Archive for July 2011

Voluntary Resignations

Hiring the Right Person for the Right Job is an important goal of any organization. An organization’s employee-team is one of the determinative factors of the organization’s success. However, in recent years, employers often hear the words ‘I quit’ from their employees.

According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), voluntary resignation levels have increased from 1,576 in January 2010 to 1,744 in January 2011, which currently surpasses the level of employee layoffs. Reasons for voluntary resignations include personal dissatisfaction with job; unfavorable time and work conditions; non-job related problems associated with the employee’s personal life; new career opportunities; fear or anticipation of involuntary termination; and retirement (based on an employee’s age).

The subject of voluntary resignation presents an opportunity for the employer to reassess strategies and restructure workforce. When an employee voluntarily resigns, it is imperative for the employer to assess the reason behind the resignation. If there are job-related issues, they need to be resolved in advance to ensure that these issues do not create a negative impact on other employees in the organization.

Studies indicate that the cost to hire a new employee is five-times the salary of the position. To avoid the financial burden of hiring a new employee and to maintain productivity, employers should take steps well in advance to prevent voluntary resignations. For example, employers should track key performance indicators for each employee. An organization should perform the following tasks upon each voluntary resignation:

  1. Documentation: Documentation is essential to protecting employers from unfavorable claims made by employees. For example, employers should ask for a letter of resignation that includes the employee’s reasons for resigning, and last day the employee intends to work.
  2. Verify: To the best of the employer’s ability, it is important to verify that the reasons given by the employee for the voluntary resignation are correct and to obtain documentation to back up statements.
  3. Complete an Exit Interview: Conducting exit interviews is a great way for an organization to gather additional information to assess the situation and the work environment.

In some situations, it is not advisable for an employer to allow an employee to start or complete their work assignment based on the individual’s intended last day of work. Doing so may at times jeopardize the work product.

Helpful Ways to Manage Employee Turnover
  1. Evidence suggests that recruitment and selection practices strongly influence turnover. Employers should present applicants with a realistic job preview during the recruitment process, and select candidates based on a multitude of criteria including skills needed to complete the job, ability to interact well with other employees. and inherent individual characteristics that align with the organizations vision, mission, and values.
  2. Plan and implement socialization practices that help new hires become familiar with the company and the current employees. These practices may include shared and individualized learning experiences, formal and informal learning activities, and assigning seasoned employees as mentors for new hires.
  3. Provide and plan for continued training and development to keep current employees satisfied, engaged, and well-positioned for growth opportunities.
  4. Consider compensation and rewards that fit the organization’s business and HR strategy through approaches such as: tailoring rewards to individual needs and preferences, promoting equality and fairness in pay and reward decisions, and explicitly linking rewards to retention.
  5. Invest in the development of high-quality managers. The quality of an employee’s relationships with his or her supervisors is a crucial factor of turnover. You’ve heard the cliché phrase: “people leave because of bad bosses.”
  6. Strengthen employee engagement within the organization. Engaged employees are satisfied with their jobs, enjoy their work, take pride in the company, and believe that their employer values their contributions.
Signs of Employee Disengagement
  1. An employee stops attending or participating in company activities and functions.
  2. A normally competitive employee loses their drive to compete.
  3. Decrease of an employee’s focus on tasks and duties – the employee may begin to miss deadlines on a regular basis and no longer cares about work-performance.
  4. Attendance and leave patterns change and/or increase.
  5. A  conscientious employee no longer goes out of his or her way to welcome new employees or volunteers to help out.

These are just some warning signs of a disengaged employee; managers should be aware of these signs and address them. Treating an employee with the same care you took when hiring them will bring substantial rewards to the company and their employees.