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3 Proven Strategies to Reduce High Turnover

It’s not just college football that experiences the Turnover Chain. Many employers today are experiencing rapid, high employee turnover–which not only creates issues of filling vacant positions, staff constantly doing more with less, low productivity and low morales, but worst of all costs organizations billions of dollars each year. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 91% of Millennials expect to stay in the same job less than three years. Look at Facebook as they average 2.2 years and Google less than 2 years with an overall average employee tenure less than 4-1/2 years. The financial impact of turnover alone can force an organization to close its doors. It’s a wonder how executives and business owners can improve retention through effective hiring processes on the front end.

Sure, you have a top-flight HR department with excellent internal recruiters and maybe even an outside agency or two to partner with…then why the problems? You don’t have a top-flight HR department and you don’t have a strong recruiting team. If you did, then you wouldn’t be reading this post. So why accept mediocrity? Two reasons:

1. Be honest – it’s really NOT a priority for you!

2. If it was a priority, then HR would have a seat at ‘the table’. You know the one where strategic decisions are made involving your most valuable resource – people.

Stop bullshitting yourself and everyone else by your behaviors and do something about it! A company is a group of people with the same values and beliefs. A division is a group of people with the same set of values and beliefs. A department is a group of people with the same set of values and beliefs. How, then, can you honestly say your company is on the same page when reality demonstrates differently. Now, I’m not prescribing you add to your C-suite as the silver bullet by any means. But you’re getting what you pay for in time, people, money and capital. If you were to strategically assess where you are with your people globally, then what would you expect to see to retain the talent you have and reduce the turnover you’re accepting? Here are 3 ways to hire employees who stay and minimize turnover:

1. Assess the Hard and Soft.

The hard goes beyond job descriptions and performance appraisals. Understanding what the behavioral profile for a highly functioning, highly successful contributor is in the role. What metrics are they achieving consistently? A recent study showed 54% of executive new hires failed within 18-21 months. Why? Resounding majority was the role described to the executive was vastly differrent from how the role was measured. You want performers, contributors and people with high-potential. Does it make sense to find out who’s who? Behaviors don’t lie, people and resumes do.

The soft is an overwhelming clue to nailing this dimension of job candidate comes from the ones who leave your company voluntarily and involuntarily. It tells where the root cause lies in a number of disconnects withing your organization. Again, looking at new hire failure studies concludes over 85% of those failures were directly attributed to poor cultural fit within the company. By the way,’to too many internal recruiters in too many organizations were ill-fitting admins somewhere and they were ‘thrown into HR for them to figure it out’. Another self-fulfilling prophesy on poor fit and retention. By the way, this ‘assessment step’ is not some nebulous pre-employment screening or some laborious industrial pyschologist interview. It’s a simple, practical and powerful method we’ve been using to identify, evaluate and predict performance with candidates for nearly 30 years.

2. Onboarding with Intent.

Some proponents suggest a trial period or ‘try-before-you buy’ situation, which may allow the new hire and company to mutually assess their compatibility without an obligation, it’s not the subject here. Onboarding with intent means there are key performance milestones each new hire and promoted employee must achieve to move forward in the organization. You want predictable outcomes, then establish a predictable roadmap for success. Does it take time? Yes. So does redoing work over again. Start properly the first time so ‘rework’ isn’t an option.

An intentional onboarding program can mean the difference between retaining a top employee for a lifetime, and watching them walk out the door after two months. Companies who implement an effective onboarding program during the first 3 months of new-hire employment experience 31% less turnover than those who don’t, according to the Aberdeen Group.

Onboarding sets the tone for both hew hire/promoted employee and the support structure by introducing the company’s culture and expectations. Onboarding with intent is more than orientation and training with steroids. It defines what success in the role looks like, what high-performance in the role looks like, and what it means to ‘fit-in’ to the company at this level. By the way, we’ve been onboarding talent for over 20 years. It’s how our stick rate averaged 94% over a 14-year period. No one in the industry has ever come close.

3. Adapt or Die.

In a recent study, 73% of American adults surveyed said flexibility is one of the most important factors in their job search, and nearly 40% have already left a job or are considering leaving due to issues with flexibility. You have two options, 1) continue to be rigid and inflexible, or 2) adapt. You can adapt or die and you own it!

Employees who feel valued and see their needs are recognized is a form of respect and trust. Your behaviors, your communication norms, your ‘this is how we do things around here’ demonstrate respect or a lack of it and trust or a lack of it. How you attract and retain employees is found in those two elements – trust and respesct. Do you want to know how important is flexibility to job seekers?

There is no work-life balance within an organization yet it is a major consideration for job prospects. It’s a rhythm. Adapting, accomodating and being flexible is an important factor in competitively attracting, hiring, and retaining top talent. Providing a healthy rhythm between work and home is vital. You can adapt or die and you own it!

Instead of a prolonged investment in the wrong employee, invest where your return at each level of the organization reaches predictable outcomes of success (or failure). You’re going to get the answers you must have to sustain success either way. The one commodity you cannot recoup is time! Quit wasting it on non-value added ‘mentorships’ and programs lacking any meat-on-the-bone.

If your organization is experiencing high turnover rates, you may be telling yourself, ” we can’t find good talent’, or “employees today have zero loyalty”, or you’re thinking, “there’s nothing I can do about it.” However, a more likely answer is you’ve simply been hiring the wrong people, using the wrong processes or both. Would you like to know which side of the pendulum you’re on? Simply click here for a no obligation conversation on what’s working and what’s not. Not ready to have a discussion, you can research our onboarding and outplacement services here. READ MORE…

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