How to solve high employee turnover …

Do you have a problem with high turnover in your company? Do you know why? Of course it is easy to blame others: competition is paying more or have better benefist, employees leaving don’t see the value of what you’re trying to build, etc. I find that high turnover is caused by a few and basic elements…

Vision, Mission & Core Values

Do you know those little things that you keep pushing because you never have time to nail them? Well, I find that employee attachment is highly dependent on company culture – and your vision, mission and those often-neglected core values are at the heart of it. Do your employees understand and like your vision and mission. For example, if you want to be the biggest at something, make sure that this mission resonates with EVERY employee. Would you commit to a long-term relationship with someone that does not share your values and culture? Neither would your employees. They might start working for you (as you could start dating someone) but ultimately your core values (or lack thereof) will impact their desire to stay for more than a few years.

Leadership at the top

How respected is your senior leadership? Do people aspire to follow them thru the good and bad times (can’t just be all good)? Great leaders will make do great things from ordinary people – and employees like to be driven towards success, to be pushed to new boundaries that will help them grow their personal and professional life. Senior leadership is hard to find – when we see one, get him at all cost. Too many times I see companies reluctant to pay a little more for a senior leader. I always believed that paying a little more for your top people is a smart investment. Just think on the cost saving or opportunities gained if you can save a few additional employees each year.

Weakest link: middle management

I have seen countless companies where the middle management layer is pretty weak – either because the managers where never trained to become people managers (it is quite different to manage human capital than it is to manage a spreadsheet). Are you investing in your managers to be with leadership development programs? Are you coaching and mentoring them? If you have a high turnover, probably not … to become a good people manager requires time and effort. This is not a natural gift that most people have. So if you just promote people because you like them or because they have been with the company long enough, you are creating yourself the problem of high turnover.

Employees are humans

Each person in life wants to be appreciated, valued, challenged and need to feel important. No matter how many employees you manage, you need to focus on this. Thinking that people will be as motivated as you is very optimistic. Take the time to listen to your employees, to understand what drives them (everybody is different and unique), to communicate at the person’s level.

At the end of the day, you should never be surprised when someone leaves the company. If you are, it means you are not close enough to the problem and your high turnover will just continue, or even get worse…

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