Which is More Important: Why They are Leaving or Why They are Staying?

board development and revitalization impact roles and responsibilities Nov 28, 2023
Which is More important: Why They Are Leaving or Why They Are Staying?



Remember when exit interviews were a thing? Maybe you missed that trend! Why are people leaving us? What can we learn from them?

How about focusing on the people who are staying? Why are they staying? How can you improve for them?


Here are some suggestions.


Exit interviews were considered an important means to identify what was wrong with your organization compared to others and how you might improve. But were people honest with you or did they avoid burning bridges? You may have hired an external consultant to conduct interviews over time and give you a synopsis. Good for anonymity, less helpful for pinpointing action to be taken.


Could you coach or even fire someone based on people who had left? Without specific examples?

More organizations are turning to “stay” interviews. These can be useful for senior staff and for other employees. Indeed, they may be useful for working with board members.

How did the recruitment and orientation program work for you? Compared to other experiences? How could we improve it?

After a month here, what training would be helpful for you, individually and with your work team?

What do you appreciate most about your experience here to date?

What isn't working?

Are you getting sufficient feedback and advice? Sufficient support and coaching? What is working well and not so well?

What could we realistically do to get better?

Share this article with your friends and colleagues!



These interviews encourage candid perspectives on roles and responsibilities, your systems and supports, and of course your culture. When handled well, interviews enhance engagement.

These can be handled formally – set questions, snapshots, at scheduled intervals, discussed and addressed. You can also track changes over time.

Or informally, to get a sense of what is going well and where there may be flashpoints currently or developing.

Asking questions is important, but of course, there also had to be evidence of action taken when warranted.

Checking in, monitoring and adjusting, are key ingredients to improve incrementally. As we often say at Better Boards. Better Communities., you don’t have to be sick to get better!


What are your main “pain points” dealing with retention?

What advice would be most helpful to you?
And we always assume that you are asking for a friend!


Get in touch. We’ll address your questions and concerns in an upcoming blog post.




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P.S. May I ask a tiny favour? Would you mind sharing this blog with one person? I would love it. You can post the links in your Facebook Groups, LinkedIn or even send an email.

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