We are in a particularly hot market for talent right now. Talented professionals are in demand, and your competition is going to great lengths to try and attract them. It’s not too dissimilar from the dating scene. You’re a pretty good catch. You go out on a date with someone, but get a text from someone else.
If you’re really happy and excited about that first date, you stick with it and ignore the text. If you’re not “feeling it” on the first date, you make up an excuse to go to the restroom and leave. It’s called employee ghosting, and while you may or may not have done it to a date in the past (we won’t judge), it’s suddenly becoming a concerning phenomenon for employers.
How Is Employee Ghosting Impacting Businesses?
Most commonly, employee ghosting is defined as an instance where one of your employees stops coming to work without notice, and no longer responds to your communication attempts.” In other words, an employee leaves, never comes back, and pretends you don’t exist. Ouch!
While there is no official record of employee ghosting statistics, the current hot labor market and low rate of unemployment is giving workers more job options. For workers who are disengaged and unhappy, the opportunity to ghost your company is there.
What Are Some Signs of Impending Employee Ghosting?
Disengaged employees more likely to abandon your organization for seemingly greener pastures. It’s important to note, though, that there is a grey area for employee engagement. Actively disengaged employees are fairly easy to spot.
Perhaps even more dangerous than disengaged employees; however, are employees who Gallup classifies as “not engaged.” According to the latest data, more than half of all employees are in this category. While the percentage of engaged employees has increased, in total, more than ⅔ of your employees are either disengaged or not engaged.
If your employees aren’t happily engaged, but aren’t obviously disengaged, how can you tell when they may ghost your business? Here are some telltale signs:
Some employees are naturally introverts; however, when employees fail to celebrate positive news, team “wins” or other news that affects them positively, it could be a warning sign.
If your team is infrequent to share feedback or input on products, services or any element of your business, it may signal a lack of engagement.
Employees who are not engaged most often get their work done, but with little fanfare or excitement. They don’t actually care about the work or its results, but simply look at work as a “means to an end.”
As noted above, employees who are not engaged may “go through the motions” more than actively contribute through their work. As a result, their output may diminish in volume and quality. It can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what is at the heart of output issues. Employees could be going through personal issues at home, or have a personal element affecting their work.
Or, they may not have the right training, they may not feel they can communicate with leadership effectively, they may not feel recognized…there are a host of reasons that could be leading to employees who are disengaged or not engaged.
How Can You Prevent Employee Ghosting?
Whether it’s recognizing a major “win,” an enthusiastic employee or the winner of a fun competition among your team, be sure to recognize employees who are actively engaged at work. While those being recognized are sure to feel valued, your other employees are also likely to be driven toward earning their own recognition. It’s a cycle that feeds itself! Plus, it just feels good to recognize positive accomplishments among your team.
Help them learn.
When your employees feel you are investing in them, they are much more likely to return the favor. Give your employees the tools and information they need to do their jobs, but then provide them with or encourage them to pursue training opportunities. Help them become better at their jobs, or even ascend to higher positions within your company. Show them that you are invested in their career paths.
Ask for feedback.
It’s important for leadership to be open to employee feedback, but take it a step further. Solicit feedback from your employees. Make it easy for them to share feedback (anonymously, if possible). Then, be sure to at least acknowledge feedback that isn’t delivered anonymously. Ideally, you’ll take action whenever and wherever appropriate. Ultimately, taking action shows your employees that you value their input on the direction of the company.
Invest in their engagement.
Building your own employee engagement platform signals to your team that their job satisfaction and happiness is important. The right platform can build camaraderie, making your team feel connected and important whether they’re in an office or on a work site.
Build stronger relationships among your team. Encourage collaboration. Increase productivity. And ultimately, keep employee ghosting at bay. To see how hubEngage can dramatically impact your employee engagement, schedule a demo today.