When employees leave your organisation, it might be a day of great sadness as they move on to something new. Or you might be breathing a big sigh of relief because they’ve been a pain ever since they started.

Either way, it’s really important to understand the real reason your employees are leaving your business. A really good way to find out is simple – ask! Usually people will be happy to give their opinions (positive or negative) if you send them a quick survey that doesn’t require too much thought. A 1-10 rating scale, or “agree/disagree” format allows people to give their opinion without taking too much of their time. Make sure you leave a big blank box for people to divulge more information should they wish to.

More than half of employees leave a job because of their manager. I’ll let that sink in.

Other reasons include a poor work/life balance, lack of appreciation, being overworked, or no opportunity for training or progression. These types of responses will always come out on exit interviews. And that’s where the power comes back to you – you can work on this feedback and make sure it is less likely to happen again (because we all know we’re not perfect and it probably will happen again at some point).

It’s also a great way to get positive feedback – some people really do just leave a job because they’ve been offered a great opportunity or more money elsewhere. Reading that sort of feedback should make you feel really proud of the organisation you have created. People are often sad to leave a job – I know I’ve been sad to leave employment before, but it’s always been for something bigger and better. No hard feelings.

Without asking this sort of information, you risk having a high turnover but not really understanding the real reason behind it. If you have the right culture, you keep the right people. It can be really interesting to look at this sort of data, even if you’re doing it really well and it’s just bad luck that people are leaving. But if there is something you can do about it (like train up your managers in their people skills, for example) then it’s definitely worth a try.