Team Performance

3 ways to keep your best talent engaged and away from competition in 2020.

Mar 10, 2020 | Written by Cristian Tountzis

Employee turnover can have a disastrous impact on your firm's profitability, especially losing your high-performing, high value-adding employees. Replacing high-performing employees can take anywhere from 3 - 12 months, including recruiting, employing, onboarding and training new hires, and that doesn't include the time for them to become high-performers themselves. That's 3 - 12 months of productive hours lost because of turnover from just 1 employee, and it could have been completely avoidable.

People are going to leave your business, it's a natural progression. In small-medium professional service firms, the negative impacts of employee turnover can be felt a bit more. With increasing competition and newer opportunities being created every day, keeping your best talent, and growing your up-and-comers, is vital to a firm's long-term sustainability and profitability. Here are 3 ways you can reduce employee turnover in your firm and keep your best talent from your competition.

Understanding the signs of someone who's about to leave.

There are both behavioural and quantifiable signs that someone is about to leave your company. Are they showing up late more often? Is the quality of their work dropping off? Are they quieter than usual? Managers should be aware of (and look out for) changing behaviours in their employees and plan to action them before they become problems.

It may not be obvious but a lot of these behaviours can be quantified and measured. Managers and owners looking to proactively reduce employee turnover should be constantly keeping track of these. Here are some examples of questions you can ask your employees and turn into quantifiable metrics to keep track of key indicators to employee churn:

  • The work environment is a nice place to be? Try to get a gauge of how the current work environment is affecting employee wellbeing. Is the office environment and culture stimulating? Are they any toxic behaviours that could push people out the door faster?
  • I've received valuable feedback from someone recently? Most people leave an organisation because they don't have great relationships with their boss or peers. You can get fantastic insights into how much feedback employees need to keep them engaged, and feel like they are adding value.
  • I feel good and energised? More often employees will look for opportunities where they have great work-life balance. Knowing if your employees are feeling down, tired or overworked, and actioning these issues builds trust and shows them you care.
  • I'm making a positive impact on our clients? People want to do good work, and they want that work to have an impact on the organisation and clients. Boring, repetitive work that doesn't add much value could send your employees straight to your competition.

We recommend you have employees rate these questions weekly or fortnightly, so you can look at the trends over time to find any signs of impending churn.

Constantly affirm employee value to the company's vision.

How invested are employees to your company mission and vision. Like we said above, people want to do great work that's meaningful and valuable. If it's not, they will look for a place where it is. 

Highly engaged employees are 75% less likely to look for new jobs compared to disengaged employees. A clear company mission and vision that employees can align themselves with is the first step. Managers and leaders need to actively ensure employees are still engaged and aligned if they want to keep them.

Build trusted relationships with employees.

You know the old saying, people leave managers, not companies. It's true. 57% of employees leave their job because of their manager. We've found two ways that can put a dent in that number:

  1. Knowing the signs of churn (as mentioned above).
  2. Building great manager-employee relationships.

Taking a more vested interest in your employees' wellbeing is a great way to start building trusted relationships. Do you have regular catch ups with them? Do you offer help when they ask? Are you proactive in looking out for their wellbeing?

Here are some great ways you can start building trusted relationships in the workplace:

  1. Have ongoing, frequent check-ins with employees around wellbeing and performance.
  2. Proactively look out for signs that employees may be unhappy, and aim to action it as soon as possible.
  3. Help them when they ask for it, even if it's a minor personal matter.

We wrote an entire eBook on this very subject that you should check out for some great info on this very subject.

Those are 3 ways you can boost retention in your company in 2020. Losing and replacing employees is a costly exercise, especially if they are your top performers. But there are simple strategies companies and managers can put in place to lower their risk.

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