Thinking of Quitting? The Boss Knows


Thinking of Quitting? The Boss Knows

I liked Rachel Emma Silverman and Nikki Walker’s piece in the Wall Street Journal   : “Thinking of Quitting?  The Boss Knows.”

It’s about the large scale programs that some companies use to gather data on employees and the sophisticated, data crunching algorithms they use to predict which employees will quit.

The theory is that when an employee is flagged as a flight risk, HR can step in and intervene.  Now, as one of the People Analytics practitioners interviewed says, it’s still a little tricky starting a conversation when the “reason we’re coming to talk to you is because an algorithm told us to.”  But I guess that can be worked out.

There’s a more straightforward way to predict when employees will leave and when they will stay:   Ask them.   Or better yet, tell their manager to ask them.

When managers have one-on-one conversations with employees about why they stay or why they think of quitting, remarkable things happen.   Not always, but very often, employees say why they are unhappy.  And, more often than you’d guess, managers can do something about it.   Things like schedules can be changed.  Training can be provided.  Team assignments can be rearranged.  Career opportunities can be highlighted.

Another remarkable thing happens.  Employees like working for companies and managers that care enough to ask them  how they feel about their job.   Employee engagement goes up.  Productivity increases.  Turnover declines.

These structured conversations are called “Stay Interviews” and, while not as new as “People Analytics,” Stay Interviews are gaining adherents around the world. They work. Here in Florida, for instance, a large hospital reduced turnover among nurses by 56% after requiring managers to conduct individual, once a year Stay Interviews.   Key operating metrics improved as well.

Stay Interviews are simple and effective.  But getting managers to do them isn’t easy.  Lots of line managers are more comfortable crunching data than they are having direct, purposeful conversations with their people.  Lots of companies consider turnover to be an HR problem, not a management problem.   And almost all managers claim to be too busy to do this part of their jobs.

That’s why HRsoft created STAYview ™.    STAYview ™ is the only SaaS application that automates the process of conducting annual Stay Interviews; much like earlier talent management software automated the process of annual performance reviews.     STAYview ™ is an efficient way to guide managers through the Stay Interview conversation.  It lets HR see in real time which managers are having the conversations and who needs some prodding.  STAYview ™ provides accurate forecasts of  turnover down to the department, manager and employee level and helps managers and HR create plans to encourage individual employees to stay.

Oh, it also produces lots of really interesting data about why employees stay and why they leave.

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