Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Latest Thinking on Reducing Staff Turnover

What does turnover cost your organization? How many staff left your organization last year? What did that cost you in terms of recruitment, screening, training, reduced service and lost revenue? Even at entry levels, the cost of staff turnover has been placed at around $7500 per incident. So if you have a staff of 100 people and your turnover rate is 10% your cost of turnover is going to approach $75000...that's cash out the door. Your situation may be different, better or worse, but until you determine what the cost of turnover is for your company or your organization, any initiative that you might want to undertake to reduce turnover will seem too expensive.

You have probably heard that people don't leave jobs, they leave supervisors. In the leadership development work that my company does, we see time and time again that many supervisors simply lack the people skills to become good supervisors. They may have been excellent at the production job or their service delivery job and that is why they were promoted to supervisor. But, what is often not recognized is that they now have a new job and it's very different than the job they formerly had; it involves the management and motivation of people.

To complicate matters, in many organizations the role of a supervisor is seen as being a "taskmaster"; to make sure that people produce the maximum number of widgets possible in 8 hours. There is little room or concern for the welfare of the employee; very little commitment to the success of the employee; it's a sink or swim proposition. In most organizations, the pattern goes like this. The employee is hired, put through an orientation where more information is thrown at him/her than could possibly be absorbed. Thereafter the new employee is assigned to the work environment. If the employee begins to have performance problems, the disciplinary process begins and before you know it, the person is never seen again. Of course all of this happens in a pretty public way. That is, other employees observe the process and quickly get the message that the company lacks commitment to the success of its employees. The relationship between employees and their supervisors is unfortunately not always a good one. A recent study done by the University of Florida suggested that more than half of all employees do not trust their supervisor on a number of key measures.

What does it take to keep employees happy and productive? It can be pretty simple. Sometimes all it takes to keep an employee happy and fully engaged is an occasional "thank you". Motivating people is not rocket science. Communication is another key. If managers need employees who will support their vision for the company, that vision has to be discussed with them frequently. And they'll need coaching in terms of how to go about their jobs in a way that truly supports the desired company objectives. Finally, Herb Kelleher, founder of Southwest Airlines, believes that the company's real challenge is to take care of its employees. Employees who sense the interest and concern of management for their success are the best sales reps the company could want; the customers will be there and will be there repeatedly.

If you would like to cut your turnover in half, follow some of Larry's suggestions for better staff morale and other leadership tips that are discussed in his FREE newsletter. It's free and is distributed twice a month. Each issue is short, to the point and has an article of interest to organizational leaders. Click on the link below to subscribe.

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Larry Wenger - EzineArticles Expert Author

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