Busting 3 Massive Myths About Employee EngagementNovember 24, 2018
BBC Business Matters with Christine ComafordDecember 14, 2018
Unemployment in the USA is now at 3.7%.
Great employees are harder to find than ever before—and if you’re hiring, chances are really good that you’re raiding another organization’s rock stars.
So once you get great hires on board, you need to keep them. In past blogs I’ve shared proven tools and techniques our clients use to recruit rock stars, to onboard them, to engage them and to identify the signs that they’re considering quitting. Now let’s focus on what’s happening in their brain when the honeymoon phase is over after being a new hire.
Honeymoons End—Then Your New Hire “Goes Native”
Based on an informal poll of my leadership and culture coaching clients, reality sets in, and the new job honeymoon is over in the first 60-90 days, depending on the role. This is when a new hire, then, is most at risk of buyer’s remorse, of regretting that they accepted a role at your organization. This is also when a new hire has “gone native”—they are now a part of the tribe and no longer have the fresh unbiased perspective of an outsider. Going native isn’t a bad thing—it happens out of our deep need to belong with the tribe we’ve selected. But if the tribe is in a tricky state, buyer’s remorse could become an epidemic. We’ve all seen influencers that leave the tribe—and take some of the top performers with them. Here’s how to prevent this.
Six Questions That Reveal Buyer’s Remorse
Think back to your dating history. Most of us have met someone we thought was really cool–until we got to know them better. Then disappointment set in because what was advertised, and what was the reality, was different.
Gallup recently released research on the six questions employers can ask to uncover remorse. The primary finding is that when certain policies are promised, but not honored or followed by the organization’s leaders, remorse sets in.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is flexibility consistent or dependent on the team manager?
Per Gallup, 51% of employees say they would change jobs for flextime, and 35% say they would change jobs for a flexible working location.
In today’s workplace, flexibility matters. Flexibility for hours worked, location worked from, even flexibility in reporting and collaboration. Is it easy to duck out of work for a personal appointment? Does this apply to everyone in the organization?
- Are remote workers treated as equals?
Remote workers are 30% less likely to strongly agree that they have discussed their development with their leader in the past six months.
Are your remote workers treated the same as your onsite workers? Are they included in development and performance motivation programs? Are they included in recognition programs? Does their leader have the same number of one-on-one meetings with them (via webcam) as with onsite workers?
- Do leaders know how to manage in a matrixed environment?
Per Gallup, 84% of U.S. employees today participate in matrixed teams. And the biggest challenges for workers are prioritizing work and excessive amounts of time in meetings (up to 1/3 of their day!). How are you helping your workers to prioritize? See a prior blog for a tool on this. See the meetings link above too for a technique our clients love to reduce meetings and those that attend.
- Do leaders understand gig workers?
Per Gallup’s recent gig economy perspective paper, 36% of all U.S. workers participate in a gig work arrangement in some capacity.
With freelance workers its essential to ensure they click with your culture quickly. This is where a compelling and clear mission/purpose, vision and set of core values make all the difference. Gig workers must be brought into your tribe quickly and emotionally engage quickly too. And last, as a leader it’s your job to ensure they are welcomed into the team and experience safety, belonging, mattering from the get-go.
- Are development programs personalized in a meaningful way?
In a past blog on performance motivation and Individual Development Plans (IDPs) I provided a template to ensure your team feels that their growth is important to the organization. Are your leaders helping to co-create IDPs with their workers? Are they then having quarterly or worst case annual development check ins? Are they allocating time for workers to develop?
- Are employees offered and encouraged to participate in well-being programs and other benefits?
A 2016 Society for Human Resource Management survey found a significant gap between the benefits companies actually offer and the benefits employees think their company offers. Why? I find two reasons in my executive coaching work. One: the onboarding process isn’t effectively communicating the actual benefits, and two: annual benefits summaries are not being offered to refresh everyone’s memory.
- Buyer’s Remorse occurs when an employee experiences a disconnect and disappointment between what they understood a culture would be and what it actually is.
- Leaders can tackle and prevent this problem by ensuring the culture is clear, the policies are clear, the above six questions are addressed and the employee experience is consistent.
How consistent is your employee experience?