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This employee retention speaker and employee retention author has been hearing a lot about people leaving the labor market.  That is unprecedented and has caused concern because organizations are scrambling to find talent.  Many experts believe it is because people feel confident that they can sit out for a bit and then return to the labor market without any consequences.  Many feel that it’s also being driven by the fact that people want to upgrade their position.   This employee retention expert was disturbed when he heard some of the rationale because it speaks to some of the shortcomings that I regularly speak to my clients about addressing.

If this is happening the employer is not attuned to their people.  If you have people who are quitting and not having a job to go to chances are you are not aware of the person’s aspirations and desire to grow in their role.  Very few employers ever ask their people, “Where do you see yourself going in the future.”  Most employers are afraid to ask the question for fear that it will get the employee thinking and then they will have greater aspirations that the employer will not be able to fill.  That is insane thinking!  I want my people to have aspirations.  Then, I want to do my best to help them fulfill those aspirations.  Wake up!  If you are not helping your people grow, someone else will.  You may not keep the person forever but you will keep them longer than if you don’t ask the question and then help them.  Or, worse yet, they become disengaged potted plants that take up space and just put in their time.

The other thing that it indicates to this employee recruitment expert is that you must have a pretty lousy place to work!  Most people don’t simply quit and sit out of the labor market if they have a decent job where the employer gives their employees C.R.A.P.  (Caring, Respect, Appreciation and Praise).  Crazy as it may sound, of most people are getting some C.R.A.P. at work and they even like their job at least a little.  If that is the case, they will work until they find another job and then quit.  Contrary to some beliefs, there is still inherent satisfaction in working.  When someone quits without a job it tells me that the environment, they are working in is REALLY lousy.  I have seen this with colleagues and friends.  They only quit with no job lined up when something is REALLY wrong with the environment.

One of the main reasons many organizations struggle with employee retention is they make excuses for themselves and rationalize why their people are quitting.  If you want to REALLY get a handle on your employee turnover, that rationalization needs to stop.  Chances are, if your people are quitting without another job lined up, something is wrong in your organization.