Why Do Highly Capable Employees Leave?

Published on 27 May 2022

Capable Employees

Why Do Highly Capable Employees Leave?

The Great Resignation did not begin without cause, and employers cannot just attribute it to the COVID-19 outbreak. High-potential (HIPO) personnel have not been kept, despite the fact that remote work choices were overwhelmingly desired by workers (or any for that matter).

According to Microsoft, in 2021, "more than forty percent of the worldwide workforce considered quitting their employment," according to Microsoft. Why? Because the same criteria apply to keeping HIPO personnel whether they work in an office or elsewhere, it is not enough to just pay them more.

In this post, we will explore the reasons why workers decide to leave and what to do if a high-performing employee resigns. Then, we will examine how to engage top talent so that they choose to remain.

See Also: Guide to Building A Remote Global Team 

Why Do Employees with High Potential Leave?

It is common to believe that workers quit because they are overworked and underpaid. However, only a portion of this notion is accurate. There is much more to the story than hours worked and earnings. Therefore, let's explore these two assumptions, and then we'll cover a few additional global workforce trends that will assist explain why high-potential people quit their positions.

Employees Feel Overworked

SHRM stated in December 2020 that, among the workers that transitioned to working at home during the pandemic:

  • 70 percent were required to work on the weekends;
  • while 45 percent typically worked long hours during the week.

The Microsoft 2021 poll verifies these conclusions, as it reveals:

  • 54 percent of poll respondents worldwide felt overworked.
  • 39 percent feel fatigued
  • 20% "say their employer does not care about their work-life balance"

Why is overwork occurring more often today than in the past? For starters, meetings. The average meeting duration is now 10 minutes greater than it was formerly. Moreover, 62 percent of meetings and phone conversations are unplanned or ad hoc.

Another factor is conversations. Microsoft discovered that "the typical Teams user sent 45% more conversations per week and 42% more per person after hours." Despite this rise in workplace interactions, fifty percent of individuals continue to answer in less than five minutes.

Workers Are Underpaid

On the surface, it seems that employee compensation is in line with current trends. According to the Pew Research Center, despite the epidemic, pay growth remained steady for the majority of U.S. employees.

However, upon investigation, a new reality becomes apparent. For instance:

  • Lower-paid employees had more severe job losses, which prevented the average salary from decreasing.
  • In October 2021, the annual inflation rate in the United States reached 6.2%, the highest level in almost three decades, although wage growth may not have kept pace.
  • The median weekly earnings of women continue to be just 83,3 percent of those of White males.
  • The wages of Black males are barely 71.7% of those of White men.

The Workplace Is Evolving

As crucial as these results are in explaining why individuals quit, other upheavals in the world of work also play a role in high-potential employees seeking greener pastures.

  • There is a demand for HIPO talent all across the globe. With remote work choices, workers seeking a change in positions or a move to a firm that better meets their professional and personal objectives have access to many more career opportunities.
  • As a result, many employees, including those at HIPO, feel more alone at work. They seek more interesting professional ties (in addition to social ones) elsewhere.
  • There is often a discrepancy between the severe hours and standards that HIPO workers must fulfill and the more work freedom, better wages, and overall air of superiority that firm executives enjoy. The employees dislike the (actual or perceived) injustice and resign as a form of resistance against the culture.

What to Do Upon the Resignation of a High-Performing Employee

When a high-performing employee resigns, it is not sufficient to just wish them well and let them go. This is the moment to collect feedback, analyze data, and develop long-term relationships. Without this information and dedication, businesses cannot hope to reduce employee turnover.

Improve Your Offboarding Strategy

According to management experts in Harvard Business Review, ignoring the leaving process is a mistake.

The manner in which management handles departing workers reveals if the business lives up to its professed principles and ideals.

They urge that businesses see offboarding less as a termination of employment and more as graduation. Companies must aid in the job transition and prepare to leave workers for future success, as will be discussed in further detail in the next section.

Here are a few guidelines to consider when developing an offboarding strategy that benefits both businesses and departing employees:

  1. Establish and sustain confidence throughout the whole of the procedure, including the exit interview.
  2. Comply with all legal and compliance requirements.
  3. Align the process with corporate objectives and HR goals.
  4. Data should drive all change.
  5. Adopt a methodical and planned approach.
  6. Be kind, devoted, and adaptable.
  7. Move ahead with the knowledge gained.

Remember that not all retiring workers have the same requirements or the same desire for further participation. Leaving a job may be a very personal and emotional experience. In order to satisfy a variety of demands, it is imperative that HR handle each situation with the greatest discretion.

Maintain the Partnership

A common error made by companies is severing all contact with a departing HIPO employee. There's a good chance, though, that you're losing out on a networking connection that might benefit both sides in the future.

In addition, boomerang workers (rehired alumni) are gaining popularity as a strategic source of talent. In the most recent annual survey from PeoplePath, just over half of organizations say that up to five percent of their new recruits are returnees.

Here are some suggestions for keeping a positive rapport with HIPO talent:

  • Maintain alumni data, including contact information and current employment and job titles.
  • Maintain quarterly contact using an HR-integrated corporate alumni program that builds a network of departing HIPO personnel.
  • Offer to serve as a reference, and if they utilize you, make sure to follow up with them to let them know you've talked with their potential employer and to see if they're willing to return.

How to Motivate HIPO Personnel

The good news is that firms may engage their HIPO staff in order to keep them. Recently, you've likely heard a lot about the significance of employee engagement, and for good reason. It thrives among Millennials and Generation Z. As they are future corporate leaders, it is essential to prepare high-potential individuals for senior positions.

Also Read: US Schools Shift To 'Dismissal Apps' Amid Bus Driver Shortage

Here is how to motivate HIPO employees:

  1. Develop a plan for employee retention to identify areas in which you can enhance working conditions and effect positive change.
  2. Be upfront with information by offering access to meaningful data, such as the company's general performance or staff survey findings. This offers high-potential workers confidence that you listen to them and feel that their participation is significant.
  3. Provide visibility into business strategy. HIPOs must discover their purpose by understanding how their occupations contribute to the success of the organization.
  4. Establish mentoring programs and provide access to top leaders. This might strengthen employee loyalty to their employer.
  5. Provide possibilities for increased responsibility, professional growth, and progress. Enthusiastic, ambitious personnel want advancement and must be given the opportunity to demonstrate their worth.
  6. Display gratitude and appreciation both publicly and privately. It is always gratifying to have your efforts recognized.
  7. Assist them in finding their own professional path. Employees of a HIPO are more dedicated when they know where the organization is heading and how it will get there.


Featured image: Teamwork illustration vector created by pch.vector


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