3 ways to avoid the silent departure of your Gen Z employees

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Articles about silent quitting (when employees stop hustling and do the bare minimum required for a job) have been popping up in my LinkedIn feed all over the past week. After reading these articles, I realized that silent shutdown is just a catchy name for Gen Z employees who have become disengaged and disappointed at work.

Gallup and other management thought leaders have been talking about disengaged employees for decades (employees who simply go to work for a paycheck, not for impact or purpose). Being committed to work feels like time stands still and you love what you do for a living. You draw energy from your work because it is meaningful and inherently fulfilling.

This article will discuss ways to get your Gen Zers to say TGI Friday (TGIF) to TGI Monday (TGIM) – for example, paying your best employees more, providing training for your new leaders, and creating a culture of goodness. -being and support. for your employees. Below are three ways I’ve helped my clients create a more engaged Gen Z workforce and avoid quitting before it’s too late:

Related: 8 Ways to Prevent Your Employees from Quietly Leaving You

1. Examine the Gen Z compensation structure

In July 2022, inflation was 8.5%, which was tough for Gen Z (and all Americans) early in their careers. Eventually, the silent surrender will be the ultimate resignation, which we have seen throughout the pandemic. Examine the compensation structure of your Gen Zers to see if it is competitive in your industry. Also analyze the cost of turnover (between half and double an employee’s annual salary) for each employee. If your Gen Zer makes $50,000 a year, it could cost you anywhere from $25,000 to $100,000 if he leaves you (leave your company). Our study found that many Gen Zers had to get a side gig during the pandemic just to make ends meet — and that they would quit that side gig if their main employer paid them more.

Here are some steps to review your compensation structure and employee ROI:

  • Listen to your HR managers and give them the resources to fund a compensation study.

  • Calculate the turnover cost for each employee. Is it possible to pay more for them compared to the cost of losing them?

  • Create metrics to measure employee performance. By doing this, you will be able to reward your top performers. Is there a pay gap between men and women? Gen Z and Millennials talk to each other about salaries, so this will most likely come up again.

  • What other benefits can you offer your Gen Zers that aren’t expensive? Some good starting points include flexible hours, telecommuting, special projects, job rotation programs, and tuition reimbursement/reimbursement.

As a business owner, I know firsthand that labor is one of the biggest costs of running a business. But it’s very difficult to sustain and grow your business without the right people on the bus.

2. Train your leaders

Did you know that nearly 60% of managers have not received training when transitioning into their first leadership role and that 50% of organizational managers are deemed ineffective?

No wonder the Gen Zers are quietly quitting. All generations have been part of the Great Resignation and 40% of workers are considering quitting their jobs. Silent abandonment is a symptom of inadequate leadership.

Gallup found that managers account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores. People leave bosses, not companies. These statistics are hard to believe, but having worked for large organizations, I am not surprised. I’ve seen people get promoted because they were the best technically. Or they played office politics but didn’t care about the interpersonal aspect of the job. But organizations don’t always promote people based on their ability to connect and motivate their teams. It is not a problem for technicians to be promoted to a management position because they are the best sales people or engineers. Organizations must train new leaders to succeed, not to fail. Some of the most common problems for new leaders are the inability to delegate, micromanaging their team, distrust, and the shift from me to us.

If your company’s training budget is small, try these tips for developing your new leaders:

  • Set up a mentoring program.
  • Promote leadership book clubs.
  • Give new leaders podcasts to listen to and discuss over lunch.
  • Offer tuition reimbursement (if your company is large enough).
  • Build a strengths-based culture starting with your leadership team and train all employees by investing in their strengths, not fixing weaknesses.

Related: Why You Need to Invest in a Leadership Development Program

3. Create a flexible and caring corporate culture

We’ve found that most Gen Zers want to work in a hybrid setting once the pandemic is over. Yet many organizations have brought full-time (or near-full-time) workers back into the office without explanation – or for reasons such as creating a sense of belonging and creativity.

Survey your employees to see what they want and make sure it aligns with your business goals. For example, if your team works in a lab, it may be difficult for them to work remotely every day. But they may be able to work remotely once a week to do paperwork or do calculations.

Next, Gen Z is the most depressed and anxious generation in the United States. As a college professor, I saw this firsthand. Organizations that want to attract, retain and avoid silently quitting smoking need to prioritize mental well-being and make it a core part of their corporate culture.

Here are some ways to support mental well-being at work:

  • Offer therapy and counseling through insurance

  • Invest in mindfulness apps like Calm or Headspace

  • Leaders are vulnerable and talk about mental well-being

  • Ask leaders to check in with their employees on how they are doing and what resources are available to them if they need help

  • Be flexible and compassionate (i.e., a great human being)

Silent shutdown is nothing new. But it’s a symptom that leaders and organizations that want to hire and keep top talent need to pay their employees more, train their leaders, and create a culture of mental wellness.

Related: Is Your Company Culture Leading to Happy Customers?

My message for Gen Zers or quiet quitters reading this article: I’m a fan of Stephen Covey seven habits book. I would advise you to be proactive and start looking for a new boss/organization whose values ​​align with yours and who cares about you as a person. Quitting quietly is unfair to you (and your employer) because it wastes your time and theirs. We all deserve to be happy and passionate about what we do, but it’s up to us as individuals to find it.

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