Companies across the world are grappling with the ‘Great Resignation’. Burnout, a lack of flexible working options and issues with career development have been cited as the main causes of the employees quitting at record rates.
However, research by reskilling company mthree found that culture also has a major role to play – particularly for millennials and Gen Z. They want to work at companies that give them a purpose, share their values and allow them room to learn and grow.
mthree’s survey of 1,000 employees aged between 21 and 28 found that 50% saw culture as an important consideration when job hunting; 41% said it was the main consideration.
The research also found that 70% of younger workers regretted joining a company after discovering the reality of its culture.
Therefore, it is no surprise that more than one in four left a role within six months because of the culture, and almost one-third quit within one year. Another 26% stayed in a role that they were unhappy.
Employers are out of step on culture
The retention crisis, particularly of younger workers who take longer (and are more costly) to employ and train according to mthree, is having a knock-on effect on the experience of those left behind.
63% of 500 business leaders also surveyed by mthree said high turnover was having a negative impact on company culture. The major impacts were the development of toxic cultures (22%) and a reduction in employee engagement (21%); also high turnover pushed even more people to leave, including long-term talent (22%).
Despite this, companies are behind the times and not working to improve their employee experience, or emphasize their culture during the recruitment process.10% of business leaders said they were not promoting the company culture during the recruitment process at all.
Only 30% were putting information about the culture on all job adverts, and 31% were promoting culture on social media. 42% noted they spoke about culture at the interview stage, but just 34% noted that culture was part of the onboarding process.
mthree senior HR director Tom Seymour commented: “It’s clear from our research that effectively promoting company culture could help to attract potential employees, which is particularly important in the current unprecedently competitive recruitment landscape.
“However, we can also see that being up front and honest about an organization’s culture can also help to ensure that the right candidate is chosen for a role, which will naturally help to improve retention.
“Had these employees been given a more accurate picture of the organization and its values from the outset, they may have decided not to accept the role, which could instead have gone to someone who was a better fit and would have been happy to stay for a longer period.”
For companies that are still dealing with high turnover, an important thing to do is ensure that employees leave on good terms. Offboarding processes also enable employees to give honest feedback about why they are leaving, which companies can then act upon to avoid any further erosion of culture. Remember, knowledge is power for HR teams in this highly competitive war for talent.
In addition, employees who depart on good terms are more likely to speak highly of your company, even if it wasn’t the right fit for them (this is free advertising for your brand).
Burning bridges with departing employees is never the right move; if anything, taking that approach just proves the company has a lot of work to do on its culture.