the end, the company not only survived the loss of key staff members but also emerged stronger and more focused than ever before.

Even if you’re not presently concerned with turnover, by gathering data, looking for patterns, and talking to your employees, you can begin to identify the root cause of your turnover. Once you understand the problem, you can take steps to address it, whether that means improving your hiring process, enhancing your onboarding program, taking a look at rewards, or investing in employee development and training.

About the Author: Jacquelyn Lloyd is an experienced HR professional who provides executive-level HR strategy to small and medium-sized CPG clients across the USA. With her extensive background in production, logistics, retail, and distribution, Jacquelyn understands the intricacies of running a successful business and helps her clients increase their profitability through effective people practices. For more information on how Jacquelyn can help your business thrive, please visit her website at www.jacquelynlloyd.com.


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