Original article was published on Artificial Intelligence on Medium
How to Stop Your Best Employee From Quitting
And you don’t need any sophisticated technology to do that.
Can you predict when your best employee is going to quit the job?
“The best time to get to an employee is before they go, and we can find out when they are going,” she said.
IBM has created a new AI system that can predict with 95% accuracy which workers are about to quit their jobs. It is called the “predictive attrition program” which was developed with IBM’s Watson system to predict employee flight risk and prescribe actions for managers to engage employees.
“It took time to convince company management it was accurate,” IBM CEO Gini Rometty said, but the AI has so far saved IBM nearly $300 million in retention costs, she claimed. Further, Rometty says that the AI system can zero in on an individual’s strengths. In turn, this can enable a manager to direct an employee to future opportunities they might not be aware of using traditional methods. This will also help employees to develop skills for the future and prevent getting redundant.
All this is wonderful. But it fails to answer a pertinent question.
Why do we need to run a sophisticated prediction analysis program on our own employees to gauge which ones are going to quit?
We are all humans after all. Do we need a machine to find out if we are unhappy? The short answer is no.
While AI will give the numbers and dates, it can never be a one-stop solution to address the inherent problem of an employee quitting the organization. In fact, it can aggravate the problem.
And here are my two cents on it.
You don’t need AI or any other technology to spy on employees
Do you understand the reasons why employees quit your company? You should. If you know why they leave, you’ll know what needs to be fixed to prevent it from happening in the future.
There are a number of common reasons people quit their jobs. The first has to do with their boss or direct manager. As you’ve heard many times before, people don’t just quit a job, they quit their boss.
Beyond this, there are a number of other specific reasons people leave.
· Employees are not recognized for their contribution.
· Lack of communication
· No growth opportunities
· Bias or favoritism
· Not mentally challenged
and so on…..
So as you can see, all the above issues are glaringly visible issues that do not need any system to be brought in the forefront. Too often, we insist employees check every single rung on the skills ladder. We wrongly believe that the only way for them to advance in their career is to be good at everything all the time.
But the truth is that you rarely find a candidate that matches 100% of your hiring criteria. This is a utopian dream which can never be realized. Instead, give your highest performers a chance to continue to excel at their strengths, and the tools they need to become an expert in their field. And If they find themselves getting bored, then you can work with them to find other skills they’d like to improve upon.
The key is keeping them engaged. Don’t let them be the one in five who report to you. Make them feel special and valued and it does not require a system to do that.