Streetwise: Reduce Turnover in Two Easy Steps

May 24, 2021

From our friends at Eure Consulting:

It’s hard work managing people. In fact, there is nothing harder. Which is why this critical aspect of running a company demands your time, attention, and a company-wide culture that focuses on helping employees be productive.

To keep exceptional employees, your company has to not just say that your people are your greatest asset, you have to actually show that you value your people. If your company is experiencing a high level of employee turnover, it isn’t okay to dismiss it by thinking it is inevitable.

If you don’t stop employee turnover it will become your biggest source of lost profitability.

Losing an employee can cause a huge disruption to your company’s workflow. Not only do you lose productivity by having one less person working, but you also lose the knowledge they had of the role and the company. You, as the manager, lose time by having to stop what you’re doing and find someone new. And, perhaps most importantly, you lose morale. Every time someone leaves, whether they show it or not, your other employees’ morale and engagement take a hit.

Plus the cost of finding and hiring a new employee is growing every day. If instead, you can retain your key performers you’ll eliminate that cost as well as avoid the loss of productivity the vacancy would cause. Having a high retention rate and low turnover also attracts other star performers to your organization. Everyone wants to work somewhere where they know that they’ll be valued.

There are plenty of studies out there that prove that when organizations have engaged employees, when their employees enjoy what they do and respect and value the culture of the organization, productivity and profits improve. So making a commitment to creating an environment that draws in exceptional employees and keeps them over time is a strategic business approach that you can’t afford to ignore.

Managing people is the hardest job someone can have. And it is also the most critical.

Keeping exceptional employees is the only way your business can improve profits, productivity, and performance. Without people, your business is nothing. Your business is your people! And without engaged, capable, and productive people you would not have profits. Which is why the development, engagement, and management of people is the number one job for any leader.

The old adage is true, people don’t leave companies, they leave managers. Your managers have the most direct influence on your employees’ experience. The Boss From Hellstudy found that, in general, bad bosses leave their employees feeling frustrated, apathetic, and confused.

These bad bosses’ actions directly affect these employees’ daily lives and cause unnecessary stress and anxiety. Most respondents were willing to put up with the bad behavior of a boss for a short period, 2 years or less. And if they weren’t able to leave, many of the respondents started trying to avoid interacting with their bad boss altogether. Talk about a lack of productivity!

A bad boss creates a toxic environment that is deadly to success. And the problem is two-fold. Your highest performing and most productive employees will leave these toxic environments, moving somewhere that treats them better. But your less than productive employees will stay as they aren’t as valued in the employment market. So you’ll lose your top performers and keep your lowest performers, not the combination you want.

Employees are an invaluable asset to any company. And, if treated well, they can become long-term assets. However, employees in today’s workforce are more likely than ever to quit and find another job. It’s on you as their manager and leader to create an environment that is both engaging and fulfilling.

To cut down on turnover, meaning to keep the people that you want and need, remember two basic things about your teammates: They are people first and they want to be challenged.

First, your employees are people first and employees second. As such, you should treat them like human beings. Seems simple enough, but we often get focused on the tasks and not the people. Something as simple as asking someone how their weekend was can go a long way towards building a relationship and creating a bond. If your employees are more connected to you and to each other they are less likely to leave.

By treating your employees like the people that they are, they are more likely to trust you. When you can connect with them on a human level it shows them that you care. About them, about their family, about their goals in life. They’ll know that you respect and value them as an individual.

Second, your employees want to grow and improve. Make sure your teammates are being challenged. Understand their goals, wants, needs, and desires. Create a career ladder for everyone. Help them see how and where they can grow in their professional roles. Maybe you don’t have a lot of upward mobility at your company, but you can find different ways to help employees grow that don’t necessarily bring a new title.

Give them constructive feedback that shows them where they can improve. Praise them for their successes, but don’t shy away from helping them develop. Provide them with honest, but caring, feedback so that they can become their best self.

These two approaches work hand-in-hand. Once you’ve established a more personal business relationship with your employees by showing that you care about them as an individual, you’ll be better able to deliver constructive feedback that serves to help them grow. They will be more open to hearing your feedback because they trust that you are delivering it with their best interest in mind.

The bottom line is that you can no longer leave your company’s employee engagement levels to chance.

You need to intentionally engage your staff and make sure they are happy with their work lives. A successful company with outstanding performance numbers is made up primarily of highly engaged employees. These people bring excitement, productivity, and creativity to the office environment. Many times their attitudes can be contagious to the non-engaged employees, helping to keep everyone happy and productive.

Reducing employee turnover is something that requires your time and attention. Start today or you could lose your best talent tomorrow.