What can you do to turn around employee turnover?
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, private sector employers in the U.S. saw 2,405,000 employees leave their jobs in June of 2014. That is 2% of the total workforce. Those numbers have repeated consistently each month since January. And, this is just following a long period of joblessness. Why do so many people leave their jobs? What can you do to minimize employee turnover?
Well, the problem starts with respective human and corporate self-interests that, according to Forbes, “result in value minimization.” If employees work just hard enough to avoid termination and they are reimbursed just enough to stay on the job, something has to fill in that lack of mutual interest. In that gap lies untapped customer value.
Employee turnover – Why they leave?
The cold supply and demand response is to pay employees more and/or make them work harder. That math might work for a while. But, when they survey employees, their reasons for quitting have simple solutions.
Pay rewards and satisfies, but the depth and longevity of satisfaction are variables. When employees walk, they are telling you something is missing, something they believe they can find elsewhere.
- Invitation: Employees want their creativity and innovation, their willingness and commitment valued in word as well as material.
- Connection: Employees value peer and community recognition. Being heard is as important as having a voice.
- Growth: Employees need to visualize a stimulating career path in which they can grow in a reasonable amount of time, in which they can see a direct link between effort and increased opportunity.
- Feedback: Employees seek empowerment that comes with the feeling that, with just cause, they can stop things in their track until fixes are made. The permission to feedback lacks the value of seeing the feedback implemented. So give them valued feedback and minimize employee turnover.
- Alignment: Employees value being part of a larger picture, of having their work linked to corporate purpose and goals.
Employee turnover – leadership outcome
All these employee needs are solved in a culture of engagement. Disengaged employees leave, and replacing them costs money in time, recruiting, and training. But, disengaged employees also cost you customers because their lack of engagement is enervating.
Where productivity is a management issue, engagement is a leadership outcome – whether that leadership starts at the top or meets the employee at the supervisory level.
- Vision: Leadership communicates vision clearly, concretely, and visually. It does so with passion, frequency, and consistency.
- Interaction: Leaders talk to employees. They assess, share, and coach.
- Develop: Leadership provides plans and describes trajectories. They encourage and enable training and development.
- Trust: Leaders cultivate a no-fear climate for teamwork with clearly defined expectations.
- Reward: Leaders award recognition in various forms regularly, proportionately, and creatively.
In short, engaged workers stay. They enjoy the work and environment, and they take pride in their participation. They are valued and valuable in direct proportion to their engagement. However, inviting, enabling, and encouraging employee engagement is a management obligation. The worker owes the corporation fair labor for a fair wage. It takes management skill to make engagement happen – and pay. What’s your opinion about employee turnover?
Image courtesy of bplanet at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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