An employee leaving out of the blue creates major hassles for employers. There are all the usual hiring and training costs, of course, but there is also the knock to team morale as those left behind scramble to cover for the departed employee. And there’s the blow to your confidence as a manager too. How did you not see this coming?
An employee leaving is always disruptive, but it’s much better if you can see that someone is eyeing the door. That way you can try to take measures to get them to stay, or failing that, make plans to lessen the impact of their departure.
The key to doing that is to know well in advance who is thinking of quitting. A new survey of 34 million employees in 125 countries carried out by employee engagement platform Peakon insists it is possible. In fact, by looking for one telltale clue, managers can know nine months in advance who is considering quitting.
When engagement falls, it’s time to worry.
The data set researchers analyzed for the study may have been huge, but their conclusions were clear as day. When it comes to figuring out who will quit, there’s one indicator you need to watch for above all others — employee engagement.
“Our study found that both employee engagement and employee loyalty scores are strong indicators of an upcoming employee departure. Nine months before quitting, an employee’s overall engagement score begins to drop significantly,” the report concludes.
The idea of employee engagement — how invested in her work a given person is — might sound vague, but according to the report, it can be measured by one simple question, known as the Employee Net Promoter Score: “How likely is it you would recommend [your company’s name] as a place to work?”
“What makes this question work is that it encourages people to reflect on all aspects of their workplace experience at once–from company culture to work environment to career prospects. Also, a recommendation is a form of identity capital. Similar to when someone recommends a brand or product to a friend, an employee’s willingness to recommend their company suggests they’re aligned with their work on a deeper, more personal level,” explains the report.