Are You Losing Good Employees to FOMO?
For those of you who aren’t “down” with the short texting phrase: FOMO, it means, “Fear Of Missing Out.” Friends often accuse other friends of having FOMO when they are the type who always has to be included and involved in everything everyone else does so they don’t “miss” any fun experiences.
Let’s face it, no one wants to be told, “You had to be there” when everyone in the room is laughing about something that doesn’t make any sense to you.
Just as in social settings, FOMO is a real issue impacting the turnover in your organization. No, I’m not talking about employees missing our on some of the water-cooler-gossip sessions, I’m talking about an employee’s fear that by staying with your company, they are missing out on better opportunities. When an employee comes down with a strong case of FOMO, they are bound to look around at other companies and jump at the next job opportunity that has the potential to be more rewarding.
Realities of employees leaving due to FOMO:
- Will another company offer more advancement opportunities?
- Will another company value my input and experience more?
- Will my resume be less attractive if I hold the same job for a few more years?
- The job market is hot right now. If I don’t take a new job now, will it be tougher to find a job next year?
- Will another company recognize me more for my achievements?
- Will a new job better help me achieve my personal goals and aspirations?
- Will another manager be more caring and empathetic?
- Will another company give me more opportunities to be involved in meaningful causes?
- Will a new company offer me a better work-life balance?
- Will I be more comfortable with another company’s culture?
The good news is that you can actually use FOMO to your advantage. Instead of worrying so much about all the reasons an employee might want to leave your organization, make the changes to your organization that make employees fear they will miss out if the leave.
If you don’t want your employees to leave, you’ve got to develop the kind of FOMO where current employees feel they would miss out if they leave. Develop a company that attracts external employees who have FOMO because they aren’t working for you yet.
So, how can you create a company that ensures FOMO is keeping your employees from leaving as opposed to making them want to jump ship? I refer to of one of my favorite quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson: (*Note – I took the liberty of changing “person” to “company” to better drive home my point)
“The only [company] you are destined to become is the [company] you decide to be.”Emerson (sort of)
If you decide to use FOMO to your advantage, you need to implement process to ensure many of the following statements are going through your employee’s heads:
- I will miss out on advancement opportunities if I leave.
- Another company could never value my input and experience more than now.
- My resume will not look as appealing if I leave and miss out on all this training and experience.
- The job market is hot right now but it would be very tough to find a job as good as this.
- It feels so good to be recognized for my significant contributions.
- I’m happy to have a company that supports me as I work towards my personal goals and aspirations.
- I’ve never had a manager this caring and empathetic.
- I enjoy contributing with my company to causes I care about.
- I couldn’t ask for a better work-life balance.
- Our company has the best culture on earth!
If you can build this sort of “I love my job” FOMO, you’ll never have to worry about excessive turnover again. You’ll also have a steady stream of candidates who don’t want to be caught on the outside of your company whose employees all say, “You’d have to work here to understand.”
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