As employers navigate trends such as “quiet quitting”—a new term that has risen to the forefront of the employment landscape—new data reveals that many workers are “quick quitting.”
That is, in certain industries, workers are quitting their jobs before the one-year mark. The emergence of this trend demonstrates that workers in the United States are getting more comfortable leaving their jobs. With each job switch, most workers earn more money and gain a leg up on their peers who remain at an organization for long periods.
This article explores the trend of quick quitting and ways employers can improve employee retention.
The Growing Popularity of Quitting
“Quiet quitting” has been the latest workplace buzzword to go viral online, but new data reveals there may also be another phenomenon for employers to worry about as quick quitting becomes more popular among workers. So, what’s the difference? Quiet quitting is where workers only do what their job description entails without going above and beyond in their position. On the other hand, quick quitting is where workers outright leave their jobs quickly.
LinkedIn’s Workforce Report found that more workers in the United States are leaving their jobs after only being with an organization for a short time, and many are quitting in under one year. The report analyzed the short tenure rate (STR), the fraction of positions that end after being held for less than one year, and noticed an increase across industries over the last couple of years. Short tenures started to rise in August 2021 and peaked in March 2022, when the STR was up 9.7% year over year.
Some industries are seeing a more prevalent rise in quick quitting than others. Consider the following year-over-year changing STR rates for various industries in August:
- Technology, information and media: 10.48%
- Administrative and support service: 8.87%
- Financial services: 5.62%
- Professional services: 4.49%
- Transportation, logistics, supply chain and storage: 4.15%
- Manufacturing: 1.23%
- Construction: -1.12%
- Retail: -4.92%
- Hospitals and health care: -4.94%
These numbers show that, in general, workers are spending less time at jobs, particularly in white-collar industries. Skills for workers in those industries are currently in demand and often well compensated for, so there’s a sense of leverage for those workers looking to make a switch. For other industries, that isn’t the case, and that’s reflected by a lower STR.
In general, today’s workers want to find a job that pays more, is more fulfilling or offers flexibility. Workers have had time to reflect on their jobs and consider opportunities with a fresh perspective, and they aren’t afraid to leave right away if the job isn’t what they expected.
An employee’s first 90 days on the job have traditionally been the most important ones for retention, and they are even more critical amid the emerging trend of quick quitting. If employers aren’t making a good first impression or the work environment isn’t living up to expectations, employees may be quick to leave the organization. To increase employee retention, especially during a worker’s first year, employers can consider the following tips:
- Ensure structured onboarding and orientation processes. It’s vital to help new hires understand that what they do matters to the organization and their performance will make a difference. Keep all aspects as consistent as possible. Understandably, onboarding may vary by role, team or department, but overarching themes are critical to success.
- Start onboarding before an employee’s first day. Start with a solid first impression, and contact new hires before their first official day. This communication could focus on formal HR paperwork or start introductions to the worker’s new team. A personalized introduction can help employees feel welcomed, so managers should gather those details early on.
- Commit to continuous onboarding. HR professionals and hiring managers can plan out a new hire’s career, complete with milestones and accomplishments. As conversations evolve, employees can also take accountability for their career path plan and provide feedback on what they’d like to accomplish and contribute to the team. Collaboration is key.
- Reimagine company culture. Just as workers are reconsidering what they want for work and from an employer, an organization can reevaluate its goals and what kind of employer they want to be. Company culture can be an organization’s best protection against losing employees and offer a leg up on attracting new employees. There is usually a gap between organizational leadership and what employees experience, so there’s a need to keep it aspirational but realistic.
- Engage employees regularly through communication and collaboration. Employee engagement can be driven by company culture, internal communication, managerial styles and trust in a company’s leadership, goals and vision. Employees are more likely to stay at organizations where they are encouraged to grow in their careers and feel their work is valued, appreciated and nurtured.
- Recognize employees. A formal reward or recognition program is a simple but effective way to express to employees that they are doing a good job. Alternatively, informal recognition is just as valuable. Giving a shout-out to an employee who went above and beyond or shooting them a quick thank-you message can go a long way. Employees who feel they’re good at their job are less likely to leave it.
- Invest in career growth. With many workers reevaluating their career goals and paths, employers can invest in workers by expanding learning and development opportunities. Employers can enhance their staffing and worker skill levels by offering employees a chance to enrich their careers via upward mobility. Forward-thinking organizations will plan to recruit and retain employees for the skills needed today and in the future.
- Focus on good management strategies. Effective management is essential to having efficient, happy employees, so it is important to focus on managers’ techniques. Provide resources to managers about effective strategies and meet with them to discuss ways they can improve. Further, consider conducting skip reviews, where employees talk with their manager’s manager to discuss feedback or concerns they may have. This will allow the manager to receive helpful feedback that can be mutually beneficial and improve their employees’ experiences.
- Conduct “stay interviews.” Unlike exit interviews, stay interviews can help shed light on why employees stay at an organization. This can help leaders and managers gauge employee engagement and potentially uncover what further steps should be taken to improve employee retention.
- Foster a sense of belonging in the workplace. Social belonging is a fundamental human need—one that naturally extends to the workplace. The goal is to build trust and respect while welcoming new hires to the team. The more welcome employees feel, the more likely they will stick around.
Ultimately, many workers want to find a job that offers meaning and purpose as well as compensation that appropriately matches their talents and experience. If a new job doesn’t meet the worker’s expectations, they aren’t afraid to quit quickly to find a better fit. Many workers are seeking more work-life balance and better quality use of their time.
An employee’s first few months are critical for retention, so employers should ensure they have structured processes in place and are bolstering employee communication and engagement. This matters even more as workers assess their new jobs quickly and feel confident enough to move on without making it a year at an organization.
For more information on workplace trends and employee retention, contact Sentinel Group today.