Please leave quietly: 50% of women not asked why they resign

Significantly more men undergo formal exit interviews compared to women, leaving a void in understanding the reasons behind female resignations.

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With levels of employee engagement at an all time low, recent research has revealed a quarter more men than women have formal exit interviews when leaving their job.

Diving deeper into the report by Cpl’s Talent Evolution Group, it has been found that 44% of women employees report never receiving an invitation for an exit interview – in sharp contrast to the 67% of their male counterparts, who did find themselves in the feedback loop and who were asked for their insights.

We received an exclusive comment on this matter from Áine Fanning, Managing Director at Cpl’s Talent Evolution Group.

“Exit interviews can be powerful in enhancing employee engagement and morale through demonstrating that employee voices are valued.” She says.

“By actively seeking and taking on board the opinions of departing employees, organisations signal a commitment to continuous improvement. If employees feel that their feedback isn’t valued by their employer, this can cause disengagement that will have a knock-on effect on performance.

This can become more serious if one section of the workforce, for example women, feel that their experiences are of lesser importance in comparison to men’s. Embracing feedback from everyone should be seen as a proactive step towards building a workplace where employees feel heard, valued, and motivated to perform at their best.”

Beyond the gender imbalance, there was another noticeable revelation in the study. Two-thirds of female leavers expressed a willingness to provide their former employers with negative feedback on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I), However, without exit interviews to surface this, the report highlighted a potential risk to employer branding and talent retention. 

Overall, the research uncovered that 38% of businesses actually forego exit interviews altogether, meaning a significant number of employers are navigating the future hiring process oblivious to potential challenges that could improve talent retention efforts.

In conclusion, the departure of employees shouldn’t be a blind spot for organisations. 

The unequal distribution of exit interviews between genders underscores a need for recalibration in how organisations approach farewells. Listening to the voices that often go unheard can not only rectify systemic biases but also strengthen company foundations for future success.

Written by:
Stephanie Lennox is the resident funding & finance expert at Startups: A successful startup founder in her own right, 2x bestselling author and business strategist, she covers everything from business grants and loans to venture capital and angel investing. With over 14 years of hands-on experience in the startup industry, Stephanie is passionate about how business owners can not only survive but thrive in the face of turbulent financial times and economic crises. With a background in media, publishing, finance and sales psychology, and an education at Oxford University, Stephanie has been featured on all things 'entrepreneur' in such prominent media outlets as The Bookseller, The Guardian, TimeOut, The Southbank Centre and ITV News, as well as several other national publications.

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