High Turnover? The Solution Starts at the Top

RL03-10-2015Leading a business can be scary. After all, there is a lot depending on your ability to effectively lead—your personal life, employees’ livelihoods, your customers’ ability to function, your professional reputation.  And, for top leadership, there are no cop-outs. Most issues and problems facing your company are within your control. Even for the few things that are completely out of your control, you are still in control of your response and your company’s reaction.

One of the biggest obstacles facing the business world today is employee turnover. A recent Huffington Post article about the HR trends in 2015, highlighted that “it’s estimated that 86% of employees will already be looking for a new position while they’re working in their current one.” So, if you thought last year’s turnover projections were scary, 2015 is looking down right petrifying. But, the good news is that this is one issue within your control. In fact, the majority of employee turnover could disappear if the leaders at the top were more purposeful and effective at three things.

Define and Direct Culture
Company culture isn’t a fad that will fade, and leaders must take heed to all the growing research pointing to its importance. “Companies that have a strong culture enjoy lower turnover—up to 65% than that of their competitor,” Fast Company reports. “A solid culture that engages its employees is a company’s best chance at creating an environment that attracts the best and brightest to join—and stay.”  Developing the right culture originates and depends on company leadership. As Forbes affirms, “Leaders are the ones who cultivate what ‘right’ looks like.”

Cast A Vision for Growth
One of the biggest aspects of leading a company is casting a vision for development and growth. If leadership fails to effectively do that, then employees will become disengaged. According to Fast Company, “37% of employees aren’t aligned to their company and don’t have a clear understanding of what their organization is trying to achieve and why,” which ultimately indicates retention problems ahead. Research from CareerBuilder shows that “52% of workers feel like they just have a job, not a career,” and that appears to be stemming from general feelings of being underemployed, dissatisfaction with training, being overlooked for promotions, and a perceived lack of advancement opportunities.

Develop Trustworthy Leadership
As a company leader, you’re not only in charge of leading, you’re also in charge of all the leaders within your business. CareerBuilder’s research reveals that more than a third of employees rate their supervisors as “poor or fair,” and this dissatisfaction is leading to some employees looking for employment elsewhere. You must ensure that managers and supervisors, as well as top-level leadership, are trained, honest, and open. As the Huffington Post reports, “An open-door policy and transparency will keep your employees from jumping ship and moving on to the competition.”

Employee turnover is not a problem outside of your control. You lead your company, which means you can make the decisions and direct the changes required to turn the tide of departing employees. All it truly requires is for leadership to step up, define culture, cast a vision, and develop trust within their organization.

How do you deal with turnover in your business? What are you doing to turn the tide of turnover? Let us know in the comments section below!

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