Overturn Turnover: keeping the people that keep your business cooking

Nationally, the average annual employee turnover rate for all companies is estimated to be 12 percent with the current unemployment rate at 4.6 percent. You must create a work environment that includes the ingredients to keep the people you have because the chance of finding better employees is slim. It means you must maintain a setting that is productive, interesting, motivating, creative, and successful EVERYDAY! Poor performers and difficult people must be “fixed.”

Your company deserves the best of the best! Many surveys say the number one issue facing business is finding and keeping good employees. Not only does this help the bottom line, it builds morale and motivation. For example, it costs a law firm approximately $200,000.00 if they lose a law associate within the first two years of employment. This figure does not take into account what the loss of a colleague does to morale and the drive of people remaining.

The process of keeping employees is easy if you apply the following strategies to overturn turnover.

• Selection: Improve staff and sales force retention by helping individuals make better choices before you hire. This begins with the selection process. In this environment of low employment, it is often tempting to hire the first applicant that seems to fill the bill. You can no longer just hold a mirror under their nose to insure they are alive and then hire them! Stop falling into the “hurry up and hire” syndrome. Poor hires feed turnover.

Include questions in the interview process to help you understand their strategic thinking, and problem solving process.
1. What do you see yourself doing five years from now?
2. How do you make yourself indispensable to a company?
3. What’s your greatest strength? Weakness?
4. Tell me about a time when your workload was heavy. How did you complete all your work?
5. Tell me about a time when you had to accomplish a task with someone who was particularly difficult person.
6. How do you accept direction and, at the same time, maintain a critical stance regarding your ideas, ethics, and values?
7. What are some examples of activities and surroundings that motivate you?
8. Tell me about a time when you had to resolve a problem with no rules or guidelines in place.

• Career development: For employees to manage their own career is often a daunting process, especially for Gen X and Gen Y. Develop a system that helps them move toward what they want and to what they aspire. Email Marsha at Marsha@MarshaPetrieSue.com to receive your complimentary copy of Generational Differences. Gen X and Gen Y expect you to understand what they want as far as growth and promotion. Exceptional open communications is the key. On-going casual conversation will help in the process. Knowledge Management studies indicate that important information in an office is transferred in casual environments, for example; over the water cooler, rather than in structured meetings.

In addition, an important part of career development is the role of the performance appraisal. They have to be on going and honest. Too many times people provide employees with “performance appeases” because they are afraid to tell the employee that the expected work outcomes are not being achieved. Improved communications, heightened listening and learning to give appropriate feedback will immediately resolve this dilemma. Another issues is that the appraiser has no clue what kind of performance has been the standard for the appraisee so they give a “gold star performance review to a sub standard employee.

• Create an environment that eliminates gossip, and office politics. The reason there is gossip and office politics is the lack of information. People use these “tools” to fill in the informational black hole that is developed from poor communication and little information. Keeping an open door means you will answer any questions, anytime for anyone. If you don’t have time for an “open door policy” tell your group that they can schedule time (in person or by phone) anytime. Only change these appointments in extreme emergencies, for an example if your hair is on fire.

• Eliminate “shocks” – unexpected events that cause employees to begin thinking negatively about their job. The shock might be an industry change, resource supply interruption, or an international business event. These incidents can initiate the turnover processes because most people “what if” themselves into “I am going to lose my job” disorder. Town hall meetings, news briefs, or whatever mode works for you must be done. And don’t slack it off – people want information and to know how a situation will affect them.

• Help even the most lack-luster employee become a star. Use either in house or external coaching services. Bring in an accomplished speaker to ignite your group. Using assessment tools, the advisor acts as a liaison between the company and the employee. They become a “different messenger” indicating the concerns of the company and can:
1) Help the company to rectify a “performance issue”
2) Help the employee develop self-awareness that will improve them both personally and professionally.
3) Create solutions for the issues at hand.
The results of this connection with the employee can quickly improve performance and help the employee make different choices.

• Apply the “turnover calculator” to determine the effects on your bottom line. The center for community and economic development at the University of Wisconsin has this handy tool on line.

Fact: Businesses of all sizes are facing tremendous challenges on a global scale and know that maximizing their employee’s human potential is the answer to reduce turnover and improve retention.

Apply these simple ingredients to create emotional connections by cultivating an environment that generates resonance and lets people flourish. Apply these time-tested keys to allow you and your company to thrive amidst chaos, turbulent change, and turnover. Create a climate that fosters creative innovations, all-out performance, and lasting client relationships. Overturn turnover today.

Email Marsha for your copy of the Ten Commandments of Cooperation. – Please visit www.MarshaPetriesSue.com or email at Marsha@MarshaPetrieSue.com.

As a professional speaker and author, Marsha Petrie Sue is the Mohammed Ali of communicators। She can dance and look pretty, and she uses the entire ring, but she knows how and when to land a knockout punch. Get the smelling salts! Her presentations are charm school with live ammunition. She is the author of The CEO of YOU and the soon to be released Toxic People: dealing with difficult people in the workplace without using weapons or duct tape.

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