How Many Current Employees are in Your Departure Lounge?

Nobody likes to talk about it, even though it is happening in workplaces all across America – employees who have decided it is time to fly the coop. Departure lounges are overflowing with these types of employees – all waiting for their final boarding call.

Employees rarely start a job thinking they will tour around the company for a while and then seek greener pastures, and yet it happens all the time. Here are five things you can do to prevent employees from taking flight:

Guard Your Exits

Are employees exiting as quickly as you are hiring them? If this is the case, there is a malfunction in your hiring system. Closely examine all the parts of your hiring process to determine which pieces must be fixed. For example, suppose turnover is particularly high during the first 90 days of service. Ask yourself the following:

  • Are we hiring the right types of people for these jobs? Yes, it is nice to hire Ivy League graduates, but are they really well suited for beverage sales?
  • Are we accurately representing our jobs to candidates? If your administrative job descriptions sound more like the CEO’s job, then it is time for another re-write.
  • Are we over-promising and under-delivering? Perhaps it is time to get real. Sure, we would all like to operate like Google, but few companies actually do. Accurately describe your work environment and let candidates decide if the fit is right for them.

Now is a great time to dust off plans you may have designed for a formal exit interview process. Start asking exiting employees what you could have done differently to have prevented them from leaving. You will then have the information you need to make changes before others fly out the door.

Formally welcome everyone onboard

Imagine a place where employees are welcomed before they even set foot on company soil. This would be a place where employees feel connected before their first official day of work. Some might even start recruiting their current co-workers to join them on this new journey. Welcome to the world of Onboarding.

Onboarding is the one chance you will get to create a positive new employee experience. Just think how productive you might have been during your first few weeks or months of employment had your current or former employer taken the time to make you feel welcomed, valued, and prepared. Come to think of it, if they would have done this, you might still be working there.

You might be thinking that you don’t have time to hold someone’s hand or that all employees should have to suffer just like you did. Would you feel the same if you knew that with a little effort, you would have more time to focus on other initiatives besides replacing newly-hired employees?

Make checking-in easy

Could your check-in systems use some improvements? Do your employees have to stand in long lines just to have a conversation with their manager? Are employees fully aware of how well they are performing? Or is last year’s performance review still on your desk waiting to be completed?

Checking-in is a two-way street. When it comes to performance, both employees and employers should know what the other is thinking. Provide feedback throughout the year so employees can adjust their performance, while seeking feedback from employees regarding ways you can improve the management of the company.

Drop the Excess Baggage

Nothing weighs a company down more than excess weight. Do you have marginal performers hiding out behind strong team members? Are employees still in your employ who have received their fifth final warning?

In this economy, you cannot afford to have anyone or anything slowing down the momentum in your organization. Look around and begin the process of eliminating excess baggage. You will be surprised how many top performers change their travel plans once they see you are committed to building an organization of outstanding employees.

Throw in some perks

The trend of slicing and dicing employee benefits seems to be quite popular during lean economic times. Many organizations have started to charge employees for items that used to be free. But is this really a way to retain the people who you will be asking to take on more responsibility during tough economic times?

Show your employees you care. Figure out what types of perks motivate your team and then start thanking them properly.

Make these changes now and you will not have to fret the next time you hear the phrase, “This is the final boarding call…”

This article was originally published through LinkedIn, and is reprinted with permission.