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Employee Ghosting: What Is It and How Do You Put an End to It?

How can businesses put an end to employee ghosting?

To help you eliminate employee ghosting in your organization, we asked HR managers and business leaders this question for their best ideas. From having a respectful workplace to working continually to enhance employee engagement, there are several ways you could put an end to, or at least prevent employee ghosting in your organization.

Here are nine ways these leaders are striving to put an end to employees ghosting in their organizations:

  • Have a Respectful Workplace

  • Set Reasonable Achievable Goals for the Team and Communicate Your Expectations Clearly

  • Address the Possibility of Employee Ghosting in Your Employment Contract

  • Create a Feedback System That Encourages Anonymity

  • Ensure HR Engages Candidates and Employees Through Regular Communication

  • Provide an Accurate Picture of the Job When Hiring

  • Make Employees Feel Valued and Connected to the Company

  • Pay Wages That Are Fair

  • Work Continually to Enhance Employee Engagement

Have a Respectful Workplace

Create a respectful environment for employees. While there are many reasons why an employee might ghost, the most common are concerns about how an employer will react or a belief that they will be guilted into staying. If you create a welcoming environment for new hires and ensure that your management is respectful, you will cut down on this practice. You can never guarantee that every new hire will stay onboard, but ghosting doesn't have to be part of your hiring process.

Set Reasonable Achievable Goals for the Team and Communicate Your Expectations Clearly

Communication, communication, communication. Drilling down, the type of communication is most important. Are you communicating your expectations to your team? Have you set reasonable, achievable goals that will lead to professional growth? Do you have weekly team meetings that foster employee participation? Do you have a confidential, anonymous process for employees to report misconduct? Have you considered spending time with your team outside of the office: a fun event like bowling? While answering a question with more questions can be unhelpful, here, these are key considerations to prevent employee ghosting.

Address the Possibility of Employee Ghosting in Your Employment Contract

Employee ghosting occurs for two reasons: one, the employee is unaware of any such rule where they are required to communicate regularly with their seniors while working for a company, or two, the employee deliberately chooses to cut communication despite being aware of such a rule. In both circumstances, a rock-solid employment contract proves to be the best solution. With the regulations regarding employee ghosting on paper, the employee and employer remain aware of their duties and rights related to employee ghosting and can take steps accordingly. Only the failure to address the possibility of ghosting in an employment contract leaves room for ambiguity.

Riley Beam, Managing Attorney, Douglas R. Beam, P.A.

Create a Feedback System That Encourages Anonymity

The majority of employee ghosting happens for a reason. If you've got employees who may be apprehensive of coming to management with an issue, they may choose to vanish rather than facing up to a situation. One way to deal with this is to create a strong feedback system, where employees can communicate with their company anonymously. Your HR department can help put in place a system where employees can notify management of an issue and rest assured that their reasons remain confidential. This isn't only about addressing work related issues either. There are plenty of private life issues that employees may not feel comfortable with having spread around. If they don't trust their management to keep things quiet, employees may choose to ghost during a difficult time, rather than potentially coming back to a job that has aired their business to the world.

Boye Fajinmi, Co-Founder and President, TheFutureParty

Ensure HR Engages Candidates and Employees Through Regular Communication

Employee ghosting needs to start with HR. They always say "don't do to someone what you wouldn't want done to you." This exact quote applies to ghosting as well. HR departments need to ensure they're communicating with applicants every step of the way, regardless if they're getting the job or not. This keeps communication and participation a two-way street.

Provide an Accurate Picture of the Job When Hiring

Job candidates tell me that a big reason they ghost employers is that they find out the role is not what was presented to them during the interview. Just like some candidates lie in their resumes, some employers can oversell a role or leave out details that a candidate deems important. Employers may oversell to fill the role quickly or to attract top talent. But, in the end, this strategy is short-lived, and candidates who realize that they've been short-changed will leave. To avoid ghosting, which can happen at any stage of the recruitment process, take the time to create comprehensive job descriptions that give candidates a clear picture of what the job entails. During the interview phase, answer the candidate's questions accurately, emphasizing the responsibilities and demands of the role. It is indeed possible to sell a role without misleading the candidate. This behavior can hurt your employer reputation making it hard to attract talent to your organization.

Make Employees Feel Valued and Connected to the Company

Employee ghosting seems to be happening more and more these days. It can be difficult to keep track of all employees and their work schedules if you have a big business, but make sure your managers are looking out for employees. Each of our departments has a weekly meeting where the manager holds an open floor for everyone to discuss topics of work and if they are satisfied with current practices. It's a great way for employees to speak freely without fear to state how things could be better. They feel heard and they feel valued when you seek out their opinion. These meetings also build bonds between employees. At the end of every meeting, our managers ask a personal question like "What is your favorite breakfast" or "What's your favorite burger" this eases tension and helps team building. When employees feel valued and connected to a company, they are much less likely to start ghosting their job.

Pay Wages That Are Fair

Employees often walk away from jobs because they feel they are not treated fairly and that includes getting paid a living wage. At our company, we strive to offer fair pay and benefits to all employees, not just those who deserve it. When we treat our employees equally and offer fair yet competitive salaries, they are less likely to ghost their job duties and may even be encouraged to do more for a workplace that gives them a decent quality of life.

Work Continually to Enhance Employee Engagement

Engaged workers, in my opinion, are less inclined to desert their jobs. The effort doesn't stop once the candidates accept the job offer; rather, it continues. Similar to the dating world, employees who are devoted to the working relationship will be more inclined to contact their boss if they are having any doubts. To keep their employees happy at work, employers must always strive to improve the employee experience and overall employee engagement.

Nely Mihaylova, Content Executive, Scooter Guide