Surprisingly, money – or lack of it – is one of the lesser reasons a person chooses to leave a job. On the contrary, more often than not, it is not even on the list of contributing factors. Despite adequate pay, many businesses and companies experience a high labour turnover, affecting them financially and emotionally in many ways.
I make it a keen priority to invest in my team, with the aim to reduce labour turnover as much as possible. Sallie Ward, our Marketing Executive, has been with the company for nearly 18 years, while Jack Gohil, our Accounts Manager, has built up a service for over 20 years – both are examples of valued, long-standing members of our team, of which I am so proud.
Here are a few of my tips towards reducing labour turnover within your own businesses, companies and teams.
- Potential for Advancement
There is no doubt that employees work harder, faster and importantly, far more genuinely, in the knowledge that their efforts will “take them places”, so to speak.
The majority of us have been there at some point in our working lives – striving to move up the ladder, putting our blood, sweat and tears into the work at hand, to come to a realisation at some point that not only have we not moved forward at all, but our hard work has not even opened the smallest of doors for us. I am sure that all of us swiftly took action to move on from such an environment, correct?
In the same way, as far as our team are constantly aware of the potential to propel themselves further forward as long as they continue to perform well, the likelihood of their minds wondering towards the door is significantly decreased.
How can this be done? My advice is to keep it as clear as possible – display a visual aid outlining a career path within your walls upon your walls; book and keep regular catch ups with each of your employees, and ensure that development goals and progress are actively discussed at some point; promote success stories of others who have maintained their service within your company, and continue to advance as they work.
For those within your team who may be struggling in a role, or who may have become bored or frustrated, be sure to explore every alternative job role in which they may excel and begin to enjoy their workload once again. Be very open to the idea of cross-training, and in fact, become an ambassador for such a program – it is far more beneficial to keep a member of your team in a different role than to lose their service altogether.
All of these methods will be a constant, refreshing reminder that the opportunity to advance is not only ever present, but real.
- Balance the Workload
Fair and balanced does not necessarily mean “equal share” – we are all fully aware that some members of the team will be more competent in one area over another, or even possess skills thatenable them to accomplish more than the next person on an average day. On another note, some characters need a regular change to their daily tasks, in order to consistently challenge their skillset and keep them entertained – as well as keep them employed by you;.
Thus, getting to know your team members on an individual basis, and particularly their methods of operation is essential in dividing the workload correctly and proficiently.
You may have a capable member of your team seeking for further responsibility. Loosening grip upon important tasks can be difficult, but trusting such employees with more responsibility provides them with a sense of ownership, reward for hard work, and recognition of capability. Do not leave such employees at a loss of what to do next, or with a mere “thank you! Great work!” Boredom is an ever-lurking danger.
Should you not take steps to do the above, you run the very likely risk of cherished employee’s to-do lists becoming either stressful, monotonous, or difficult to handle; this equals the exact situation in which employees will begin a search for a new job, causing other, less responsible roles to become far more attractive than usual.
- Promote Positive Relationships
A very real reason behind many employees maintaining loyalty to the same company for years on end is the working relationships. The pay, the role, and the location could be perfect, but if the people are wrong, that position will become vacant once again after not too long.
It is important to encourage a work-life balance with your team; never work staff to the point of exhaustion, as they will not only physically tire, but emotionally tire too, leaving detached and underperforming shells who will leave at the next opportunity of a tempting, more balanced role.
Talking to your team each day is an excellent habit to keep – about anything but work. Enquire about their family, about the last game their favourite team played in, about what they did at the weekend; find out more and more about them each day, and build a level platform upon which you can relate to each other as people, and not just colleagues. In this way, your team will note and appreciate the genuine care and interest you have for them, and you, in turn, will gain your team’s respect, trust and loyalty. A culture of trust and transparency will be encouraged and built throughout your workforce, of which you should actively promote, and as a result, employees will have far less of a reason to even think about changing their career direction.
On the note of communication, be sure to take the time to conduct exit interviews with any staff members who do decide to leave; ask them to speak openly about the reasons behind their move, and take any constructive feedback well. Use the gold dust that will escape their lips to adjust and amend any areas within your managerial approach that will lessen the likelihood of losing valuable staff members.
Last, but most certainly not least, is the reminder to appreciate your team. They work hard and well for you; they hit targets, they achieve, they propel the business forward. Say thank you! Recognise and acknowledge their daily efforts, and maintain an attitude that consistently seeks new ways to personify your appreciation. This could range from flexibility on timing on certain occasions, to a thank you present for outstanding work, to the organisation of a team outing or awards event.
Whatever way you find to reward your team and express thanks to them, never forget to do it, and ensure it is done regularly. Again, the lack of recognition of a job well done is also a major factor contributing to a person leaving a job and embarking on a new role – do not be the manager who let that fantastic worker go for the sake of not recognising a good performance.
A final word – treat your team as you would your family. Sometimes a stern word is required, sometimes emotional intimacy, sometimes a get-out-of-the-house moment. In the same way, your team is a family you are at the helm of, and they require a strong leader who is prepared to take the time to identify and provide for their many different needs. If you consistently show willing to do so, your team will raise you up for years to come.