One thing we’ve all noticed as HR Consultants here at Redwing Solutions is the increasing numbers of employees who, rather than talk to their employer about an issue, choose to vote with their feet.
It’s led us to ask this question, “Are people letting actions speak louder than words?”
So far this year we have had three examples of this:
- Employee got up and left the staff room and hasn’t been seen or heard from since. No response from next of kin.
- Employee who left to fetch something at lunchtime on 31st January has emailed her resignation on 17th February.
- Employee who left following a first aid incident and has resigned by email the following day.
Now we feel there are several explanations for these reactions.
- Employees increasingly finding it difficult to have challenging conversations.
- Increasing numbers of employees are struggling with mental health due to the impact of the pandemic.
- Employers might not be reading the signs that someone wants to say something as they are so busy and stressed themselves.
Let’s take each of these in turn. Now you will have all have heard me say that I feel that the art of speaking face to face is being lost and that Generation Z is least likely to be comfortable having a face to face conversation. I fear that employees are increasingly feeling that they cannot face the idea of discussing their thoughts on continued employment for fear of the reaction of the other party. As humans very small numbers of us take delight in letting someone down and therefore increasingly people are worried about saying those words out loud when a text or email will do the job. The problem with the non verbal method is the impersonal nature of the communication.
Mental Health assessments have undoubtedly been negatively impacted by the pandemic. Again a face to face appointment with your GP is an anathema around these parts. Telephone consultations can only do so much. I fear that people feel they can’t approach their GP and that they will not be heard if they do. As employers, we will all have to live with the immediate consequences of this. It’s one of the reasons we are big fans of Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs), so that your employees can reach out and speak to someone who will listen.
Finally, are we as employers making time to talk to our staff? Are we on top of our supervisions and reviews now that we are all suffering due to the difficulty in recruiting staff? It’s easy not to prioritise these conversations but they are now more important than ever. If your staff know they can talk to someone when an issue is small, perhaps we can avoid, people feeling that they can’t talk and need to take actions instead.
We hope you’ve found this piece thought provoking? What are your thoughts behind what we are seeing in society and employment? Are people letting actions speak louder than words? Agree or disagree, we’d love to hear from you, pop a comment below. If you need assistance with any aspect of managing employees please give us a call on 01527 909436.