Should HR try to dissuade an employee after giving two weeks' notice?

Chief Innovation Officer at California tech firm shares his thoughts

Should HR try to dissuade an employee after giving two weeks' notice?

HR leaders have certainly received their fair share of two weeks’ notices during the Great Resignation.

More than 4.4 million Americans quit their job in April, following similar amounts in March and February, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That means nearly 70 million Americans have left their positions over the past year. The historic exodus is a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has prompted people to re-evaluate their priorities in life. Workers want higher salaries, better conditions, greater work/life balance and more opportunities to advance their career.

Watch: Employee appreciation: How to make your team feel valued

But companies can’t just leave the door open, right? Shouldn’t HR leaders try to dissuade employees from leaving? Well, if you attempt it during the exit interview, it’s already too late, according to Chris Pope, chief innovation officer at California tech firm NewRocket.

“There's a lot of statements made around people don't leave great companies – they leave poor managers,” Pope told HRD. “So, there's some element there around responsibility as a manager of being in tune with your people. You have to truly understand the motives for leaving. If it’s financial, we get that. There's always going to be somebody else somewhere else offering more money. But what if it’s something else, something more work-related, like the team, culture or lack of sense of belonging?”

Obviously, there’s no quick fix when it comes to improving company culture. But if that’s indeed the reason an employee is leaving, HR leaders and senior leadership should accept that as a red flag that work needs to be done to avoid other employees from jumping ship.

“We were recently trying to hire a candidate,” Pope says. “She got countered by the incumbent and then she went dark. She didn't give us any reason, any background, any feedback as to why she no longer wanted to accept the position with us. I feel a little bit wounded by that because I had an opportunity to get feedback from a candidate. Were we too slow? Was something not right? If you can truly understand what that looks like, it means you hopefully can avoid it in the future.”

In this episode of HRD TV, Pope goes further in depth of how to show employee appreciation to improve retention in your company.

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