Is it acceptable to quit your job shortly after you start?
The idea of “quiet quitting” has made headlines. The concept means that workers may stick around in a job but “quit” trying to get ahead or go above and beyond.
Data, however, shows another side of quitting trends. A new analysis from LinkedIn shows that more people are “quick quitting,” or deciding to leave their jobs shortly after being hired. The Short Tenure Rate has been growing for nearly a year, after staying relatively stable for a number of years.
The trend of quick quitting, or holding a job for less than a year, has grown in certain industries where jobs are more plentiful and workers in are in demand, including arts and recreation, tech and administrative services. At the same time, retention has stabilized in other fields that saw a lot of churn during the pandemic, including health and hospitals and retail.
There are certainly factors that pull workers away from their jobs in the short term, including a higher salary, more flexible hours, and the demand for talent. But from an organization’s standpoint, there are other reasons that can push workers out of a job early, including poor communications, a toxic environment or a lack of inspiration, and growth opportunity.
Quick quitting can be a big drain on resources, especially after going through all the work of interviewing, hiring, and training new workers. So it pays for organizations to take steps to make sure workers stay for the longer term. Here are ways that companies can stem the trend of quick quitting.
Take care of culture
“Find out what happens when people stop being polite… and start getting real.” That classic tagline from MTV’s “The Real World” can also describe the disconnect from interviewing for a job—when everyone is on their best behavior—and actually starting a job. What happens when a new employee sees the real culture of a company from the inside? If leaders don’t set out to deliberately shape the culture, the culture will take shape for them. The longer a company has been around and the bigger it becomes, the harder it becomes to make major shifts in the values, beliefs, and behaviors of the organization. Keeping someone satisfied in their role begins with a deliberate culture, long before the first interview.
Set clear expectations
A mismatch between expectations and reality is one of the easiest ways to disappoint someone. It’s also one of the easiest traps to fall into if we’re not intentional. Are people ever unclear about what’s expected of them? All the time. So a key to great leadership is keeping expectations and goals top of mind for people, as well as adjusting and redefining them as needs change. As leaders, we need to define expectations from day one.
Learn how to manage conflict
On a day-to-day basis, negativity can drive people away, including regular conflict between colleagues and managers. Conflict is normal and even expected in the workplace, and unfortunately, one of the most common shortcomings of a leader is the inability or unwillingness to resolve conflict. This is a critical skill area that needs to be developed and practiced as conflicts arise before the impact escalates. Avoidance almost always adversely affects the metrics related to retention, engagement, productivity, and profitability. This is why we have training and workshops around the idea of resolving conflict. We want to help leaders move from avoidance or mishandling of conflict to handling it productively, with confidence and with competence.
Of course, it benefits no one to stay around long term in a culture or role that isn’t a good fit—quitting may be the best solution in some situations. But before giving up, leaders should try to solve problems with tried and true techniques. There might be real solutions that prevent quick quitting, and set people up for long-term success.
At Living As A Leader, we offer a Leadership Development Series designed to produce leaders that can positively shape the cultural environment, reduce turnover and effectively support crucial business initiatives. We do this by providing training, coaching and consulting with a focus on pragmatic communication tools for leaders at all levels of your organization.
For more information, contact Aleta Norris at email@example.com or find a 15-minute slot on her calendar HERE.