Last year we have seen some major challenges. On the employment front, many lost their jobs and started working part-time or temporary jobs. People opted for jobs that they would not otherwise consider. Now there is a shift in gear in the employment market. We are experiencing more movements. Employees are able to find new opportunities and retaining them is a challenge. Some organizations do a great job of staying connected or checking the pulse. They can read the changes before they happen. Others remain oblivious and hit by surprises when employees decide to quit.

The biggest challenge of retention is to be able to identify the flight risk or high-risk employees. They are the employees who are more likely to leave and their departure will have a significant impact on the organization.

One of the challenges for people managers is to know the cues or signs which predict whether employees are about to quit. There are some early signs in the employee’s productivity, commitment level, and interactions with others. It was thought that some indicators like too many occasions of missed work were helpful to predict. But it may not be the case. The employee might have good attendance records, but they may not be “present” at work. 

When employees are working remotely, it is difficult to catch these signs. You would not know if there has been a shift in employee’s attitude towards the work. Negativity and lack of motivation may not be noticeable through virtual meetings. In-person informal discussions happen to be the vital source of information for a manager. While not work-related, significant life events are also often the reason why employees leave their jobs.

To ensure you do not lose these employees you need to identify any of the early signs of disengagement. You can go through your list of employees and review each individual’s situation and identify who could be on your flight risk list. You can include a few parameters based on which you will assess the risk level. But, please note everyone’s motivating factors can be different. After you have given a compensation increase to an employee you may still see them resigning. We assume money motivates everyone and the assumption may not be right.

Many companies check what their employees post on social media. It may not be a reliable source though, as many employees may not be using social media much even today. It also gives a feeling like employers are “watching” their employees. Some employers are relying on surveillance apps. But these look like “spying on employees”. Pulse surveys or engagement surveys provide good information at a summary level. But because of anonymity features, you cannot get the individual employee level information.

The most effective way to stay in touch with your employees is through direct conversations. A one-on-one meeting is getting popular nowadays. Use the time not to resolve work-related matters, but rather spend time discussing what matters to the person. Discuss how they are doing, what challenges they are facing, support they need, and thus catching any sign of challenges or situations. And be genuine in your intentions. Sometimes even asking the question directly might help. You might find the answer will surprise you and you will have an opportunity to prevent a disaster i.e. losing your employee. Though it is a recurring event on your calendar, you should treat each of these meetings with equal enthusiasm and eagerness.

Above all, do not assume that you know what your employees are thinking. It is not wise to assume.

If you need help with your policies and processes, please contact us for a free consultation.