Lead With Inclusion

It’s turnover season: Are you prepared?

January 17, 2024

Remember last week when I mentioned that January is a notorious time for turnover?

Well, welcome to January. Now that the holidays are over, we’re entering into a new season: turnover season.

Recruiters know this trend well, so it should come as no surprise. There’s something about the end of the year that gets people in a contemplative mood. The year begins to wind down and we feel compelled to ask ourselves all these existential questions: what was this year like, and how can I make next year better? What are my New Year’s resolutions? ‘Tis the season for reflecting on the year that has passed (the good, the bad and the ugly), and putting one’s proverbial foot down – I’m not putting up with this anymore.

But no one wants to leave their job in November or December, for a number of reasons. There’s just too much going on. People are waiting on their end of year bonuses, using their well-earned vacation time, or planning (and paying) for holiday gifts, travel, meals and the like. It’s not an ideal time to look for another job.

But once January rolls around, all of that changes. All of a sudden, folks are ready to act on all that existential contemplation that they did in December. And organizations need to be prepared for this. As an organizational leader, as a recruiter, and as an individual, how do we navigate this tumultuous time period? Allow me to share some recommendations:

Be an Inclusive Leader

Here’s a hard question for leaders to ask themselves: do you genuinely believe that your team members will want to stay on with you for another year?If yes, that’s fantastic. If no, let’s work on that. And if you don’t know, well…we’ve got another problem on our hands. This may be controversial, but leaders often like to pretend to be clueless about the cultural issues on their team, and then act shocked when employees “all of a sudden” start leaving the company.

More often than not, leaders know that these issues exist. They just don’t want to acknowledge them. But if you genuinely don’t know what your employees are saying about you, there are ways to ask. For example, if you’re not utilizing your 1-on-1 conversations with your team members to open up the lines of communication and have a two way conversation, again, that’s a problem. Start with self-awareness first, and then create spaces where your team members can candidly share their perspectives. When next January hits and it’s turnover season again, you’ll be glad you did.

Lead With Inclusion

At the individual level, this is a great time to think about how you’re leading your own career with inclusion. Like I said last week, if you’re working at an organization where you don’t feel a sense of inclusion or belonging, how can you change that?

And I know what you’re thinking. Stacey, I can’t just up and leave my job. I have bills to pay. You’re right, and I wouldn’t expect you to. But what you can start to do is plan. Don’t just jump straight from the frying pan into the fire. Even if you can’t do much about where you are right now, you can make sure you don’t repeat the same mistakes. What is it that you need in order to want to stay with an organization? What are you missing from your current position or current company, and what are you going to do to make sure that you get it in your next one? So often, we tend to put the blame on the company (and rightfully so) for not creating inclusive spaces, but there can also be an element of taking accountability for oneself here. This is where it becomes incredibly important to participate in things like Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), to find a mentor if you don’t have one already, and to just generally connect with people outside of ourselves. There’s a network of folks out there that you can utilize to help with these decisions you make within your career – you’ve just got to tap into it.

On the recruitment side of things, it’s about understanding these trends and developing strategies to manage them. Recruiters: what trends have you noticed when it comes to turnover? What other patterns have you seen? How do you typically manage this uptick as a recruiter in January? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. If you’re looking for a place where you can connect with and learn from other recruiters across multiple industries, then head on over to our recruiter discussion board. It’s the place to be if you’re a talent acquisition professional looking to network in your field, engage in collective learning, and share best practices with other professionals in the recruitment space. Learn more and start chatting here.

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