Five Keys to Reduce Costly Employee Turnover (…Before It’s Too Late) by Jae-ann Rock

Posted on Sep 3, 2014 in Archive

When looking at current trends in employee turnover, there is good news and bad news… 

First, the bad news: Employee turnover is expected to continue to rise through the balance of 2014 and beyond, as economic growth returns.  This could mean trouble if you have dissatisfied workers who may begin searching for a more favorable work arrangement.

Now, the good news:  There are key drivers you can leverage to drive employee retention.  If you want to keep your high value employees from leaving, it is critical that you employ these five tips before it’s too late.

First, let’s review the results of a few related studies:  

  • Retention:
    • – According to the Corporate Leadership Council, employees with lower engagement levels are four times more likely to leave their jobs than those who are highly engaged.  
    • – A recent Gallup poll showed that companies with large numbers of dissatisfied workers experience greater absenteeism and lower productivity, as well as a 51% higher employee turnover rate.
  • Cost of Attrition: The cost of replacing an employee who leaves has been estimated at between 70 to 200 percent of that worker’s annual salary.  Talk about expensive!
  • Productivity & Profitability:
    • – In a study of professional service firms, the Hay Group found that offices with engaged employees were up to 43% more productive.
    • – HR strategy firm, Kenexa – an IBM Company, found that organizations with highly engaged employees achieved twice the annual net income of organizations whose employees were less engaged. 
    • – Fast Company reported that businesses with higher employee engagement have enjoyed a 4% higher return than the S&P 500 in recent years.

You must look beyond the basics – compensation and benefits – if you are to going make a lasting impact on employee engagement and turnover.  Strive to positively impact the REAL DRIVERS of employee retention and job satisfaction including:

  • Communication
  • Performance clarity and feedback
  • Organizational culture, rewards and recognition
  • Relationships with managers and peers
  • Career development opportunities
  • Knowledge of the organization’s goals and vision

Five tips to increase employee engagement and reduce employee turnover:

1. Give employees a vision and a voice

    • Provide employees with a purpose-driven mission, vision and goals.  Managers should communicate with employees regarding how their department and their role fits into the larger picture to achieve the corporate goals.  Build clarity, transparency and alignment in the organization.
    • Then, give them a voice – involve employees in making suggestions to improve workplace culture and /or business processes and planning to help achieve those goals.  The people closest to the work will likely have the best ideas regarding ways to make improvements. 
    • Soliciting employee input can have two beneficial results: 1.) increased employee engagement due to “feeling heard”, and 2.) actual improvements to the workplace and processes as a result of their suggestions

2. Provide regular feedback, recognition and appreciation

“Compensation is a right, recognition is a gift.” (Rosabeth Moss Kanter) 

    • Thank your employees spontaneously, by name, for their contributions.
    • Be specific in your feedback and recognition. 
    • Identify the value that the employee brings to the team and the organization as a whole. 
    • Celebrate success and provide positive feedback on a regular basis for a job well done.  

3. Provide small perks at work

These are not things that break the bank, but rather, little perks that make employees know they are appreciated.  Ideas include such things as: bagel mornings, a team luncheon, a gift card, flex time, working remotely when needed, discount memberships, “casual Fridays”, gift cards, break room games, etc.

4. Develop a succession plan

According to a recent Hay Group study, 47 percent of workers are unsure they can achieve their career objectives at their present company.  How can you fix this? 

    • Foster employee development to help employees understand their path for growth if they choose to stay at the company. 
    • Determine ways to assist in their career development while filling key roles within the company.
    • Provide opportunities for new training, new challenges and increased responsibility, such as taking on a special project or a team leadership role.
    • Take the time to understand your employees’ interests and career aspirations and then work closely with them to develop a plan accordingly.  (As noted by the American Society of Training & Development, an increased investment in training also yields higher gross margins and income per employee.)

5. Provide meaningful workThis is imperative

One of the most important ways to keep employees engaged is to give them meaningful work!  There is a big difference between value-added, meaningful work, and all other kinds of work. Determine ways to increase the percentage of time your people spend doing value-added work. In turn, this will lead to increased motivation, performance and productivity.

    • If you are in charge of a team that is marketing or selling to corporate training & HR, identify and eliminate tasks which should be moved to a sales support admin person (such as typing proposals, searching for leads, inputting leads into a CRM system, etc.)
    • Provide your employees with the tools they need to perform meaningful work – in the case of a sales rep, the meaningful work is the SELLING. 
    • Invest in a high-quality list of corporate training & HR decision makers so your reps can stop wasting time digging for leads!  (They don’t like digging for leads any more than you like paying them high wages to do so!  Professional sales reps should be selling, not searching for leads.)
    • Free up their time so your sales reps can spend more time doing real value-added work, like talking with customers.

By providing your sales reps with meaningful, value-added work, you can achieve the following:

    • Increase each rep’s selling time per month
    • Increase sales
    • Increase gross profit margins due to improved sales results
    • Decrease absenteeism and attrition
    • Improve employee engagement
    • REDUCE employee turnover

Be sure you take steps today to avoid costly employee turnover, before it’s too late! 

To help your sales reps focus on the work that matters (to them and to you), provide them with a high-quality prospect list of decision-makers in Corporate Training and HR.   For more information, call or email Mentor Tech Group today.  We have the contacts you’ve been searching for – with email addresses and phone numbers! 

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