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Why people are leaving your company

...And what you can do about it

The labor market is currently very tight in many places. It is hurting performance of companies. In my conversations with CEO’s and their teams I often hear: we could produce more, we could do much more, if only we had more people with the right competencies.


For continuity reasons and value creation, it’s therefore critical to keep your backdoor closed. Avoid losing the people that you really want to keep. Forget the official exit interviews for a minute. McKinsey recently published the eight most important reasons why people are really leaving. They’ve conducted this survey in April 2022. Just look at the conclusions first.

Out of the eight most important reasons, only inadequate compensation has direct financial impact for a company! While the other seven reasons can be also be addressed through other actions.


Let’s look at just a couple of the other reasons. For instance: lack of career advancement (41%). Are your managers in an ongoing conversation with their people? Do they know what really keeps their people awake at night? Are they assigning challenging projects to their (top) talent? Are they providing opportunities for adequate autonomy so employees can expand their skill set? Invest in these actions and better retain your best.


Let’s take a look at Lack of meaningful work (31%). What is the purpose of your company? And do you communicate it effectively? If your people go to work in the morning and really know deep inside how their contribution that day makes a contribution to the company’s purpose, that does make a difference! It may be obvious for you, but do not underestimate how often you need to repeat it before it sticks. We know from research that the younger generations find a sense of Purpose important. And it’s confirmed again in this survey. So, the question is: is your company purpose clear? Is it magnetic for your people?


Don’t retain your (best) people only by paying them more money. It’s a trap and it destroys value. Yes, sometimes increasing salaries is a part of the best solution. But other initiatives such as Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, reconnecting to the company Purpose will produce better results. These actions create more value and are cheaper too! A double-edged sword.


Hope this inspires.


Paul Donkers

Paul P.J. Donkers is a sought-after global business coach and management consultant. More about his work and projects can be found via and via

Paul and his partners work since decades with leaders to assist them create more value. If you want to have a confidential conversation, just reach out to us via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

By Paul Donkers

"my purpose is to help improve strategy execution, to create high performing teams and coach for effective business leaders"

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