An employee leaving can have a profound effect on the workplace, with a decrease in morale and productivity being the most obvious. There are other implications too, like financial costs. It’s often underestimated but recruiting and training new staff is actually very expensive. Combined with the loss of institutional knowledge, errors by new employees and time spent by management teaching new staff, estimates suggest an hourly paid worker leaving a company costs the business on average $1,500, while a technical position costs 100 to 150% of the salary. Company profits take a hit with costs like that!
So, what can businesses do to stop the rot? As Richard Branson once said, ‘Clients do not come first, employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients’. Never has such a true thing been said and it matters now more than ever. Paying staff what they're worth is a good start, including extra benefits (like a bonus) is a real pleaser. Comfort and safety are also super important. If employees are working in a hazardous environment, whether it involves airborne particulates like Silica, or respiratory droplets from diseases like Covid 19, they need to be supplied and trained to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as loose-fitting respiratory protection.
These are people who have suffered long term health effects from lung diseases like Silicosis, contracted from their place of work years earlier.
Employers also reported nearly 3.2 million work-related injuries and illnesses in 2020. Understandably, according to the Worker Value Survey of 2020, half of all respondents said they will not work for a company if they don’t feel safe.
Times have changed, people understand workplace hazards more and there is real awareness now that hazardous substances might not hurt you today, or tomorrow, but they might kill you in 20 years' time. There are also more job opportunities now, so workers can be more selective about where they want to work. This all adds up to companies needing to focus more on safety, there are no excuses. If they don’t, the ‘Great Resignation’ will continue for many years to come.
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