My colleague had the opportunity to physically go into work in order to cover for another employee who still works in the office but was out on vacation. When my colleague got to the office, he wasn’t able to enter the building because his badge didn’t allow him in. That was not the case a couple of weeks earlier. His initial thought was, “Am I unemployed?” That tells this employee retention expert A LOT! When someone’s badge doesn’t let them into the building and the first thought that goes through a long-service employee’s mind is to think they might be unemployed tells me that this place must truly be dysfunctional.
As I talked with my colleague about why he thought what he thought, he started relating the shifting of duties that have been taking place in the past two months with no explanation, the lack of communication in the department and in the organization as a whole, his mind immediately began thinking the worst. This is a phenomenon this former HR Leader used to see take place when people were physically in the office. It’s been magnified by the remote working that is now so prevalent.
This is not some dinky little mom and pop employer. It is big! In an organization of this size, they should have a sophisticated communication plan as part of their employee retention strategies that include regularly scheduled town hall meetings, regular department meetings, and regular check-ins by my colleague’s boss with him. Normally, this organization does a yearly engagement survey which is now four months past due as well as no communication as to what became of the prior engagement survey. Clearly, the place is in disarray. It wasn’t great before the Covid-19 pandemic, but it’s now a train wreck.
This employee retention trainer has heard this sort of thing from multiple people in various organizations. I can only venture a guess as to how poor the employee engagement is and what employee turnover will be like if the organization doesn’t start to realize how they are destroying their culture, their employee engagement, and their morale. Maybe…just maybe…this organization as well as other organizations will start to realize it is time to bring their people back to their offices/facilities because they are struggling with handling a remote workforce. If not, they will experience devastating results when more people start to ask, “Am I unemployed?”
Is your organization desperate to retain people? If so, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how the C.R.A.P approach can reduce employee turnover by 40-80% and improve employee engagement. When you send me the email…make the subject title I’m desperate and I will send you a copy of my employee retention self-audit to help you identify gaps in your employee retention strategies!