I quit, employee turnover, Ira wolfe

Workers are walking out on the job. 

Here’s how to avoid employee turnover and becoming another headline.

This article was previously published in The Business Journals and included comments from Ira S Wolfe, President of Success Performance Solutions and author of Perfect Labor Storm and Recruiting in the Age of Googlization.

Fed up workers are simply walking out — and making big headlines.

The labor shortage that has gripped small businesses has not just been a behind-the-scenes affair of pay raises and hiring bonuses. It has also taken on a public face in the increasingly digital age, as workers fed up with what they say were bad conditions or poor pay simply get up and leave during their shifts, often leaving the store empty.

Employees at a Nebraska-based Family Dollar walked out of work, leaving a sign that simply said “We all quit. Sorry for the inconvenience.”


Ira Wolfe, president at Success Performance Solutions, has researched and written about many workforce trends over the past 20 years and has written a book on recruiting in the age of “googlization” and agrees on talking to your employees. He suggested conducting “stay interviews” asking employees what they do and don’t like about the job and what would keep them.

Perhaps most importantly, pay them a fair wage, not just a few cents or dollars over the minimum wage, Wolfe said. It’s not just your industry anymore competing for workers, and employees might not leave for a competitor, they might leave for a new industry that is willing to pay more — such as Amazon.

It’s also time to be flexible. If it’s harder to fill one full-time job, consider if it can be done by two part-time workers. It might be time to offer remote work to those employees who can do the job from home, Wolfe said. Also pay close attention to your managers who can see how employees are performing and will understand better the situation on the ground.

“The answer is simple — treat people fairly and with dignity. Making it happen will take some effort, resources, and mindset shift,” Wolfe said. “The bottom line is that recruiting, retaining, managing and engaging is not a game for amateurs anymore.”