10 februari 2017

Minimising Staff Turnover

The Impact of High Staff Turnover  

​Although a certain amount of staff turnover is inevitable a high percentage can quickly become overwhelming for both managers and co-workers. A whole series of knock-on effects arise when an employee quits:

  • ​Their existing work has to be passed to their colleagues, who (more than likely) have little spare capacity.
  • If an employee leaves suddenly, an effective handover will be impossible and client satisfaction will suffer.
  • Managers have dedicate time to recruiting a replacement, which takes them away from looking after the existing team.
  • There is no guarantee that the replacement will turnout to be a good team member.
  • New staff members take time to become productive and during this time the team's productivity is effected as they are helping the new person get up to speed.​

​It's pretty clear then that investing in improving employee loyalty should deliver a good return on investment and help reduce staff turnover. Let's look at some ways of creating a happier workplace, so your colleagues don't feel tempted to look around.

​Tips for reducing staff turnover

Staff turnover is most effectively reduced by implementing a range of actions, all of which should be as close to the staff as possible. By close to the staff, I mean actions that impact their ordinary work day, as distinct from some new policy implemented by upper management and which might only be actioned once a year.  

Are Email Explosions the New Road Rage?

It's true that leadership starts at the top. However, everyone can show leadership in the way they communicate with colleagues. Consider driving to work. Although fellow road users drive according to the law, many do more than this – they extend personal courtesies to each other – allowing other cars to pull out at congested junctions, giving other road users lots of space, for example. Rude road users stick out like a sore thumb, even though they make be breaking the letter of the law. 

​So too with email. It's not enough just to write with good grammar and spelling (although even this is becoming a rarity nowadays). Emails are so easy to write, people are tempted to dash one off quickly, thinking that communication has taken place. In fact, no communication has taken place at all, as communication involves a two-way exchange. Sending an email simply starts that process, even though many people view it as completing the communication too.  

​Overall, I believe too many email are sent. Why not pick up the phone and speak to the person instead? At least that way you can be sure communication has occurred.

​​When you do have to send emails, draft them first; leave them a while; review and them send. ​

​Make Good Use of Time

It's important that leaders demonstrate respect for their fellow employees. A good way to show respect is through effective timekeeping. It also has the benefit of improving productivity. If you carry this through to how meetings are conducted too, so much the better, giving everyone time to voice their opinion, while respecting everyone's time is invaluable. 

Create Importance with Prioritsing  

Sometimes employees have challenges prioritising their work. Managers can help by giving them a few short priority assignments. They'll know exactly how they should be spending their time and they will feel that they're making a valuable contribution. This should help them over the temporary challenge and help them preserve the self-worth and confidence.

Take Staff Development Seriously

Surprisingly, some members of staff don't look after their careers as much as they ought to. One upshot of this is that they can be tempted away by headhunters fairly easily. One of the easiest ways of reducing staff turnover is to show your employees that you care for them. Remind them that their careers are important and belong to them, not the company. Help them to create a career and personal development growth plan. This is a great way to improve loyalty. It's also a great way for employees to come to their own conclusion as to whether they really do belong with your company for the long-term.

Surprises are Always Welcome

Beyond the serious (and well documented) annual bonus, what else do you do to celebrate your employees? Do you mark their birthdays? How about the achievements of their children? Do you know what they do in their spare time? Can your company make a contribution to the charity where they volunteer their time at the weekends? Ritualistic annual bonuses are okay, but put some effort into coming up with more innovative ways to surprise your employees. Unexpected rewards can have tremendously positive effects.

Give a Sense of the Rhythm

Companies have their own seasons; daily newspaper newsrooms have wild afternoons, as deadlines approach. In the UK, accountancy firms have very busy Januaries and Aprils. Your company will have a rhythm too – does everyone know what it is? Is everyone tuned into it?  

Staff turnover can't be eliminated and nor should it be. New blood is important to the future of all organisations. However, looking after the people you already have is a great investment that will pay valuable long-term dividends.

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