How to keep your significant talent from moving on.
A client of mine hilariously compared recruiting to dating. You put yourself out there on all the sites waiting for the perfect match. You meet in person for the interview and hope to make it a long-term hire. If recruiting is dating, then attrition is the break up.
Just like dating, there are plenty of legitimate and healthy reasons for a “break up” with an employer or employee. However, we’ve all seen relationships where both sides have the best intentions, but for some reason the spark still fizzles.
Why? Well, lack of communication is toxic, and is often a key culprit for a doomed relationship. No one wants to be ignored, underappreciated, or made to feel like their voice isn’t being heard in their personal lives. It’s certainly no different at the office.
The good news for employees stuck in a bad work relationship these days is that there are plenty of “fish in the sea.” You can choose from umpteen employers with active job postings, have recruiters knocking down your door, find remote work, freelance or other opportunities in the gig economy, and with an aging workforce – the future looks bright!
For employers, break ups can be expensive (way more than that 3-speed bread maker your Aunt Sally gave you for the wedding). According to the last SHRM study, it costs at least 6 to 9 months of salary every time a business has to replace an employee. That’s about $25K on recruiting and training expenses for a $40K salary employee. This doesn’t take into consideration the cost of lost production while the employee is being replaced. Other studies show that the true cost can balloon to 2X or 3X the salary.
For any organization, it’s clear that the costs of breaking up with good employees are too high to ignore. The reasons it happens are too important to ignore, as well.
Employers are well aware that Millennials now make up the largest percent of the workforce. They have also been called the “Job Hopping Generation”, and the most consistent reason cited for their lack of loyalty is lack of engagement.
But who is responsible for that engagement?
According to LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends 2016, only 32% of global talent leaders view employee retention as a top priority over the next 12 months. Imagine a world where only 32% of people cared if their partner left? On the other hand, the top companies getting it right frequently connect with their employees in new and interesting ways. A few of these include: providing internal mobility, and listening to problems and solving them before they lead to attrition.
There are so many things an HR leader can do to keep the employee relationship strong from the beginning, and to learn from their mistakes. Here are just a few ideas:
- For new employees, offer learning and development – not just with videos and blogs, but by using follow up with open forums where everyone is connected. Be sure HR stays in touch with new employees to find ways to connect with them about their happiness and career trajectory. Provide networking opportunities – connect employees with other employees and leadership 1:1 on a consistent basis.
- Throughout their time with you, initiate employee networking and mentorship programs – foster genuine relationships between employees. Provide more positive feedback – little gifts and kind words from the right people go a long way. Give your employees an opportunity to express their vision of the company.
- To stay fresh and up-to-date, keep an eye on all social media – make sure to respond especially to Glassdoor reviews. Don’t let your annual surveys stay static – start a conversation around the results. Be sure to conduct exit interviews – yes, people will leave, but you need to dig in to understand why and, more importantly, to create a feedback loop to managers.
And don’t forget about your competitors! What are their employee retention numbers? By comparing, you can always find ways to improve and surpass their percentages. Learn from your break ups; don’t let them ruin your company.