How to Fight Back Against High Employee Turnover
When building and growing an organization, few things are more frustrating or costly than high employee turnover. But with the right approach, you should be able to fight back, improve loyalty, and put your business back on the right path.
Common Causes of High Employee Turnover
Every business is unique, but high employee turnover can almost always be boiled down to a combination of the following factors:
- Overworked. Employees are fine working hard, but there’s a fine line between high expectations and unrealistic expectations. As employees become overworked, they become much more prone to burnout. This creates friction and produces challenges with engaging employees and keeping them on board with the company’s mission and goals.
- Toxic culture. The marks of a toxic culture include hostile interactions, lack of equality (in opportunity and/or pay), high stress levels, poor motivation, and poor morals. As the toxicity increases, so does the turnover rate.
- Boredom. Employees want to feel energized in their work. Too much boredom can result in disengagement and (eventually) turnover.
- Lack of opportunity. Employees want to know that they have the opportunity to get promotions and pay raises. If they don’t see other employees moving up the corporate ladder, they’ll become discouraged and look for better opportunities elsewhere.
- Bad boss. There’s a saying that says, “People don’t leave their jobs, they leave their managers.” If you have a bad boss who is incomptenent, rude, overbearing, or insensitive, it’s going to hurt your cause. Employees might put up with it for a few months, but it’ll eventually push them out.
Strategic Ways to Reduce Turnover
There are plenty of legitimate reasons why employees leave – including a better offer, starting their own business, or pivoting careers. And there really isn’t much you can do about these factors. But then there are controllable elements. You’re in control over the factors above. Now’s the time to strategically change the way you approach your business. Here are some helpful tips:
- Develop a Better Employee Experience
Whether you’ve documented it or not, your company has an employee experience. It’s essentially everything a worker learns, does, feels, or sees at each stage of their employment lifecycle. This includes five key phases: recruitment, onboarding, development, retention, and exit.
If you want to boost retention by reducing turnover, you have to take employee experience seriously. And by focusing on each of the five stages, you’re able to tailor the experience without compromising on the big picture. In other words, you can keep a consistent culture while still providing a unique experience to employees who are just now being onboarded and those who have been on the payroll for years.
- Hire the Right People
You can do yourself a massive favor by hiring people who are a good cultural fit for your organization. (Otherwise you’ll face an uphill battle from the very start.) This is accomplished by clearly defining the role – both to the candidate and to your hiring team – and to implement a detailed due diligence process.
- Terminate Toxic People
Don’t let toxic people stick around. The longer a toxic employee is in your business, the more likely it is that their behavior becomes contagious. Terminate people who don’t fit as quickly as possible. Not only does this eliminate the toxic source, but it also shows your remaining employees that you don’t put up with that kind of behavior.
- Go Beyond Money
Contrary to popular belief, money is not the best motivator. While a pay raise or bonus can work, its effects are usually short-lived. Within a few weeks or months, the employee will begin looking for the next raise.
To motivate employees and make them loyal to the organization, you have to go beyond money. Find out what it is your employees really want. Good motivators include status, autonomy, flexibility, and verbal affirmation.
- Create a Clear Sense of Identity
This tip goes hand in hand with the idea of developing a better employee experience. The goal is to establish a clear company identity so that employees have something tangible to hold onto.
In other words, if asked the question, Why do you like working for our company?, every employee should be able to articulate what it is that keeps them loyal to the business. The exact phraseology might vary, but most of the answers should land near the same target.
Build a Sustainable Business
There’s a lot that goes into building successful and sustainable businesses. But it’s nearly impossible to scale if you don’t have a stable team of people who are committed to your cause. Having said that, now’s the time to reevaluate where you stand and build a business that puts people first. In doing so, you’ll establish the foundational cornerstones needed to grow over the next few years and decades.
The Ultimate Guide to the Essential Social Skills in Business
Effective communication and strong relationships are essential for success in the workplace. One factor that can greatly influence these qualities is emotional intelligence, often abbreviated as EQ. EQ refers to the ability to identify, understand, and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. Research has shown that individuals with high levels of EQ are better equipped to handle stress, communicate effectively, and work collaboratively with others (Chamorro-Premuzic & Sanger, 2016).
