Faced with an unsatisfactory employment situation most people consider two options: quit, or voice their concerns and try to work through the problems. Creating an outlet for your team to express their frustrations materially improve retention. It also helps if you do something about the issues.

Most of us, at some time in our lives, have had jobs in which we felt unfulfilled. And those feelings affected the probability that we stay vs. quit. When compared to the quitting behavior of employees without an outlet to voice concerns, quitting was 20 percent lower in the group of employees that receive opportunities to voice concerns.

Research suggests that the effectiveness of voice intervention stems from its ability to mitigate disappointment. Researchers found similar results when they looked at attendance, which was used as a proxy for how hard employees are working in their job. For disappointed workers, voice intervention significantly reduced absenteeism.

These results are in line with the predictions of the voice-exit theory. In a context where turnover is high, and employees do not typically have many opportunities to communicate their concerns to management, providing employees with a voice can be a simple yet powerful way to keep them from quitting. The most sustainable solution to employee dissatisfaction is creating actual change, enabling employee's voices to have an instrumental role in improving their employment experiences.


Inspired by: Harvard Business Review - Want Fewer Employees to Quit? Listen to Them, by Achyuta Adhvaryu, Teresa Molina, and Anant Nyshadham