I have recently experienced at close hand how a poor manager can reduce productivity and ultimately motivate a great employee to leave for another job. The biggest reason most staff leave is that they don’t get on with their manager. Now staff turnover is always going to happen and at times is a good thing, new people bring in fresh ideas and enthusiasm, but we don’t want to lose our best performers.
And as far as cost goes, a study from 2008 found that it costs Australian businesses $20 billion per year for staff turnover. This amount is staggering, yet I believe, most companies would be completely unaware of the actual cost. Along with the time it takes to find a replacement and the cost associated with screening and interviewing candidates comes the reduction in productivity of training a new person. Coupled with this is the effect it can have on other employees, particularly if the staff member was a top performer. Their departure may upset other employees, and it may result in a further lack of productivity if they have lost the person that motivates them to do their best.
How do you recognise the signs and what do you do about it.
- Lack of morale – if you notice your team’s morale is down it’s time to dig deeper and find out why. Ask questions and look at ways to improve this.
- Reduced productivity – another key sign which needs to be investigated.
- Increased absenteeism – this generally tells you that the team member is unhappy at work (or looking for another job!) so check out the reasons behind this.
Of course the best way to reduce staff turnover is to avoid the above things happening – best to focus on prevention rather than the cure. For top performers their biggest need is to feel motivated and challenged so ensure that you are doing this on a regular basis. Here’s some tips:
- Delegate and delegate again – top performers generally want to learn new skills so get rid of as much stuff as you can to them – this way you win and they win.
- Find out what motivates them – ask them and do what you can to provide this
- Let them learn – provide opportunities to learn new skills, send them to courses
- Allow them to lead – give them opportunities to lead team meetings, run a shift or a task they can own themselves
- Ask their opinion – they often have great ideas, of course some won’t work but some just might and how motivated will they feel?
Managing and leading staff is one of the biggest challenges in running a business, however when we work on it and grow our people, there is nothing better than being part of this.
Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Retail Solution” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service and selling skills.