The freedom of flexibility - Why employees quit
In a frenzy to achieve a perfect ‘Customer Experience’, organizations often neglect the driving force behind this requirement. Therein, ‘employee dissatisfaction’ creeps in without any prior intimation, leading to an impromptu ‘I quit’. But guess what? It’s not their manager, it’s you!
How does one go from ‘Employee of the month’ to ‘Low performer’ next month? An individual responsible for going after unattainable accounts and achieving victory, decides that the workplace ‘Is just not the same’ anymore. Just had your appraisals and everybody received an enormous increment, yet your Star Employee refused, and decided to quit anyway.
All retention techniques fail when the people you thought would bring laurels to the organization, leave on the account of a ‘personal reason’. It’s not always a case of “I got an offer I simply could not refuse”. If your work culture and value system were strong enough, no force could have taken them away from you. Not even a bad relationship with their manager. It’s true! But if you already have a great salary, all your loans are settled, and you are leading a stable and comfortable life, what could the reason be? Bad boss? Lack of incentives? Too many deadlines? It’s time to dig in deeper!
Organizations often end up taking their employees for granted and forget to ask the most crucial question ‘Are you happy working with us?’ A survey conducted with 2,000 employees in the United States back in 2016 by Paychex Solutions has revealed some very interesting insights about the major reasons why individuals across generations, quit.1
Some More Rules Please?
Everything is perfect – The job, the challenges, even the pay. What irks you? - The system. Or rather, the lack of one. The laid-back-last-minute way things get done. Decisions that get overshadowed under the umbrella of ‘official decorum’ and ‘policies’. Rigidity that curbs the freedom to express; building pressure that could have been avoided.
It’s All ‘Mine’
What can be the most disappointing thing that can happen to the best of the performers? Take a guess. Having put in your sweat, blood, hard work, and soul into creating a concept from scratch. And forget being credited for it, not even receiving acknowledgement as a basic courtesy. Once, it can be an oversight and twice, a coincidence. But if it happens on a regular basis, an employee wouldn’t think twice.
Something Is Missing!
Imagine having to come to an uninspiring office, just to stare at bare white walls with a dull painting, the entire day. Having to spend most of your waking time in a cubicle, with not even a fidget spinner to keep you company? Insanity personified right? Yes, lack of inspiration is indeed a major reason that employees quit. They feel challenged enough with the work load. But if it doesn’t indulge their ‘Need to be passionately involved’, it simply doesn’t work.
I didn’t sign up for this!
The recruiting team mentions a detailed and well-outlined job profile. What they overlook mentioning is the salient prerequisite of being an all-rounder when needed. Work pressure is volatile on a day-to-day basis, especially when you try to plot it on a graph of deliverables versus deadlines. Having to do somebody else’s job can at times prove to be the last straw.
On an average, the human brain resists change and challenges. Psychology Today2 explains how ‘Our inertia works against us in achieving our goals’. When faced with the threat of having to step into an unknown territory, our first immediate reaction is ‘to resist’. And it is this resistance that eventually makes us quit pursuing our resolutions, much before time.
Doing It The ‘Employee Oriented’ Way
When you face a hiccup, you could either seek guidance from your superiors, delegate work to your team mates, and embark on a journey of new learning. Or invent a new solution; only if you ‘Want to’.
Routine saturates the mind and our lives today need a detox. One that does not depend on technology. One that improves focus and lasts longer. It’s simply known as keeping up with the changing times by embracing flexibility. It may not be a major reason initially, but slowly the frustration begins to build up and eventually gets converted into a trigger. Setting off a sub-conscious chain reaction; invoking the emotion of continued dissatisfaction.
Over a period, productivity levels begin to saturate. A nagging feeling that ‘Something is not right’ begins to raise its ugly head, and you lose out on one of the highest performing individuals in your company.
Industry trends are slowly striving to also encompass an ‘Employee Experience’ as a part of the larger picture. Forbes began the year of 2017 with an insightful article of how ‘The Employee Experience Is The Future Of Work’3.
The solutions are very simple – Make Work Fun. Right from instilling a visual motivation within the premises, to providing simple means for combatting procrastination. Bring in a dash of creativity, throw in a sparkle of quirkiness, stick to your brand guidelines in an out of the box manner! Add meaningful, or even customized incentives to stressful projects on execution. Give credit where due, respect autonomy, and trust your employees. Treat employee retention as a ‘Concern with a solution’, rather than a figure on the annual report card that your organization needs to ace at.
Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group very aptly states “Take care of your employees and they'll take care of your business.” The focus should lie on ‘individual’ and ‘team’, much more than the organization.
1 What makes employees leave
2 Why we resist change
3 Future of work trends