March 14th 2013
The business world has a lot of factors in it that affect turnover with people switching jobs or career paths. It is something that will certainly be important to any manager who has to keep a team of people productive and effective. Depending on where your work sector is, this problem might be very common with higher yearly turnover numbers approaching or even exceeding 50% or you might be in a stable economy sector with low 10% turnover. Whatever your case, I think there are many ways to manage turnover and reduce the turnover factor in your business relative to your competition and/or the industry you are in. Lets explore some of those methods.
Finding and Using Individual Motivators
Turnover has two major factors, individual and team. Lets talk individual factors first. Each and every person is going to have their own set of motivations in their jobs and workplace and it is a manager’s role to find those out and manage that person based on their individual motivators. You can’t motivate someone directly, but knowing their motivations, you can do a lot to direct work that is suitable, change your level of communication to suit their style, and you can absolutely use those motivating factors to influence their behavior to help them and your organization be successful, as you should as a manager.
Team Dynamics and Culture
Another big factor to turnover is the team, its dynamics and the culture that exists within the team and company as a whole. People who work closely together need to be able to have a good working relationship, it does mean they need to be friends or really like each other, but they do need to have a few critical elements. These are respect, trust and the right amount of fun or humor to keep the job interesting from a culture aspect. If there is not enough respect between people or trust in what they say, the dynamics can ruin a person’s desire to stick around in that job.
The behaviors of a team can be managed to ensure there is no disrespectful comments, that people learn and know each other’s strength’s and that there is enough open communication and to bring forth some honest sharing and discussions. These things help build goo dynamics and can drive your group to great results. Read and review with a team Lencioni’s book called, 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, to really tackle the dynamics and culture you build intentionally through interaction.
Provide Career Path Improvements
People want to see room to advance, improve their careers and ultimately move up and earn more money in any role. These are more important for some than others, but there is certainly a large component of turnover that relates to how much of this exists for a team and if they have discussions, see progress and are given opportunities to learn new things and take on new responsibilities. There isn’t always a role to move up to so this might seem impossible in that case, however, I assure you there are many other ways to look at career improvements that may not have a new role. Any level of added responsibility can help with this a person’s motivations will again, dictate how you should explore this with each person. Some people would like to gain more respect from others by become an expert in a certain area so they are relied on for those technical aspects. Others might want to be recognized or better known in the organization, this could be through making something they start or they’re responsible for more visible to others in the company. For some, promotion might be an option where they work to not move up within the group, but to move a higher level in another area of the company, still giving them a promotion and keeping them in the company, despite not having promotion options within a group. All of these techniques are just examples of providing career path improvements and a great way for any manager to do something to reduce turnover.
Set a Goal to Minimize Turnover
This is straight forward, if you want to improve something (reduce turnover) measure your current rate and set a specific goal to reduce that in the next year. Use these techniques and come up with more ways to discuss career development with your staff, find ways to motivate them and build your culture to be positive so you are able to not only keep the talent you have, but attract new talent. Once you have a goal for this, as with any goal, schedule some time to work on it, put it on your calendar, meet with your team members to discuss it and ensure you are taking some of these steps to manage turnover in your area.