Guest Blog by Ian McVey, Enterprise Lead, Northern Europe at Qualtrics
By and large, human resources is unfairly tarred as being an ambiguous area, with a focus on the more human aspects of business that are considered to lack immediate bottom-line benefits. Similarly, the HR function is generally not considered an area of the company which supports its decisions with tangible data.
However, the rise of Experience Data (data that adds a qualitative context to explain not only what has happened, but why it’s happened) as a currency of business has changed things. HR teams can now attach tangible metrics to a previously in tangible function and use data analytic tools to quantify the value that HR initiatives bring to the business.
As the approach to data evolves, it allows HR teams to scale employee feedback programmes through automation and to dive deeper into responses with in-depth predictive analytics. The major benefit of the predictive analytics is that it helps the HR department to identify the signs of employee attrition at an early stage and avoid being blind sided by unexpected resignations. With this information, HR teams can take proactive measures to improve the experience of employees before it’s too late.
Recent Qualtrics research uncovered key signs that staff are likely to leave their jobs in the coming months, these included:
1. ‘Weekend workers’ are the most likely to leave their jobs
A topic that’s been making headlines recently is staff working overtime without receiving, or even expecting, additional pay or recognition. There is a clear link between people working outside of contracted hours and those planning to quit their jobs within the next two years. Our research showed that 65% of that segment regularly check their emails on weekends, while 25% check their work emails every weekend. Additionally, three-quarters of potential leavers also claim that their employer is unsupportive of a healthy work-life balance.
To address this issue, HR teams should quantify who is working at weekends, as well as the frequency that this is happening and learn how employees feel about their work-life balance to uncover any gaps between these two points. The HR team can also examine existing data in the HRIS, or solicit regular feedback through pulse surveys to create a baseline and monitor for any irregularities.
2. Increased stress at work is likely to push employees to leave
Of those studied, the second most likely to leave their jobs are those showing high levels of emotion and increased stress sat work. More than half (55%) of employees considering quitting indicated they felt emotional or stressed about work ‘most of the time’. When we examine report high levels of stress every single day, this figure rises to 61%.
Workplace stress is undoubtedly bad for an employee’s mental health, but also impacts the wider business by lowering general office morale, engagement and efficiency. As such, addressing this is apriority for HR departments. Those HR teams experiencing such issues must work directly with employees and their larger teams to identify the key factors behind their workplace stress. Interestingly, the majority of these cases are not endemic, but are the result of a small number of bottle necks throughout the company. To improve employee satisfaction and staff retention, HR must identify these bottle necks and work collaboratively with managers to address them.
3. The newer the employee, the more likely they are to leave
Numerous factors influence people’s decision to resign, but one certainty from our study stands out. Statistically, new starters are more of a flight risk. Interestingly, age also plays a role in whether an employee is more likely to leave or not. Nearly half of ‘high flightrisk’ employees are under the age of 35 and those in junior positions.
Addressing this means understanding early engagement and working out what drives it. This ultimately has the benefit of shaping those formative months and years as new employees settle into their roles. Factoring the onboarding experience into the employee feedback programme is a useful starting point for HR managers aiming to identify the weak points across their organisation and to understand the overall experience of new starters.
When the HR team understands and takes proactive steps on any of the afore mentioned causes of staff attrition, the HRdepartment will drive up employee engagement and satisfaction. Not only does this keep teams happy, but the wider business can benefit equally. After all, happy staff often equal happy customers and happy customers are typically more loyal and more likely to return.
As a starting point, HR managers must ensure that they have the right tools available to them. Using data and predictive analysis to understand their staff and support their decisions is the first step to retaining your best and brightest team members.