Rich Lukesh, Your Part-Time HRManager, posted a blog on 7-27-17 entitled The 7 Ways Employees Quit. You can read the whole post here. He quotes Christine Comaford, a consultant and Forbes contributor, whose blog cited information from a research study by Anthony Klotzand Mark Bolino. Here are the 7 ways: 1. By the Book, 2. Grateful, 3. In the Loop, 4. Perfunctory, 5. Avoidant, 6. Impulsive and 7. Bridge Burning.
Read the whole post to learn the specifics of each type and the percentage of employees in each category. The point I want to focus on is how whether you were surprised by any of the resignations you have in the past year or so, regardless of how they were done? If you were surprised a significant amount of the time, allow me to share a best practice which may help you.
If I am surprised when someone quits, what next?
As part of their journey to EOS mastery, our EOS clients adopt a management practice of have a quarterly conversation with each of their direct reports. It is just that – a conversation, anywhere between 30 and 90 minutes in length, best done off site at a coffee shop. It is a simple agenda – 1. What’s working? 2. What’s not working?, 3. Next steps. The whole idea is to make sure that every leader, manager, supervisor is on the same page with all their direct reports. If there is an issue with performance, that will come up in What’s not working? from the supervisor’s point of view. Likewise if they are not happy with their position or their work environment, that should come up in What’s Not Working from the employee’s POV. Additionally, What’s Working? should prompt either of you to praise the other for a great working environment or a job or jobs well done. When both parties get comfortable with this cadence and open and honest exchange, these conversations always get to what is most important to both parties. At a minimum, Next Steps? should be scheduling the next quarterly conversation in both your scheduling devices.
If your reaction is that you don’t have the time to have that many conversations, you have too many direct reports (3-8 be the right number). If you are within that range and don’t have time, you should read How to Be A Great Boss by Gino Wickman and Rene Boer. See Next Steps for how to get a copy. The book suggests that you can be better by adopting 5 Leadership Practices and 5 Management Practices. Quarterly Conversations is one of the 5 Management Practices.
Millennials particularly enjoy this regular feedback and most forward thinking companies are replacing their annual performance reviews with quarterly conversations. All employees deserve at least this much of your time. Try this and you will no doubt have less unwanted turnover and certainly fewer surprises.