You’re probably familiar with the term “ghosting.” These days, the term describes an instance where someone you’re dating (or in a relationship with) just disappears. They just stop responding to messages, seemingly out of nowhere. It’s as if they vanish into thin air, like Casper.
Apparently, this term is not exclusive to dating. Unfortunately, employers also experience “employee ghosting.” Perhaps you might even have experienced it already.
Otherwise, here’s a guide on what it is, why employees do it, and most importantly, what you can do to prevent it from happening.
What is Employee Ghosting?
Ghosting usually happens before you’re even aware of it. Therefore, it’s easy to assume that nothing is going wrong.
Think about that candidate who accepted your offer, but didn’t show up anymore. Or how about that new hire who reported for a week but went AWOL by Monday? Worse still, how about that loyal employee who left without so much as a goodbye?
If you’ve gone through similar experiences, then congratulations. You’ve officially been ghosted by an employee. It can be really frustrating, especially when you haven’t got enough manpower as it is.
So, before we talk about how you can prevent it from happening, let’s talk about why it happens.
Why Do Employees Do It?
There are many reasons why workers ghost their employers. Here are some of the most common explanations.
Lack of Professionalism
Guess what? It’s not always your fault when an employee ghosts you. Sometimes, they simply lack professionalism. So, when things get difficult, they just up and leave rather than giving due notice or raising their concerns properly.
So, while employee ghosting can make you question your leadership, don’t be too hard on yourself. As they say in dating, it’s not you. It’s them. Move on to someone more deserving.
An Uncomfortable or Unsafe Working Environment
However, management problems CAN lead to employee ghosting. For example, did the employee in question have a misunderstanding with one of your team leaders? Did a heated exchange follow as a result?
Worse still, is there some form of bullying going on in your company workplace? Do some of your employees or team leaders behave in ways that might make others feel unsafe or discriminated against?
Remember, apart from paying a fair wage, it’s also an employer’s duty to provide a safe working environment. It’s always a good idea to start investigating here if you’ve been having too many employee ghosting incidents.
Lack of Understanding About the Hiring Process
Many employees have no idea about how difficult it can be to find qualified candidates. While there are usually many applicants, it still takes a lot of time (and resources) to sift through CV’s, schedule and facilitate interviews, and to onboard a direct hire.
But most employees don’t know this, so they think you can easily replace them should they do a runner.
High Levels of Dissatisfaction or Resentment
Job satisfaction is very important for an employee. While it’s impossible for any of us to be 100% satisfied with our jobs ALL the time, being constantly dissatisfied doesn’t help matters either.
It’s normal to dread going to work occasionally. But feeling stuck or ignored most of the time is a different story, so it’s important to check in with your employees every once in a while to see how they’re doing.
How Can I Prevent Ghosting?
Now let’s tackle the most important part of this conversation: how to prevent your employees from ghosting you.
Look for Warning Signs
Sometimes, there are clear warning signs you can look out for. For example, does the employee appear removed or disinterested during discussions? Do they seem uneasy whenever you discuss long-term projects? Are they experiencing major life changes?
By paying just a bit of attention, you’ll be better equipped to tell if someone’s about to bolt…and whether you can (or should) talk them out of it.
Reward Excellence AND Loyalty
Commissions and incentives really go a long way. Employees who feel valued and appreciated tend to go the extra mile. Imagine if they got rewards for staying?
Of course, seniority should never be the sole basis for rewards, but incentivising loyalty along with excellence won’t just minimise employee ghosting incidents. They can also inspire
new hires to strive to perform better and to stay on.
Incorporate A Two-Weeks’ Notice Clause Into Employment Contracts
It’s never easy when an employee leaves, all the more so if they ghost you. For one, you’ll be shorthanded and your remaining employees will have to pick up the slack.
This is where a two-weeks’ notice clause comes in. Make sure to include one in your employment contracts so your employees are legally obliged NOT to ghost you.
Sure, this still isn’t a surefire way to prevent ghosting, but when faced with possible legal consequences, such as a breach of contract, even the most skittish would-be ghoster would think twice.
Finding and keeping good employees is always an advantage. Hence, hiring skilled and loyal professionals from the start is crucial. Fortunately, you’re on the right platform.
Remote Staff has been actively helping Australian entrepreneurs like you expand their businesses with talented remote workers from the Philippines since 2007. Best of all, we assist with onboarding and with resolving any issues that may interfere with a long and smooth working relationship. So if you’re tired of having to keep finding and hiring new candidates that don’t stick around, we’ve got you covered.