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How Could We Predict Employees Who Will Quit?

How could we identify why employees change jobs? We know it's not always the money, but is there a way we could predict the indicators for each person? —Don't Leave Us, services, North Carolina
January 25, 2013
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Related Topics: Retention, Policies and Procedures, Dear Workforce
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Dear Don't Leave Us:

Quitting a job is a complex decision for employees and the reasons will vary at least a little bit from quitter to quitter. But there are patterns you can follow. While it is usually not possible to identify which employees will quit early vs. those that won't, your firm can identify the status of known triggers of turnover.

First, your question specifically references indicators that predict an individual's likelihood of quitting. For better or worse, the only way to prevent turnover based on characteristics of the individual employee is to be more vigilant and accurate in your hiring process. Quitters – when they don't leave for reasons of health, a spouse's job status, children or lifestyle changes--are more likely to be a poor fit for the job than longer-tenured workers. They are usually less conscientious and more prone to being stressed out.

You may be able to identify these attributes via a rigorous hiring process, but even then, all you learn is what things to look for. How you bring employees on board, therefore, should be your first area of concern.

Few training programs or experiences will change an employee's personality or attitude about work. Overall, it's more about diagnosing your organization than applying a solution aimed at making workers more loyal. The solution need not be expensive or time-consuming. First, conduct an employee engagement or job satisfaction survey, and make sure the content is actionable. For example, you should be able to identify whether trust in the leadership is low in customer service (relative to the rest of the organization), or that salespeople tend to be more dissatisfied with pay compared with other employee groups. You are then able to focus on the most critical issues, such as the improving the commission structure in sales or building competence in supervisors.

Your best approach: Just ask your workforce. Conduct exit interviews with soon-to-depart employees. This is best handled by an individual that is not connected to the employee's manager or perceived as threatening, should the employee need a reference. An external firm or a temporary professional who may be trained in a brief phone interview process are good options to keep it simple and cost-effective.

Finally, ask yourself: 'Is my company a decent place to work relative to others in our area and industry?' If you answer 'No,' then it might be best if you are the next one out the door and on to better things.

SOURCE Mark C. Healy, Rocket-Hire, New Orleans, January 11, 2013

LEARN MORE: Research by Sibson Consulting finds that just 76 percent of organizations say they are successful at retaining star talent.

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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 The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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