Well, well, well that is a deep subject.
When I first realized that unwanted turn over was a breaking point for my staffing business it was 1995. Growing up in the staffing and recruitment business and continually hearing my peers complain, “This is just what you get when you’re in this difficult, stressful business, constant turnover is the name of the game.”
While I grappled with the thought of how could an industry that is supposed to cure the staffing and retention problem have such a crippling track record of their own, I defended my situation with the best and the worst of them.
I actually believed this limiting paradigm until I met and witnessed some fabulous leaders and mentors in and outside of the staffing industry.
Certain CEO’s and Business leaders had top performers work with them, not in an equity position and not earning humongous commissions for five, ten or more years. Who would have thought that my strong need to succeed, my tenacity and my competitive nature that had me take on mastering the fundamentals of Talent Management would lead to an entire expansion of my career and a whole new service offering for KeenHire Talent Management.
If unwanted turnover, the limited supply of peak performers, mitigating the risk of a mis-hire or managing an unproductive or disengaged workforce has ever kept you up at night; you will want to read on. Your interest in learning the reasons why turnover happens as well as your ability to put systems into place that reduce these issues could be the most important facet of your Talent Strategy.
It is important to know, in 2007 & 2008, before the dip in the economy, unwanted turnover cost US companies over 3 trillion dollars. This number is astronomical and is a major cause of companies not feeling they are getting their return on their hiring investment. Besides the raw cost of unwanted turnover, there are other hidden costs, like: loss of Stakeholder & Shareholder value, loss of customers and relationships, loss of Intellectual property, lowered employee morale and mistrust in the organization’s leaders.
I could keep going, however I think you are starting to get the picture.
Turnover is caused by several reasons, I will highlight the top 11 for you now.
1. Employee lacks passion for the company’s mission, vision and purpose
2. Employee is not challenged in the position
3. Employee feels unwanted, under valued and replaceable
4. Employee feels no sense of security
5. Company hired the right resume but the wrong person for the wrong job
6. Employee took the job for the wrong reasons (i.e. it’s a paycheck)
7. Employee feels there is no place to go
8. Company treats people like cogs in a wheel
9. Employee does not feel a sense of belonging
10. Employer is under-whelmed by the employees’ performance
11. Circumstances change, role changes and employee cannot adapt
If you want to impact retention, first know who you are. What is your Employee Value Proposition?
Why would someone, someone with great talent, great ability and a great track record choose to work for your company? Why would they choose to stay? Why will they ignore a headhunters attempt to woo them away when the deal sounds amazingly stimulating?
Second, know what the role requires. Define who the person in the role needs to be, do and produce on a daily, monthly and quarterly basis. In other words, know what the intended outcomes are and what great performance looks like. Know how that great performance is achieved and the basics for how the right person will achieve excellence in the role. Winners want to know in advance how to win the games they play. And for winners, work is another game to play and win.
Third, train your front line people managers to treat people as people. Train them to get into their employees heads and hearts, to find out what makes them tick and what gets them going. Teach them to exploit their employees’ strengths and acknowledge their employees unique contributions to the team and the company.
Forth, talk to leadership. Ensure that the company’s top leaders are aware and awake to what is going on in the trenches. Blanchard’s book Raving Fans does a fabulous job of creating awareness amongst business leaders. Employee engagement and empowerment begins with leadership awareness and continues through a deep commitment to team contribution in the accomplishing the mission.
The bottom line is if you want to impact unwanted turnover and mitigate the risk of great people leaving, you’ll want to be conscious in the development and deployment of your Talent Management business processes. Create a hiring and selection processes that brings forth the right people, for the right roles, for the right reasons. Implement an early engagement program (on-boarding) that solidifies the sale.
And lastly, employ retention strategies that honor the company mission and vision while creating alignment and demonstrate an on-going commitment to employee fulfillment.
Nothing mentioned in this article takes an extreme capital investment, what it takes is a commitment to adopt a Talent Mindset and a commitment to make your people your competitive advantage. In all actuality not following these guidelines and not making the most of your people is a much larger risk and a much greater cost.
Some Great Books on the Subject
The War for Talent, Ed Michaels
The Impending Crisis, Hermann, Goya
The Truth About Managing People, Stephen Robbins
Top Grading, Bradford Smart