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“We try to hire the best people we can”

“What are you currently doing to reduce your turnover?”

“We try to hire the best people we can”

The above is a standard question I ask and below it is the number one response. The response is at best a hope. Companies who have high employee turnover never have a written comprehensive plan to reduce their turnover. It should be no surprise when those companies make no progress in reducing their turnover. When I review statistics for a company, the consistency over the years is amazing. Year in, year out the turnover is within a very predictable range. Therefore, the cost is also very consistent.

No wonder business owners and managers believe turnover “is what it is”. Once, I walked in as the new VP of Human Resources for a company with high turnover. When I asked the above question, I was given the predictable answer. My first order of business was to identify the problems and develop a plan. We then had to implement the solutions. There were multiple issues, all needed to be addressed and at the same time. We saw immediate progress and in time we cut turnover by 42%. The hard savings were well over a million dollars a year. Equally important were the soft issues which were addressed such as: morale, training fatigue and organizational instability. These three issues synergize and sap organizational strength at an alarming rate.

I had to develop a plan which would include all strategies and detailed tactics required to have a significant impact on our turnover. The plan had to be logical, focused on root causes and be high on fundamental management principles. There were items which were not understood by all the managers; however, the overall plan had to make sense.

Lastly, the plan had to be high on numbers with the current and desired states clearly identified. The responsible managers had to be included, engaged and directly involved in the implementation. The plan had to include a way to make all concerned accountable. The plan goals and results had to be reviewed with all managers on a regular basis to demonstrate in clear terms what was working and what wasn’t.

Where is your plan?