Viva Las Vegas! It’s the SHRM ’21 recap bonus episode of The People Purpose Podcast! Let us take you behind the scenes for a glimpse into the day-to-day happenings that occurred at SHRM ’21. In this special episode, Julie and Chas recap all the activities at SHRM ’21, which was held in Las Vegas, Nevada, on September 9-12. They talk about a very impressive booth set-up in the expo hall, Chas and Julie’s experience as speakers at the conference, and SHRM’s “turnover tsunami” wall where attendees shared their ideas for how to retain top talent in the current job market.

They also talk about Purpose the Unicorn. You’ll have to tune in to learn all about it!

Resources Mentioned

Today’s post comes to us from Workforce Institute Executive DirectorDr. Chris Mullen, Ph.D., SHRM-SCP, SPHR.

As the economy works its way through “The Great Reset” following the first 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, it feels like those of us who lead and manage teams are being squeezed from all sides.

Despite an historic number of job openings, and despite the fact, more than seven million people who were working before the pandemic remain out of work today, it seems nearly impossible to hire enough employees to meet demand.  

At the same time, retaining our best team members is getting hard. Some are calling it a “Turnover Tsunami.” It makes sense: With so many job openings, talented and reliable employees will always be able to choose their employer. But it begs the questions:

What’s really going on with the labor market right now?

Why is the economy so hard to put back together?

What should leaders be thinking about to ensure success in 2022 and beyond?

Workforce Institute board member John Frehse, senior managing director at Ankura and one of our resident labor experts, and Dave Gilbertson, a vice president with UKG who leads the UKG Workforce Activity Report analyzing high-frequency employee shift work data to understand economic trends, sit down together for a candid conversation to discuss these questions and more.

Today's post comes to us from Workforce Institute board member Chris Mullen. Here he reviews the questions to ask to determine why your employees are leaving.

In today's booming labor market, organizations cannot afford to lose one of their most important assets: their employees. This is the first time in decades that there are more jobs than there are employees to fill those jobs.

There are all kinds of theories and bodies of research out there about why employees leave their jobs from being underappreciated, to not being compensated competitively, to bad managers.

But the only question that really matters is: Do you know why YOUR employees are leaving YOUR organization?

We all have beliefs about why employees leave, and some of them might even be true. But unless you are systematically tracking why your employees are leaving, the real reasons might surprise you.

Here are some steps to take to make sure you have a good understanding of why your employees are leaving so that you can do something about it.

  1. To start, you need to have a good understanding of your turnover rate. Your HRIS software system should have the capability to accurately track the turnover rate and reasons for the turnover.
  2. If you want to delve deeper into the data, then you could look at your turnover-per-month or you could look at it over the last 3-5 years. Reviewing the numbers over time can give you a sense of how well your organization is doing when it comes to turnover.
  3. If you want to go even deeper into the data, you could look at whether each employee separation was voluntary or involuntary. This could give you insight into your workforce. Are employees being terminated? If so, maybe there is a theme as to why? Could you get ahead of future terminations with more proactive training or policy reminders? For instance, if employees are being terminated for tardiness, do you have a progressive disciplinary policy? Do managers have insight into employee lateness to have proactive conversations with those employees?
  4. Do you perform exit interviews to find out why employees are leaving the organization? Exit interviews are a great tool to have. It's important to know that you are asking the right questions in your exit interviews. The insight and data they provide can prove to be invaluable to the future of your workplace, and your bottom line. Ask questions like: Why are you leaving your position?; Do you believe you were you compensated fairly? Why or why not?; What could we have done to keep you at our company?; Would you work for our company again? Why or why not?

This type of data can create insight into why employees are leaving your organization for HR and executive leadership. It can also help inform and create strategy to lower your turnover and improve employee retention.

The labor market these days is just too tight to lose good employees for reasons you don't fully understand. Take the time to better understand turnover and you'll find you can probably do something about it and better position your organization for long-term success.

job-hopping.jpgAt an upcoming meeting of the Workforce Institute Board of Advisors in Boston, we plan to spend a good deal of time investigating best practices in retaining hourly workers.  Although much is written about the retention of white collar knowledge workers, it's harder to find actionable advice for how to achieve the right retention equilibrium point for hourly workforces.   While a certain amount of attrition is healthy in an hourly workforce, just as it is in the salaried world, many organizations relying on hourly labor struggle mightily to keep their shifts covered.

 Dr. Charles Handler recently wrote about this topic in ERE in an article entitled "Turnover: Insights from the Real World".  One of the key points he makes is that for many hourly workers, the job is not where they turn for personal fulfillment, but rather to pay the bills while they seek personal satisfaction through other channels. 

We'll be writing much more on this topic after our upcoming meeting.  We'd love to hear from any of you who have real life examples of organizations who do a good job in managing voluntary turnover in their hourly worker populations.

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