When Employees Swipe Left, Companies Need to Get Recognition Right

March 1, 2016
| ByMadison

“The number of Americans who voluntarily quit their jobs climbed to a post recession high in December, suggesting workers are confident about their employment prospects despite financial-market turmoil and a slowdown overseas.” The Wall Street Journal.

Last month, The Wall Street Journal published findings from the Labor Department’s monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) showing staggering statistics: the number of voluntary separations spiked to nearly 3.1 million, the highest level since December 2006. That number alone is headline-worthy, however add the fact that hiring increased to nearly 5.4 million employees and we have a scenario that every company needs to be paying great attention to.


What does this mean for HR leaders?

Well, at the very least it indicates that employee confidence is on the rise. This is a good thing, right? You want and expect your best employees to be confident and sure of their expertise. This self-assurance is what propels many people to excellence, and what makes them such valuable employees. On the other hand, when A-players start to evaluate their worth and feel as though they can “do better,” the desire to look elsewhere for opportunity and recognition deepens. Once an employee arrives at this point, it’s often too late for the company to show how much they are valued. So what can you do?


Recognition as an anti-poaching retention tool

Recognition is part of the connective tissue that keeps the employee bonded to an organization. When a culture of recognition is absent, a person’s connection to the company ceases to exist, making your top employees prime for poaching.

To improve employee engagement and increase retention, it is crucial to recognize your employees from the moment they start straight through to their last day. This is why on-boarding recognition is essential to employee retention.

Following our 7 steps to preventing employee poaching can help you establish your strategy for engaging and retaining your top talent. Remember, your best employees understand your organization; they know your customers’ needs; and they successfully solve your business issues. Keeping them satisfied and engaged should be a top priority.


Final thoughts

While we don’t have detailed reasons for each of the 3.1 million attritions, it’s crucial that organizations make recognition an essential part of their retention strategy when it comes to securing top talent. These statistics indicate that many employees are simply walking away from jobs. You can be one of the companies that attracts these employees with an established culture of recognition; or you can be the kind of organization that retains these employees by creating a satisfied, loyal workforce through recognition. We say you should be both.

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