Do you ever get that sinking feeling on your way to work? It’s that feeling you get when you never quite know when your next employee resignation letter is going to land on your desk. And it’s not a nice feeling to have: employee turnover is one of the highest costs your business faces.
The problem, though, is that many companies misdiagnose the problems. They think that there’s something wrong with their hiring process and for some reason, they’re attracting the wrong people. But more often than not, it’s a problem with the company itself. It’s not the hiring process that’s bad, it’s the culture that’s toxic.
Curt Coffman famously said in his book, First Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently, that people don’t actually leave their jobs, they leave their managers. When you think about it, this is kind of absurd. The whole purpose of having a manager is to facilitate work and to make sure that teams are organized. Workers should be better off with managers, not the precise opposite. But all too often in business, economic logic gives way to personalities, and those personalities wind up wreaking havoc.
It’s no surprise that managers who don’t communicate with their employees, don’t appreciate them and don’t look after them, suffer from high turnover rates. So instead of looking at your employees or your hiring practices, ask whether your managers could be doing a better job.
Lack Of Support
One of the reasons employers find themselves managing sick leave and employee absences with shocking regularity is because their employees have a lack of support. Ask yourself the following questions: have you sat down with each employee and discussed an action plan for their future? Have you had follow-ups to make sure that that action plan has been carried out? Do the people that work at your organization feel appreciated for all the hard work that they do?
Everyone wants to be appreciated, says Mary Kay Ash, the founder of her eponymous cosmetics brand. She says that if you appreciate someone, don’t keep it all to yourself: let them know how you feel. Her company incentivises its salesforce with glamorous events, gifts, and public recognition. Kay reminds her fellow entrepreneurs that people are a company’s greatest assets, and they should be treated as such.
Some companies think that adding competition to the job is a good way to motivate people and drive up standards. But it turns out that most people aren’t wired up for heavy competition, and they don’t enjoy it. If a job is making a person feel ill from stress, then they are much more likely to leave.
If you’re going to reorganize your company, do it once and be done with it. The problem with reorganization is that it creates uncertainty. With every shuffle, people are lost and the people that remain fear for their jobs. All this uncertainty means that the people in the firm start looking for more secure work elsewhere. Not good, if you’re trying to build a cohesive team.