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

Posted on Nov 17, 2015 in Blog, Meeting/Event Planning, Training and HR

Don’t assume your sales reps are going to stay with you forever… It takes PROACTIVE measures to retain good  ROCK, JAE- ANN, SMILING - WEBemployees.

Consider the alternative:

  • It costs 150 percent of a sales person’s annual salary to replace them
  • It takes 5-6 months for most new hires to reach full productivity
  • Turnover negatively affects productivity, service continuity, and team dynamics

But here is 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 an average of 150 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.
    • – Organizations with highly engaged employees achieve twice the annual net income of organizations whose employees are 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.

We must look beyond the basics of compensation and benefits – if we 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

Take these five steps today to avoid costly employee turnover, before it’s too late:

1. Give employees a vision and a voice 

  • Provide employees with a purpose-driven mission, vision and goals.
  • Communicate with employees regularly regarding how their role/department fits into the larger picture to achieve corporate goals.
  • Build clarity, transparency and alignment in the organization.
  • Give them a voice – Involve employees in making suggestions to improve workplace culture and /or business processes and planning.  The people closest to the work often have the best ideas regarding ways to make improvements.
  • Soliciting employee input has two clear benefits:
    • 1.) Increased employee engagement due to “feeling heard”, and
    • 2.) Workplace and processes improvements resulting from implementing their suggestions

2. Provide regular feedback, recognition and appreciation

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

  • Sales managers should spend at least 25 percent of their time coaching their direct reports – with two to four hours spent in one-on-one meetings with each rep every week.
  • Thank 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

Brainstorm and implement small perks that make employees feel appreciated:

  • “Bagel mornings” or a team luncheon
  • Gift cards
  • Flex time or working remotely when needed
  • Discount memberships
  • “Casual Fridays”
  • Break room games

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 address 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, 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!

For a sales rep, the meaningful work is the SELLING.

Meaningful, VALUE-ADDED work has been proven to increases motivation, performance and productivity. Find ways to increase the amount of time your people spend doing value-added work:

  • Give them the tools they need to succeed
  • Invest in a high quality list of decision-maker contacts to reach out to – 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 hunting and pecking for leads.
  • Develop and executive targeted email campaigns to bring in more qualified leads.
  • 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 sales reps with the tools they need to perform meaningful work.
  • Free up their time so they can concentrate on doing 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 and gross profit margins
    • Decrease absenteeism and attrition
    • Improve employee engagement
    • REDUCE costly employee turnover

To help your sales reps focus on the work that matters (to them and to you), it is imperative that you provide them with a high-quality database of people to call on. If you’re in Corporate Training and HR, you’re in luck – Mentor Tech Group has hand-built a database of decision-maker contacts in Corporate Training and HR!  We have the contacts you’ve been searching for – with email addresses and phone numbers! For more information, contact Mentor Tech Group today.

You will be amazed at the quality and accuracy of the Mentor Tech Group data.

See what MTG customers are saying:

“We needed a RELIABLE list resource to provide us with accurate, up-to-date corporate training and HR decision-maker contact information.  Mentor Tech Group has far surpassed our expectations, providing us with highly accurate information, four-month updates, and regular marketing tips and ideas to make best use of our list.

Our reps no longer waste time trying to hunt around to find the right contact – Mentor Tech Group has done all the hard work for us!  I highly recommend their list services to anyone marketing to corporate training and HR.”

Melonia da Gama
WW Sales Enablement and Director of Product Marketing, Learning

How clients describe Mentor Tech Group’s market intelligence data:

  • Well worth the investment
  • Perfectly targeted list
  • Exceeded expectations
  • Valuable time saver
  • Reliable
  • Highly accurate

Mentor Tech Group’s data consists of decision-maker “market intelligence” for more than 34,000 contacts at 5500+ companies. And each piece of data in our database was entered as a result of a personal conversation with one of our Market Intelligence Consultants.  This is highly unique.

We’re here to help you achieve the success you want, with the database of Corporate Training & HR decision-makers you NEED. To learn more, please call us today at (651) 457-8600, Ext. 3.

If you found this article helpful, please share it with your network and be sure to follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.  Referrals are always appreciated.  Thank you!

Wishing you much success…until next time. 


Leave a Reply