Berna Özdemirkan

March-Nisan 2017 – Brandmap: 

Definitely, we should understand our employees before they resign. There are a lot of survey techniques for this purpose, but theory doesn’t always apply to real life. It gets critically important to understand the resigning employees in industries with high turnover. A resigned employee costs the company a lot, especially if there is a 70% turnover rate, imagine how costly it would be.

I often come across with the deluded idea that “the employee is leaving for the rival store as they pay 50 TL more.” Again, the reason is assumed to be money. Indeed, once more, it’s not about the money. If the employees are not satisfied with the training, personal development, and career opportunities, management or policies, then they leave for the more-paying company. They think “Nothing will change, but at least I would earn more.” When the exit interviews are not done in a particular format and fail to be elaborately reported, they mislead you.

Let’s take a look at the steps to follow in order to understand the resigning employees. First of all, the most critical audience in the company for Employer Branding is the new employees with 1 or 2 years of experience and even the ones transferred from other industries. I will get back to the importance of this topic. The other important audience is the employees who quit within the past year. A full year may seem to be too long to go back for interviewing former employers, but the exit interviews cannot provide healthy data when performed just when they are leaving the company. Another reason is the fact that the exit interview is done by the employee’s direct manager. This puts our chance to get objective and independent opinions in jeopardy. 

Once the audience is identified, the research is done in the name of curiosity, so we should focus on the things we are curious about.


  • How did you attract your current employees? How committed and satisfied are they?
  • Have you kept your Employer Promises?
  • Why did they leave their previous company? Do they have the same problems here?


  • What is causing you to lose your employees, what are the basic differences between you and the company they chose over you?
  • What is the percentage of their re-recruitment, to which competitors are you losing them?
  • Why did they prefer the other company?
  • What do they miss the most?

These questions and selecting your research audience appropriately from existing and quitting employees will help you perform a successful competition analysis. The current strengths and improvement areas can be identified by means of analyzing the industries or companies you get your employees from.

You can clearly differentiate your weak points and disputable arguments when you investigate the reasons why your employees resign and why you attract new ones. As an example let us review the results of a case study below: The first four reasons are remarkable.



  • Irregular and long working hours
  • Manager-related problems
  • Personal reasons (Education, Civil Servant Exams, etc.)
  • Intense workload / insufficient work force


  • Career opportunities
  • Corporate firm
  • Reasonable office hours
  • Good wage

As you can see wage is not included in the first four reasons of resignations. The first reason to leave is working hours whereas when it comes to attracting employees, reasonable office hours is ranked third. This means you either cannot provide the same working conditions in all regions or cannot forecast the employees’ needs at the recruitment stage.

This is only an example study; different industries and companies have different expectations and needs. Therefore, in order to check the pulse correctly, it is crucial to conduct exit surveys and competition analyses and turn the result of this data into action.

It is also a good idea to interview your resigned employees while determining employee promises. When you ask them about the things they missed, you automatically determine your strengths and required promises for future. Your new recruitment policies should include those new requirements. All in all, isn’t it all about attracting employees?

Competition analysis can give you the answers of questions such as “Where are we failing or succeeding as opposed to our competitors?” “What are the discrepancies between our areas/locations?” “Which industry’s or company’s employees are motivated better with us?” “How do the expectations change?” If it’s all about people, we will identify the correct strategy by listening to them. As I always say; correct communication is the basis of a successful Human Resources policy.