If there’s anything that working from home has drastically changed, it’s the subtle dynamics of office politics and casual, informal surveillance. Previously, employers would know straight away if there had been a row between coworkers or if someone was badmouthing the new project.
While most office politics are normal and in good jest, having employees on-site made it easier for managers to observe the energetic trends.
With work from home in full effect, things are a whole lot different. Since most workplace chitchat occurs on WhatsApp chats or other social media platforms, employers aren’t exactly up to date with whatever’s going on with their employees.
And in that case, it’s slightly more challenging to know if anyone in your workforce is unhappy and possibly chatting with a recruiter about securing a new job. So how can you ever know for sure what’s going on behind the WFH screens? Here are some things you may want to consider:
The first step to avoiding unnecessary trouble is reviewing your workplace resignation policy. Even in onsite work situations, a resignation and contract termination policy elaborate on the what’s and why’s for an employee who wishes to contact recruiters. Usually, this includes a consultation with HR, a statement explaining the reason for new recruitment, and an estimated timeline of when the employee might leave the current job.
You may tweak these guidelines to suit offline work mode. For instance, you may monitor employee emails from their workplace email ID. You may also mandate employees to clearly update their profiles on the company’s online portal if they are considering a new role.
Furthermore, it is worth having a clear caveat in the employee’s contract detailing what they can and can’t discuss with external professionals.
Another way of finding out if your employees are planning to leave your office is to check the general buzz within the business community. What’s the general perception of your company in your business circle? Which companies are more talked about than yours? Is there any recent employee transfer that concerns your company?
This will give you an objective eye on how your employees feel about your company. You may also come across news of mass employee transfers from a recruiter every now and then!
Offsite HR Consultation
One major facility that employees don’t have quality access to in work from home situations is your company’s HR. When they are in the office, they can freely talk to HR consultants at the slightest shred of doubt about leaving the office. They may also reveal if they’re talking to any other recruiters in planned HR evaluations.
But with work from home, they’re completely cut off from any such services. They don’t get practical guidance, an ear to pour their thoughts in, a shoulder to cry on. As a result, they can only turn to themselves for advice, ergo, not the best advice every time!
To solve this problem, make sure your WFH employees have access to complete HR services. This way, you’ll know when the employees are considering a new job, and HR will be able to explain the context of such developments.
Working from home has also impacted how employees consider their salaries. On top of that, many companies have slashed salary packages of WFH employees mainly because there are no transport expenses included.
This is an understandable concern for employers. On the part of employees, though, this change hasn’t gone down very well. Network expenses, higher broadband speeds, device accessibility, and electric bills substitute for the transport expense for many employees. Although there may be a net gain in savings, a salary decrease can feel like a step backwards for many employees.
To make up for their loss, maybe your employees are getting in touch with recruiters who have better salaries to offer. While this doesn’t tell you if your employees are actually talking to recruiters, this still offers a pretty plausible explanation.
The last but the most fundamental aspect revolves around the employee’s own preference. Are they okay with working from home, or does it pose problems for them? If you decide to resume onsite work, is your employee going to be okay with it? In short, are they comfortable with their work mode?
Chances are, if they are unhappy with either onsite or WFH, they may consider another recruiter who offers the alternate work mode!
Satisfaction with WFH is an important factor that may or may not trigger talks with recruiters. Although you can’t put a stop to your employees’ activities, you can do your best to understand the causes and minimise the chances of your employees leaving the team!
Worried about your employees looking for better WFH opportunities? Read how to build a team that will never want to leave?
Author: Danny Main is a co-owner & Director at Responsum Global. He has over 15 years’ experience matching the top building services engineering talent with the best employers. He has over 100 written success stories. He’s active on LinkedIn, is a host on The Building Services Podcast, and a regular writer on The Building Services Blog. He loves football, talking properties and owns a cat that is bigger than his dog.