We’ve all gotten numb to the constant drip, drip, drip of employee churn. It’s an insipid rhythm that drones on in the background of companies large and small. Let’s face it, employees come and go, and there’s just no stopping them. Or is there?
Attention Employers! Your employees are your most valuable “appreciating assets”. Don’t underestimate the cost of losing them. The longer we stay with an organization the more productive we get. We learn the systems, we learn the products, and we learn how to work together for resounding success.
But there’s a crisis brewing in your company which could catch you unaware. According to a survey conducted by Kronos Incorporated and Future Workplace of over 600 HR leaders, 87% cited improving employee retention as a critical priority. Why? Employee burnout is happening at rapid rates.
It’s such a problem that 46% of those surveyed admitted that burnout accounted for up to half of their annual employee churn volume. If you are a business leader of any kind, these stats aren’t only troubling, they’re debilitating.
While unsatisfactory compensation, an unreasonable workload and excessive overtime were listed as the top three reasons for burnout, it’s quite possible that in each of these cases, management also failed to check in with their employees. It’s likely HR leaders weren’t in touch with how their people were feeling at the time they chose to move on. Instead, they had to learn it the hard way, in exit interviews. When Gallup talked to exiting workers, they found two fascinating bits of information: First, more than half (52%) of them said their manager or organization could have done something to keep them from leaving. Second, 51% said that in the three months before their departure neither their manager nor any other company leader had spoken with them about their job satisfaction or their future. Given all the tools we have for immediate connectivity and communication why aren’t we checking in with each other more frequently?
Nowadays, yearly performance reviews are looked upon with disdain by employees everywhere. They eat up precious time and, in many cases, aren’t actionable. Think about it, when you were in school if you only got to know your grade at the end of the semester could you pivot, change course or improve the grade ? Probably not. It’s the same with a yearly performance review. Engagement requires feedback. Productivity requires feedback. Companies need human capital management solutions to support monthly, weekly, or even daily feedback reviews. More frequent pay isn’t a bad idea either.
As the workplace grows more mobile, with millennial’s especially finding it hard to stay put for too long, it’s imperative companies create strategies to keep talent within their four walls. And while there’s no simple answer, there’s only so much ‘team-building’ or ‘sweetening of the benefits package’ that will convince people to stay.
A recent report from Gallup estimates that United States businesses are losing a TRILLION dollars each and every year due to voluntary employee turn-over. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the number of American workers who quit their jobs this year topped 40 million and represents 26.9% of the workforce.
In this country we’ve had eight straight years of rising voluntary quits, with the total number going from 22 million in 2010 to 40+ million in 2019. Companies tend to underestimate what turnover really costs them. It’s HUGE! Direct replacement costs can reach as high as 50 to 60 percent of an employee’s annual salary. What’s more, total costs associated with turnover range from 90 to 200 percent of annual salary, SHRM reports.
The number one initiative for Human Resources at any company in the world right now should be, improving the employee experience! The bottom line is that technology can’t be used for technology’s sake (well, it can, but it will provide a lousy return). It needs to be used to create an experience that will support your employees’ entire career path. And don’t be fooled, your efforts to improve the employee experience can’t just be pointed at younger generations. A recent study from the Pew Research Center has shown that it’s simply a myth millennial’s and Gen Zers will stick around longer than Baby Boomers and Gen Xers. Change has more to do with life and career stage than generational factors. Employee reward and retention programs need to be targeted to all employees, because, at our core, we all want the same thing. We want to be recognized and rewarded for our efforts. Investigate how artificial intelligence, machine learning, mobile solutions, and social collaboration platforms can simplify work and make it more enjoyable and engaging.
Talented and skilled employees expect the information they need to be instantly available, whenever and wherever they need it, from any device. The proliferation of cloud software, mobile devices, and e-commerce, in everyone’s daily lives has raised expectations in the workplace. If I can converse with a chat-bot about my bank balance, why can’t I access my paycheck at the end of a hard day’s work? The simple benefit of providing direct access to earned wages costs your company nothing and gives your employees fiscal power and control.
The real secret to changing the costly rhythm of churn may be as simple as providing your employees with the deeply human need to direct their own lives. Job fulfillment will never be downloaded like a shiny new App. It comes from feeling useful, being valued, maintaining positive relationships and ending each day with a sense of recognition for work well done.
Churn on that for a while….