A Downside to Record Low Unemployment: Ghosting

With the unemployment rate hovering around a low 3.9%, people have more choices than ever before in where they work, and when they leave.

I was about 25 years old and incredibly excited for a new sales position with a great company. The branding was there; along with a fashionable workspace and a chance to collaborate with an experienced team. The package offered was good, relatively speaking. Ahhh. Life was good. Then…the other company called. A few thousand more a year? What could I do with that money? Hmmm…I counted the dollar signs and away with that I went.

I had no plans of telling the initial company that I accepted another offer. I didn’t want to have that conversation. Thanks to my father, and letting me know that my integrity for years to come was at stake, I did. Many, however, do not. It’s called “ghosting” and it’s on the rise. Big time.

The term ghosting was originally a millennial term coined in regards to dating. Vanishing from a “relationship,” without any explanation or goodbye. Now it’s being used when folks accept a job offer but don’t show up or even worse–leave and never return,  say, for lunch or a break. Wow. Imagine that for a moment. Where is this coming from?

Many are quick to attach this to the Millennial “sense of entitlement” we’ve all heard so much about. But there’s a lot more to it; which is part of the reason I shared my own story above. First, I’m Gen X, not a Millennial: this behavior isn’t limited to one demographic. While this may have been a bit out of the norm at the time, it’s happening quite a bit now.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2.4% of workers quit their jobs in May 2018–almost double the number in May of 2010. With more jobs than qualified workers, people have the courage needed to walk away.

The question is, would it take more than a small amount of money to lure someone from your company? Do you have any real data to tell you where you stand?

If you don’t know what truly keeps your people engaged in their roles at your organization, or what attracted them to your company, you should. Often times our assumptions are flawed, and guesses from the “ivory tower” don’t translate to the talent you’re trying to attract.

Did you know that the top reason Millennials leave jobs is a perceived lack of leadership development opportunities? What do your leadership development initiatives look like? Collect real, scientific data on the things known to translate to longer tenure, extra effort, better performance and all-around better citizens of your company and stewards of your brand. Here are some questions to answer honestly in getting you started:

  • What is the effectiveness of your leaders in connecting with their teams? And how are you measuring this?
  • Have you been intentional about creating a culture that provides the right environment for your top talent?
  • What potential issues in your job or organizational design need improving?

We know that job design alone accounts for 59% of the variance in employee engagement.

Looking back, I’m confident I made the right decision. Not only in notifying that organization about my choice to go elsewhere, but in my choice of a different company. I found ADVISA a few years later. I’ve been here for over a decade. I love both what I do and the company where I choose to do it. The job market is projected to remain flat for another 15 years.

If you don’t have scientific predictors your people will opt-in and engage within your organization, get to work. Improve it. Collect the data. Get professional insight. Take action. Yesterday.

Talk to Aszure about where to begin.

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