Many employee policy guides include language about what an employee should do if they are planning to leave the company. In most industries a two-week notice is customary and pretty much expected by employers. Employers like this idea because they can begin the recruiting process, fill in any necessary knowledge gaps and allow for a smoother transition. Some may also try to win the employee back with a counter-offer.
But what can happen, especially in higher turnover industries is employees ghosting employers or simply stating, “today is my last day,” leaving employer hanging. A better way to handle employee transitions is to have a more proactive approach. A recent article from Harvard Business Review gives some great tips for creating a retention strategy that acknowledges the fact that employees may move on.
Begin when onboarding employees
Start the conversation about career transitions very early on in the relationship with employees. Talk about career goals with new employees within the first 90 days. Supervisors can use these check-in questions to get the conversation going.
Talk to existing employees
Leaders should be talking to employees about their engagement and professional development goals in regular one-on-one meetings. If this isn’t something you have done in the past, employees may not be forthcoming at first. But don’t give up. Keep asking. Keep talking. Eventually more transparent conversations about career goals, engagement and happiness will emerge.
Help leaders provide good feedback
If you are concerned with turnover, one place you can provide significant improvement with just a little training is through helping leaders provide employees with good feedback. There are countless articles, podcasts, and blogs (including some we have written) about providing feedback. Encourage the leaders in your organization for focus on improving this important skill.
Learn to recognize issues early
Too often we see an issue being to take shape and we ignore it, either hoping it will resolve itself or telling ourselves we will address it when it gets “bad enough.” It is human nature to want to avoid conflict, which is why leader need to get better at recognizing potential problems and addressing them. It is a disservice to your employees and to your company to not address problems.
Having a negative view of employees leaving the company can be detrimental to employee engagement and to your company culture. Make sure your leadership team understands that employees transitioning away from the company or into new roles within the company is necessary for healthy growth. All employment situations should be mutually beneficial, and when they are not, it is time to move toward a change.