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Turning around turnover: how to keep the best employees


Decrease employee turnover and your organization will be in a better position. You’ll need to decrease employee turnover to deal with imminent workforce changes. Many employers don’t realize that, in the United States, there are only 44 million people aged 13 to 31, compared to 78 million Baby Boomers. The scary truth is that in the future, you, as an employer, will not be able to match your job requirements to the qualifications of the people available. Having fewer workers automatically means there will be fewer qualified ones. As the competition for the same workers heats up, preventing turnover will become your biggest priority. Just what are some of the real motivating factors that determine employee loyalty? More importantly, what can you do as owners and managers to stop the revolving door? Let’s examine five of the most important motivating factors.

Dignity and respect
We can’t expect our employees to treat our customers in a warm friendly manner, and with respect, if we don’t treat our employees in that manner. Customer relations will always mirror employee relations. Using abusive or obscene language, verbal put-downs and insults or shouting and telling lies can only result in low morale, high absenteeism and turnover. Give your people some slack. Don’t micromanage or hover over them. Today’s workforce is much more independent. Many want to be empowered. Let them know what they can and cannot do through training and communication. When they make a wrong decision, don’t slam them for it. Instead, make it a teachable moment.

Involvement and participation
Get your employees involved in as much of your decision making as possible. It gives them a sense of belonging and partnership. Frequently ask their opinions and suggestions, and brainstorm for solutions to problems. People want to be involved in decisions that ultimately affect them. Involvement and participation breed responsibility and enthusiasm. Employees gain a sense of ownership.

Pay above the industry average
If you want to hire and keep the best, then you must be willing to pay for the best. Conversely, the people who feel they are best will seek out employers that pay the best. If you have higher paid, better people, who are more productive with higher quality work and fewer errors, these people will make you more money. You’ll have more satisfied customers, greater repeat business and free word-of-mouth advertising. What you pay out in extra salaries will be less than what your cost is in turnover. It makes good business sense to pay them more.

Showcase superior workers
Make exceptional employees highly visible by putting their photos on bulletin boards, display cases or company newsletters. Display letters to employees from satisfied customers, or even better, display a letter from the company owner or president. Give certificates, plaques, lapel pins and son on for superior service, sales or teamwork at special events or dinners. Awarding employee of the month or quarter or a department of the month or quarter, although not a new concept, is extremely effective.

Show support
Support your staff with difficult personal decisions and family problems in any way you can. Just knowing that you realize certain situations are taking place at home and are behind your employees can go a long way towards having a very loyal workforce. Turning around turnover and keeping the best people can not happen by chance. It is achieved by developing the strategies that will create a positive, motivating atmosphere. Only when you implement these strategies, and pay value to people and treat employees as assets, not expenses, can you proudly say that workers are motivated, productive and high quality employees.

Bob Losyk, M.Ed, MBA, CSP is a seasoned professional with over seventeen years of speaking experience, and over twenty years of service, sales, and top level management expertise. His programs are highly interactive and bristle with contagious energy and enthusiasm. His programs are highly interactive and bristle with contagious energy and enthusiasm. He delivers customized keynotes and seminars with impact and  humor.
For additional information:

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