Research has consistently shown that emotional intelligence (EQ) is an important predictor of job performance and success in the workplace. EQ is comprised of a set of skills that allow individuals to recognize, understand, and regulate their own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. In addition, individuals with high EQ are better able to communicate effectively, build relationships, and navigate complex social situations. As a result, they are often viewed as effective leaders and collaborators, and are more likely to achieve their personal and professional goals.
In fact, a number of studies have demonstrated the significant impact that EQ has on job performance and success. For example, one study of 85 upper-level managers found that those with higher EQ scores were rated as more effective leaders by their subordinates (Law, Wong, & Song, 2004). Another study of 151 employees found that those with higher EQ were more likely to be promoted within their organization over a five-year period (Carmeli, Brueller, & Dutton, 2009). These findings highlight the importance of EQ in the workplace and suggest that developing these skills can lead to significant benefits for both individuals and organizations.
According to a study conducted by TalentSmart, a leading provider of EQ assessments, EQ is responsible for 58% of success in all job types (Bradberry & Greaves, 2009). In contrast, IQ only accounts for about 4% of success in the workplace. This suggests that EQ is a crucial skill set for individuals in any professional field. Fortunately, EQ is a skill that can be developed and honed over time with practice and awareness.
There are several key components of EQ that are particularly important for success in the workplace. These include:
Self-Regulation: This refers to your capacity to recognize and control your emotions. Sometimes treating them when they arise may be necessary. Understanding how to manage your anger is essential. However, it can also cover how to control the feelings you’ll experience.
Self-Awareness: This implies recognizing and understanding your own feelings. Do noisy places make you nervous? Do other people talking over you make you angry? Knowing these truths about yourself shows that you are working on your self-awareness. Being conscious of yourself is necessary for this phase, which can be more complex than it sounds.
Socialization: This category focuses on your capacity to manage social interactions and direct relationships. It doesn’t entail dominating others but knowing how to work with others to achieve your goals. This could entail presenting your ideas to coworkers, leading a team, or resolving a personal disagreement.
Motivation: Strong motivators include external forces like money, status, or suffering. Internal motivation, however, plays a significant role in Goleman’s concept. By doing so, you demonstrate your ability to control your cause and initiate or continue initiatives of your own volition rather than in response to external demands.
Empathy: It’s equally critical to be sensitive to others’ feelings. This may entail learning to identify different emotional states in individuals — for example, can you tell the difference between someone at ease and someone anxious? — but it also requires comprehension of how other people may react to their current situation. Empathy is one of the essential traits in business and business leadership.
A thought leader in this space, Michael Ventura has built a career advising organizations on the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace. In his book, Applied Empathy, Ventura highlights the value of empathy in business and provides strategies for developing and applying this skill set. With two decades of experience as a leader, facilitator, and educator, Ventura’s work has made impact in with prestigious institutions such as Princeton University and the United Nations as well as corporate clients such as Google and Nike.
Through his work, Ventura advises leaders to focus on the development of EQ in order to help individuals improve their communication, collaboration, and leadership skills, ultimately leading to greater success in the workplace. Experts like Ventura continue to support the growing body of research on the value of EQ in business, and the evidence that organizations who invest in the EQ of their teams help to create a more empathetic and successful professional environment.
And it’s worth noting that EQ isn’t just important for individual success in the workplace, but also for overall organizational success. A study by the Center for Creative Leadership found that EQ was a better predictor of success than IQ or technical skills in the workplace, and that teams with higher levels of EQ tend to be more effective and productive (Boyatzis, Goleman, & Rhee, 1999). By cultivating a culture of empathy and emotional intelligence, organizations can improve their overall performance and create a more positive work environment for their employees.
In conclusion, emotional intelligence is a crucial component of success in the workplace, and individuals and organizations alike should prioritize the development of these skills. The ones that do not only develop a leading edge in their category, but also become a meaningful place to work for their teams. And in today’s rapidly changing talent landscape, the retention of highly capable, emotionally intelligent leaders is one of the greatest keys to unlocking success.
Boyatzis, R. E., Goleman, D., & Rhee, K. S. (1999). Clustering competence in emotional intelligence: Insights from the emotional competence inventory (ECI). In R. Bar-On & J. D. A. Parker (Eds.), Handbook of emotional intelligence (pp. 343-362). Jossey-Bass.
Bradberry, T., & Greaves, J. (2009). Emotional intelligence 2.0. TalentSmart.
Chamorro-Premuzic, T., & Sanger, M. N. (2016). Does employee happiness matter? Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, 3(2), 168-191.
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