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More than 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in November and, in the arsenal of resources corporations will tap into to understand this attrition and stem the bleeding, creator-based social media platforms have become increasingly important.
Because, while LinkedIn remains the internet’s bastion of polite society and Glassdoor its anonymous complaints department, many leavers—especially Millennials and Generation Z’ers—are turning to TikTok and YouTube to publicly air their grievances.
Google, Facebook, multi-level marketing companies (MLMs), and “The Big 4” management consulting firms are also popular targets—with alumni skewering their former employers in extensive, detailed, no-holds-barred, direct-to-camera testimonials.
Meanwhile, on TikTok, shorter-form [#iquit] hot takes range from earnest to emotional—sometimes even veering into mockery.
Back in the nascent days of social media, when non-disclosure and non-disparagement clauses were par for the course, one-on-one exit interviews were the extent of employee feedback—and, for better or for worse, poor experiences were relegated to the realms of industry gossip.
Fast forward to today, an era in which many startups haven’t invested in developing robust human resources departments, but everyone can have a voice on far-reaching publishing platforms, and, well, this is what happens.
When employees turn to public platforms instead of internal resources to vent frustrations, oftentimes it’s because they don’t feel safe to do so within their organizations—and they hold back, even when they already have one foot out the door.
Exit interviews are designed to tell employers why the employee is leaving and whether the company can do something to retain them or prevent others from leaving.
But when you talk to employees, the popular narrative is: ‘When it comes to exit interviews, the general rule is if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. You don’t want to burn bridges, you don’t want to create grievances. The risk of offending people is just too high, and that’s a missed opportunity.
There is absolutely no replacement for a candid, one-on-one conversation with employees. We get infinitely more valuable information when we sit with folks one on one.
But in order to have a meaningful conversation, you need to build trust and psychological safety, so people will tell you what is really on their minds—or you’ll never get meaningful feedback that will allow you to iterate.
So how can employers flip the script—especially during the “Great Resignation”, when retaining talent has become increasingly difficult? By taking a closer look at corporate culture.
As employees’ preferences continue to evolve toward a more values-centric, work-life balance, companies must follow suit—and switch from a transactional to a relational workplace.
The pandemic has sparked a movement among employees where they’ve come to expect more from their jobs—they want fulfilment, flexibility, and support in various forms. When they don’t get those things from their employers, they resign.
Employers need to pivot to a new way of thinking about the workplace—and to create inspiring workplaces where people can thrive.
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