Red Flags Calling for a Mitigation Strategy: Thoughts on Lowering Attrition
The War for Talent rages on as tech leaders continue to struggle in attracting – and keeping – the right talent for their needs. A mass exodus of talent at any organization, particularly of essential employees such as A-players, can raise company costs, reduce its productivity, and result in loss of core institutional knowledge. Therefore, product engineering leaders aren’t just heavily investing in talent acquisition; they’re also using proven risk mitigation strategies to retain their best employees. But what are those fruitful mitigation techniques all about, exactly?
Over this quick and simple read, we’re giving you a detailed list of warning indicators followed by a set of mitigation strategies that can help any organization stay ahead of a mass resignation curve. We’re outlining everything straight away for you and then expanding on these concepts at the bottom.
Signs We Need to Mitigate A-Player Losses in Tech
To start, here are the few major warning indicators we just promised. A compendium of these red flags at your organization can mean you could soon see large numbers of departing employees:
● First, front-line managers can be concerned about employee satisfaction and engagement. Keep listening to first-line management for their input and feedback on this note.
● Low internal applicants for leadership positions. If internal postings are out for a long time with no new leaders wanting to step up, it’s time to take a closer look at what lies behind this behavior.
● If productivity starts going down across entire teams or departments, pay closer attention to company culture.
● A drop in company event attendance. Check for the number of attendees showing up to luncheons and other voluntary activities over diverse periods to track performance.
● Are employees increasingly making mid-day appointments? Sense if those could be covering up for potential job interviews outside your company.
● Employees citing a lack of recognition and inclusion during exit interviews are always to be considered.
● Active work chats long after the close of business can be suggesting a poor work-life balance, as well.
All the signs above can undoubtedly indicate a talent pool that no longer engages with a given organization and is far less productive. These people are also normally unable to see a long-term future with the company.
On top of that, the competition for the most exceptional candidates is fierce. We can all count on many others trying their hardest to poach our top contributors — all the time. So, let’s go over common mitigation strategies to which tech leaders can resort to improve employee satisfaction and prevent defections.
Mitigation Strategies for Tech Leaders
The good news is we have an arsenal full of these. Just from listening to SMB SaaS leaders in the United States, the most recurring mitigation gameplan to improve employee retention and outpace the competition include:
- Making teams part of strategy & policy sessions
- Regularly recognizing contributions while periodically celebrating the collective’s success. This is especially the case right after a game-changing product, a new feature or big rollout.
- Building a system to periodically monitor performance to stay ahead of any signs of burnout. This one is accompanied by early intervention.
- Relying on a leader-recommended tool to stay ahead of the curve by triggering actionable items.
Companies who implement the above strategies tend to witness immediate improvements in their employee retention and satisfaction metrics. Leaders simply need to know when key employees start considering other work options. We’re now expanding on these items.
Including People in Our Strategy & Policymaking
Employee participation should be an essential part of our general plan. This type of inclusion fosters a sense of ownership. People who feel valued and link their success with that of the company in which they invest so much of their lives tend to go above and beyond business needs.
Many organizations still operate from a top-down approach, however, only relying on their executive team and select managers to create policies and lead their planning. That problem in one organization can be another company’s competitor advantage.
As top-down decision structures continue to make employees feel unheard, collaborative environments where people’s opinions matter can make a big difference for our own talent attraction and its respective retention.
Think of horizontal and open-access cultures.
At Nearsure, we work with an open policy that fosters everyone to raise their voice, speak up about their opinions, suggest solutions, and, ultimately, feel heard as we work collectively to meet our shared business goals.
The best team leaders encourage others by being attentive and soliciting feedback. Doing so includes major policy changes, future strategies, and new digital transformation initiatives. This practice doesn’t need to be a chaotic, free-for-all meeting nor involve every employee in every decision.
Surveys can help with feedback on proposed plans. Polls allow people to vote quickly on what can very practically just be summaries of results or intentions. Make sure to later affirm how employee feedback is being integrated into your organizational change.
Frequently recognize and reward employee achievements
A March 2022 survey found that 46% of American workers left a job because they felt unappreciated. Another 65% of respondents said they would work harder if they felt that management recognized their contributions. The point is clear: we need to praise our employee contributions with a certain cadence. This may also simply be the easiest way to reach our retention goals.
At Nearsure, we publicly celebrate our employee’s achievements through our internal channels, on social media posts, and over company-wide newsletters and events, whether online or as part of our 100% remote working modality. We’ve gotten amazing feedback from our teams on these. Public displays have indeed helped our teams feel valued and continue to make significant improvements.
We thus also encourage front-line managers to have quarterly sit-downs rather than stick to yearly reviews. Meeting with our teams can be a golden opportunity to discuss their contributions and achievements.
Monitor Talent for Signs of Burnout
McKinsey recently looked into the employee burnout over the past few years to find that many companies are still underestimating “the critical role of the workplace in reducing burnout and supporting employee mental health.” They also linked this burnout to “costly organizational issues such as attrition.”
It’s not without substance to contemplate just how much the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with mass social and economic changes in the past three years, has brought many professionals to the breaking point. We need to face and accept that so we can tackle the consequences directly. Early symptoms of burnout are often the only warning we have before an employee puts in their notice.
To help with the above, we’re listing the most common signs of burnout here, which are:
● Tiredness and disengagement
● Worsening quality of work
● Making simple mistakes
● Reduced productivity
● Depression and withdrawing from conversations
● Irritability and other signs of stress
For people displaying any of these symptoms, early intervention is key. Sit down with them and share your concerns for their personal wellbeing beyond your company performance. Discuss the challenges they’re facing to work together on solutions. A burnt-out employee can rebound after a period of reduced workload, a long vacation, or by bringing in another employee to reduce their long-term responsibilities.
The War for Talent is Heated
Companies are currently competing quite aggressively for a modest pool of exceptional professionals. We know that, and these people are being headhunted daily. To attract new lists of A-players and retain those with whom we’ve collaborated for a longer while, we’ve found recognition and a natural people-centric approach to be our best approach.
At Nearsure, we seek to retain our A-players by providing ideal working environments with a human-focused organizational culture in which people can genuinely interact, make their contributions, and feel valued. We sincerely care for our talent, no matter where they are. Our company mission is set on allowing our talent to have access to challenging opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise access in Latin America.
In the process, we seek to involve our talent in our decision-making processes as much as possible. We also regularly recognize their contributions.
All in all, the war for talent isn’t won by shooting others in the head. It’s faced by embracing our diversity, knowing our strengths and weaknesses, and acknowledging, recognizing, and valuing that we’re in this together. We all win in the large scope of doing business with great business partners who share the same work ethics and values that we do, so that our excellent talent can continue to do their best, day in and day out.