Have you seen the meme floating around the internet that says, “employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers''? While this can be true, there are many other factors that also impact an employee’s decision to leave their job. Since you decided to read this blog, you probably feel frustrated with all the time and energy that you put into recruiting and training new hires who don’t seem to stick with the company very long.
Before you start to implement flashy employee engagement initiatives that you think will ensure that no one will ever want to leave their job, you need to collect some data to determine what initiatives will work best in your workplace. It is tempting to make assumptions based on what you think the issues are, but there are likely to be some other things going on beneath the surface. Therefore, it is important to use data to be strategic in what you spend your time and resources on in attempts to reduce turnover. Gather the data that you need through measuring turnover, conducting employee engagement surveys, and conducting exit interviews.
How to Measure Turnover
The calculation to measure employee turnover is simple, you just need to track the data needed to calculate it! To track basic turnover rates, you will need to know the total number of employees who work in your organization and then you will need to know the total number of voluntary and involuntary terminations. By dividing the number of terminations by the headcount then you will know your rate of turnover for the organization. You can parse it out between the involuntary and voluntary rates to help you better understand the true rate at which people are deciding to leave the company. You can also isolate the data by departments to figure out which ones have the highest levels of turnover and where you might need to focus your attention. Tracking length of service for the individuals may also provide insight that will help you keep the right focus on root cause issues.
Conduct Employee Engagement Surveys
An employee engagement survey allows employees to anonymously answer questions about their current working conditions. These touchpoints provide a snapshot in time of the employee population, what they like or dislike about their job, what makes them stay with the company or why they are thinking about leaving the organization. These surveys also provide you with baseline data that you need to measure the success of any new interventions that you put in place. For example, if your last engagement survey revealed that morale was low in the office, and you decide to implement a recognition program, on the next survey, you can see how much the morale has improved as a result of the new program.
The survey might also reveal if there are some managers that employees prefer to work with compared to others. This can help guide resources and money into training particular managers where there may be some issues in how they work with their team.
Conduct Exit Interviews
An exit interview is a conversation that you have with an employee who has decided to leave the organization. This is primarily a discovery conversation where the departing employee can help you uncover information about what the employee liked about their job, what they think the company is doing well, as well as the areas of improvement. The conversation should happen on one of their last days and should be conducted by someone from the HR department (or someone in an administrative position that is not their direct supervisor if you do not have an HR department). Exit interviews can provide you with a wealth of information. When an employee is leaving the organization, they may be more open to discuss what really got under their skin while with the company and alert you to potential problems. If the same issue or the same person is consistently brought up in the exit interviews, then it is likely that you have identified the source of some of your retention problems.
Build a Business Case With HR Data
If you use formal tools to collect objective data then you have will have quantifiable information to determine the programs and policies that you need to put in place. For instance, if the data shows that employees need better tools to perform their jobs, maybe the solution is in more training or upgraded software to empower them to be better at their jobs. Or perhaps the survey results will indicate that employees are stressed out because of long commutes and they need more flexibility in their work/life balance. If that is the case, then work from home arrangements or compressed work weeks might be the solution. Listen to the data and go where it leads you.
Obtaining data to guide your decision making provides a solid business case when you need to request more resources from management to fund your initiatives aimed at reducing turnover. If you have data that demonstrates that the new program that you have implemented has increased employee satisfaction and decreased turnover, then you have positioned yourself well to make a case to increase funding or get more personnel for your initiative.
Getting Help to Reduce Turnover
Building an effective survey is crucial to collect the appropriate data that you need. At Essential HR, we can help you build the tools that you need to make strategic HR decisions and reduce turnover. Contact us to get started.