Quitting in Place: The High Price of Poor Employee Experience

iStock 1192719024

If you’re involved in hiring, especially a human resource (HR) executive or talent acquisition (TA) professional, you may be familiar with the term “quitting in place,” and the effects it has on business performance.

In this article, we explain what quitting in place is, offer three reasons it occurs and what you can do to improve your employee experience (EX) and increase employee satisfaction for the long term. Doing so will increase employee retention and ultimately decrease the number of employees quitting in place at your company.

What is quitting in place?

Quitting in place occurs when employees disengage and lose interest in their jobs but don’t resign — at least not right away.

These employees no longer feel compelled to contribute positively, which leads them to decrease their productivity. This, in turn, causes the productivity of the whole department or company to decline and can cause the company to face losses and other issues. This disengagement does eventually lead to resignation. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 47.8 million workers quit their jobs in 2021.

Employees become disenchanted for various reasons, and we look at three of the main ones in this article. The good news is that recognizing these issues and using effective solutions can help you retain employees, encourage internal mobility, recruit suitable candidates and lead your company to success.

A Lot Of Work Concept. Portrait of tired female freelancer sleeping at workplace with stickers on eyes, sitting at table over purple studio background. Distracted woman at home office

3 causes of quitting in place and their solutions

Here are the three issues that cause poor employee experience (EX), which leads to quitting in place, and the steps that business leaders, HR executives and TA pros can collectively take to minimize its occurrence.

Limited recognition

As an HR team member, you might have abundant PTO, flexible work weeks and other benefits to offer as employee incentives. What you might not realize is these benefits are not necessarily what is most important for employees.

If you want to foster a positive employee experience, focus on recognition and appreciation. Employees want to see themselves as valued, not as a mere cog in the overall system. Workers applauded for their efforts are more likely to stay with the company than those that do not receive individualized recognition.

The solution

  • Offer unique, personalized rewards to establish a sense of belonging.
  • Allow employees to customize their workspace for every milestone they achieve to enable a better EX.
  • Publicly applaud an employee’s efforts.

Related link: Career pathing is obsolete. Career portfolio is the future

Lack of healthy company culture 

Since employees spend nearly 90,000 hours at work in their lifetime, there needs to be healthy and respectful relationships between colleagues. Poor or toxic relationships between coworkers lead to isolation, reduce the motivation to work and create poor EX.

Healthy company culture is not restricted to co-workers only; it also applies to the relationships between employees, HR and other senior members. Failure to cultivate a welcoming, inclusive and collaborative company culture and working environment can lead poor employee engagement, ultimately hindering business outcomes.

The solution

  • Organize events and other opportunities for employees to interact socially.
  • Use surveys (they can be anonymous if preferred) to understand employee concerns.
  • Encourage colleague interactions regardless of position or role.
  • Train company leaders to help create a just and healthy work environment.
  • Create an environment that welcomes employee input.
  • Use MojoHire’s anonymization feature to match both internal and external candidates to open reqs based exclusively on the objective facts around their qualifications, without regard for characteristics that risk triggering bias such as name, gender or age.

Removing bias from your recruiting practices will help foster a more inclusive workplace and boost EX.

Poor internal mobility

Poor internal mobility often occurs because HR executives fail to adapt to modern technology or only promote a linear career path. In other words, employees leave their company because they are unable to move (either vertically or horizontally) to a different position, do not know how to apply to open positions in their company due to a lack of internal infrastructure, or cannot determine if they are qualified for a different position. Research from Glassdoor shows that 73% of employees change companies in order to advance in their careers. A lack of internal mobility can be a major factor in declining EX and a major reason why employees leave.

At the same time, most TA professionals are unaware of the qualifications of the employees inside their organization. As a result, most of their time is spent recruiting outside the company. These issues prevent the company from being able to foster, grow and take advantage of talent already present within the workplace.

HR executives and TA members need to work together to make internal positions accessible for all employees, deduce which existing employees can be trained and adapt to another demanding job role and how they can achieve this without always jumping to external recruitment.

The solution

  • Offer training programs.
  • Hold meetings, conduct surveys and offer seminars that help employees understand their options within your company.
  • Use an AI tool like MojoHire to match internal candidates (including employees, contingent workers and freelancers) to opportunities, as well as to gain data-driven insights into what training they require to continue growing at the company. Related link: Talent acquisition and internal mobility combine: Is your team prepared?

Conclusion

Employee experience goes hand in hand with company performance. Creating an inclusive and collaborative culture, promoting internal mobility and using AI-enabled technology like MojoHire will support your business goals by keeping employees motivated and engaged.