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Quitting Is Contagious. How You Can Prevent It from Spreading at Your Company

Quitting Is Contagious. How You Can Prevent It from Spreading at Your Company

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MARY-CLARE RACE

"The demand for career advancement is very high, and organizations need to provide those opportunities. If they don't, the individual will go and find it elsewhere."

MARY-CLARE RACE

Invest in employees

Employee investments contribute to a positive company culture, and especially in a time when many workers are reevaluating their career choices, upskilling opportunities can make a big difference in retaining them. 

Quitting contagion

Quitting contagion

This is a real phenomenon--and it doesn't just happen at companies with poor management, low wages, or any other metrics that might entice workers to abandon ship.

We're very social creatures, and we tend to take cues from the people around us. And in a crisis, people are more likely to make their decisions based on what they see the people around them doing, she says.

Take note of existing office relationships

The friendships we have at work influence us to stay in that place (or to leave). If someone's best friend at work leaves, leaders shouldn't be surprised if that workers resigns next.

The solution: Look for ways you can support the employee that's still there. You have to think: "How can I have more of a dialogue with those individuals who might get left behind, and how can I help them adjust to that transition?"

Check in on morale

If your workers are disengaged and disillusioned, you're basically inviting the resignations that will follow. But quitting contagions still happen at companies where workers are generally happy.   

You can set up exit interviews with departing employees--and encourages them to share with existing workers why they're leaving. If it's something that the company can improve on, then leaders know what they need to change. 

Be realistic about workload transferral

When one employee hands in their resignation, other workers inevitably face an increased workload at least temporarily--or more permanently if the employee who departed isn't replaced.

It's important to have conversations about workload--people feel it the most if they're not getting recognition for the extra work they may have taken on, either through title or pay. Be transparent with workers about the backfilling process. If it isn't a priority to fill a vacancy, then be willing to compensate the employees who are picking up the extra slack.

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