- The great resignation is here, and companies need to take note
- People leaders need to look at both the quantitative and qualitative data to understand the root causes of churn
- Go beyond monetary benefits and provide both professional and personal growth opportunities
One thing that hurts people leaders the most: Losing their best talent to the competition. You put so much effort into recruiting, onboarding, and training them. You have big plans for them. Yet they leave. Sometimes it's inevitable. Other times it points to larger issues at your company. It's your job to find out what's causing people to leave and fix it.
COVID-19 has taken the war for talent to a whole new level. A mind-boggling 60% of U.S. employees plan to change their jobs in the next year. This unprecedented exodus has made it urgent for companies to identify anything and everything that makes their people unhappy at work—and address these before people walk out the door.
So, what causes people to leave? Why do companies end up losing their best talent despite splurging on salaries and perks? And what can they do to keep their employee happy, engaged, and working for them for long?
Start with assessing and quantifying the problem: what exactly is making them leave. You can do it by measuring employee turnover and retention rates. Then, combine that quantitative data with qualitative data from stay and exit interviews to get a clear picture of issues. The most common ones are pay, benefits, support from managers, and lack of growth opportunities.
How to know why employees leave
As with everything else in the real world, it isn't straightforward. People leave their jobs for many reasons, some that are in your control, others not so. In this article, we will look at the factors that you control. Here are some of them.
- Salary and benefits
- Work culture
- Company values
- Leadership team
- Learning and development
Gallup pegs the cost of replacing an employee at between one-half to twice their annual salary. And it's not only about costs. People leaving take the morale down. People leaders need to look at both the data and anecdotal evidence to understand what factors are at play before fixing them.
How to quantify the problem
The time-tested business wisdom of "If you can measure it, you can manage it" applies here too. Here are some ways to help you quantify your turnover issues.
Run employee surveys
Employee surveys are a great way for you to get qualitative data about employee experience at your company. Regular pulse checks and eNPS surveys can help you uncover problems that are company-wide, departmental, or stemming from poor leadership.
Conduct stay and exit interviews
With stay and exit interviews, you can dive deeper into the qualitative side of the churn. In stay interviews, you speak with people who choose to stay with your company. These face-to-face conversations help you understand their perspective and come up with more ways to keep them happy.
With exit interviews, you speak with people who've already put in their papers. Because it's too late to change their mind, here you focus on the reasons why they're leaving and their advice on how you can do better. People are most candid during these interviews, and the honest feedback they provide is valuable in improving your employee experience.
Measure turnover and retention rates
Two of the best metrics to quantify why people leave you are employee turnover and retention rates.
Employee turnover rate is the percentage of people that leave your company in a given time frame. Employee retention rate is the inverse of that—the percentage of people that stay with your company during that time frame. People leaders need to reduce the former and amp the latter.
The better leaders understand the whats and whys of these retention rates, the better they can navigate the ongoing and upcoming talent exodus. These insights will make it easy for you to plan recruiting, compensation, and potential talent shortages with a focus on encouraging people to stay. Here's how you can do that.
How to not lose your employees
Here are some practices that will help you prevent employees from leaving you. It's not an exhaustive list but a good place for you to start fixing some of the most common problems.
1. Start with onboarding
Employee experience starts the moment people apply for a job at your company. So, aim for setting up new hires for success from the get-go. Onboard people by teaching them not only about the job but also about your company values and culture. When people's and your company's values align, they deliver high performance and stay with you longer.
2. Pay your employees well
Competitive pay is the foundation of employee loyalty. If you pay people less than industry rates, your competition can tempt them with better offers. So, offer salaries that are at or above the market rate, paid leaves, and health benefits to attract the best talent and retain them.
3. Offer meaningful perks
Perks that go beyond gimmicks help your company stand out to potential employees and engage existing ones. Meaningful perks such as flexible work options, paid parental leaves, and wellness programs boost employee morale and loyalty—raising your employee retention rates.
4. Provide learning and development
When people start feeling stuck, they start leaving. However, when they get regular learning and growth opportunities, they stay around longer. Two times longer, according to LinkedIn. You can help your people grow with learning reimbursement, free or subsidized conference and networking event passes, and mentorship programs.
5. Empower people with continuous feedback
More and more companies are scraping the formal, annual performance review in favor of ongoing informal feedback. People leaders can tap into the power of that with manager 1:1s and real-time peer feedback. When you are actively helping them achieve their goals, they will stay with you longer.
6. Recognize and reward
This often-ignored aspect of people management is one of the most powerful triggers of employee satisfaction and loyalty. When you recognize and reward people publicly, they feel appreciated and motivated to do even better. And while many people are still working from home, recognition and rewards are a huge positive for employee experience.
These practices will help you increase your employee satisfaction and loyalty. But none of these are set in stone, and you should regularly re-evaluate and update your efforts. We recommend you keep an eye out for the latest trends in salary and benefits, workplace culture, and manager-employee relations.
Get insights into what's causing the drop in employee experience at your company with engagement surveys. Mesh's eNPS and Pulse Checks help you measure the state of employee experience by understanding their behaviors, attitudes, and opinions. Schedule a demo to know more.
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