Companies all over the world are interested in the Staff Attrition metric. If the attrition metric is high, then we can be considered to be an employer of choice.
If we are an employer of choice, then we can pick the best people in the world for the job. People will want to work for you; they will be willing to accept lower-ranking positions just to get in and be part of the culture. They are interested in getting in the door, then rely on their high-quality skill set to climb the corporate ladder.
If we are not an employer of choice, then hiring great people will become a difficult task. We will have to throw incredible amounts of money at them, way above industry standard just to get them in the door. Then, once on the inside, they are swept into the internal politics and subjected to the red tape, they are met by ego’s and managers who like the way things are. They cant be creative, they cant bring their best selves to work because they are constantly told ‘no’. What happens to these great people that you just hired? They come to their senses and walk away. Most of the time accepting a lower paid job at a company that has a greater company culture.
They say the average cost of hiring a new senior candidate in the corporate world is approximately one hundred and eighty thousand dollars ($180,000)! That’s insane. Wouldn’t it be more worthwhile to look at the areas we can fix which will stop people walking out the door? Wouldn’t it be worthwhile swallowing the pill that will put our ego’s in check and try to create a company culture where people will want to work?
It is a well-known fact that the experience your employees have while working for you has a direct correlation on the experience the customer is having. In March, at the 2021 Australian Institute of Company Directors Summit in Sydney, Gordon Cairns Chair of Woolworths Group said, “The way you increase shareholder value is by satisfying the customer, and the way we satisfy the customer is by engaging our staff and making them feel comfortable….. If you care about them, they care about you and their customers, that’s the secret sauce.”
The secret sauce is caring about our employees. Listening to them. Understanding them. Developing them. Challenging them. This will help you create a culture where people will want to work for your company.
Here are 5 ways to stop wasting your money on your staff turnover.
- Have the Vision & Values of the business clearly defined.
People want to work for a company that has a sense of purpose. They want to understand why they are actually coming to work every day for 7+ hours. They want to have an impact and know that their efforts are adding some value to the world.
Having a clearly defined Vision, that is backed up by a clear set of values that we hold our people account to is paramount to attracting great quality people. Values are specifically very important as it defines the way we work. If one of our values is ‘innovation’ then the business needs to be very clear that ‘we value innovation.’ This means that if it currently takes 16 signatures to get an idea across the line, then we obviously don’t value innovation enough that we would stifle it with the process.
- Build the leadership capabilities of your mangers
According to Gallup, the top two reasons people become managers is because;
- They were promoted because they were successful in a non-managerial role
- They have a lot of experience and tenure in the company of the field.
This means that organisations are consistently hiring people in management roles, not because of their ability to manage people, but because they are pretty good at their technical job. They have no managerial experience, nor do they possess the character traits of a leader, and they have been put in a position where leading people is their primary role. We are setting them up to fail!
The answer is not to fire all of these people but to understand if they have what it takes to be a leader and then develop their leadership capabilities. This can be done through a variety of measures, some of which are as stated below.
- 360-degree feedback (a great one is the Human Synergistics LSI 1 &2 models)
- Coaching (team or 1-on-1)
- Short bite-size courses such as courageous conversations, how to give and receive feedback
- Understanding the Gaps through workforce planning measures
With consistent and on-going leadership development, with clearly defined expectations, you are almost certain to see an improvement of the leader and a change in team morale.
- Create a culture where making mistakes is ok
When we first learn to walk, we fall down. Time and time again, we pull ourselves up on the couch and try to set off for our maiden voyage, only to fall flat on our bums consistently. Do we give up? Do we stop trying to achieve our goal? No, we keep going because it doesn’t make sense to give up. It would seem counter-intuitive to not be able to walk; walking is a necessity; it will greatly improve our quality of life.
Innovation in companies is much the same as walking. We need to be innovative to survive. We need to understand what our competitors are doing and what the market trends are. We also need to be aware of the risks of not being innovative or being happy with doing things the ways they have always done. It is no secret that companies like leading camera manufacturer Kodak failed to act and invest in the digital world and now are a figment of the imagination.
In order to be innovative, we need to be ok with making mistakes. We need to be ok with not being perfect. We need to be ok with our best ideas taking the time.
In order to keep some of our great minds that we have hired, we need to create an environment where they feel empowered to give things a go, where they won’t be berated for making a mistake. Where they will be encouraged to get up, dust themselves off and try again.
The best businesses in the world have a culture of innovation and its no wonder why they keep getting the best talent.
- Train and develop your staff consistently
Consistently training your employees also saves you money because it reduces staff turnover. When your employees are empowered and understand what to do, how to behave and have the right tools to do so, then we are setting them up for success. When we create a standardized process, and train our people on this process and clearly define our expectations, then we actually see a boost in morale and confidence and witness a reduction in stress.
The benefits of training our people in a standardized way will be realized by the customer when they experience a similar approach regardless of who they speak with within the company. This will ensure better client relationships and keep them coming back, as it is safer and more predictable to so do.
If we organize regular training for our people, then the organisation will become a better place to work.
- Recognize when your employees have done a great job
Imagine a world where we get up every morning and go to work, put in 7+ hours of hard slog, dealing with unhappy customers, miserable team members and a leader that is worried more about profitability than the safety of their staff, only to finish up, go home, go to bed and wake up next morning in order to do it all over again. Groundhog day!
The practice outlined above is common for most people. Coming to work each day is an ordeal. It is tough and a drain on your mental health and general happiness.
I’m just going to put this out there and I may be different to many, but I think it feels nice to be recognised. It feels nice when someone pats me on the back a says, good job. It is nice when someone leaves a little chocolate on my desk in appreciation for the hard work I have done. It is nice when someone says to me, “you have worked hard this past couple of weeks, you deserve a day off.” It is also nice when I get recognised by a small write up on the company newsletter or intranet. I like feeling special, and I am pretty sure I am not alone.
Everyone, in some way, shape or form, will appreciate a gesture of thanks. It makes people feel good. It makes them feel like they have contributed, and they are a valued member of the team.
Making feeling people good is a great way to retain the talent you have invested in. Start small, and do it regularly, and you have my word it will go along way to improving staff morale.
Author: Daniel Franco
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