Danny Nelms, the president of the Work Institute, in a report said that turnover is happening every day. Workplaces are suffering from unnecessary turnover, unfilled positions, lost customers, overworked staff, and compromised profit. Employee morale is suffering as clever and empty perks continue to fail, added Nelms. If this continues to happen and high performing talents are quitting, employers could suffer from a great talent exodus.
Losing highly-performing employees hampers company bottomline. Not only should an employer pay for a higher cost of recruitment and training new staff, but it also costs the company’s overall profits and organisational performance. Based on the Work Institute report, mass turnover costs continue to trend up. Since 2010, costs associated with voluntary employee turnover have nearly doubled from USD 331 billion to USD 617 billion. By no means, the current trend of employee exodus could be USD 800 billion by 2023.
Talent exodus could happen for a number of reasons, such as employers failing to take initiative to enhance workplace wellness and employees’ wellbeing, loyal employees following a good leader who leaves the company, an ethical scandal that has shaken employees’ morale, or a bad financial report that tests the confidence of company’s future.
Let’s learn from the current case that hit The Publicis Groupe. Publicis industry is currently suffering from the uncertainty of its business’ future that leads to highly decreased morale among employees. Ad Age News reported that the company had an internal conflict that might endanger the existence of its branch company, triggering a talent exodus. The conflict also causes a further disconnect between employees sitting on the data side of the business versus the creative side, making a little chaos within.
Arthur Sadoun, chairman and CEO of Publicis, said in an interview that calling it an exodus only based on the departure of a handful of executives from an 80,000 people company in an industry where turnover is at 20 percent doesn’t make much sense. He made it clear that it is part of the transition, people are joining a new company and others are leaving. In the interview, Sadoun also mentioned that the only pressure is making sure that everyone at Publicis Groupe has a future in the industry, with the transition, the new member, and those who leave. When asked about the technique he had to get through this tough time, Sadoun jokingly replied to just take the opportunity to categorically deny the rumours from anonymous sources.
Sadoun might be right that employees have their rights to find better employment somewhere else. However, suffering from mass exodus and decreased morale could harm any company’s bottomline. Therefore, top executives and HR should limit the number of employees who jump ship. To do that, HR and executives could consider the following tips.
You might instinctively offer a counteroffer to your top talent who would leave. While it makes sense to hold the top talent and give the offers until they cannot refuse, this move is too rushed and might not result well for the employer. As an example, a counteroffer could lead to an unwise decision made by “greedy employees” who will play their bargaining power to win over your weakness during the talent crisis.
Therefore, instead of directly going with the counteroffer, you should listen and listen. Then ask the true needs and wants of your top people, such as why they choose to leave and ask if there is anything that influences their decision. Act immediately to their answer as it might hold your top talents from leaving and retain them longer in your organisation.
In a battle, one will win and the other loses. You cannot innocently think that everyone will stay with you. Thus, the best move is to call out your recruiters, prepare for replacements and consider internal hiring and/or promotion. Hiring immediately saves your current employees from overwork to maintain their morale and wellbeing.
Employee experience is a journey your people take with your organisation, from recruitment to employee termination. Focusing on this journey makes it easier for you to attract top-tier individuals in a competitive market place, as well as to retain loyal employees. Executives, top leaders, and HR should work together to create an employee experience that aligns with business goals. After all, it is a team collaboration that could make or break a business.