Monday, April 2, 2018

10 Employee Turnover Myths You Can Bust

Employee turnover is a growing concern. However, there are ways you can bust these 10 employee turnover myths and increase your employee engagement. 

Myth 1: It's Inevitable in Healthcare

If you work in healthcare, senior care in particular, employee turnover is guaranteed. It's hard work and jobs in other sectors are more enticing. Or does it have to be? The answer is no. Creating a culture in your company that focuses on the purpose (or the why) for the work instead of the functions (or the list of tasks) can change hard work into intensely rewarding work.

Myth 2: It's The Lack of Pay

Medicare dictates the wages of workers. When fast food places offer more money for easier work, what keeps employees from making the switch? As it turns out, praise is a bigger motivator than pay. This doesn't mean that people will work for nothing, of course. Bills arrive in every mailbox. However, employees are more motivated to work for a company where they are appreciated rather than for a company where they are paid better but work in an environment where their efforts go unnoticed.

Creating an environment where recognition is emphasized doesn't have to be expensive, time consuming, or insincere. When gathering feedback from customers about their experiences, ask them if they would like to recognize any of your employees. Create employee achievement certificates and take time to recognize those who go above and beyond. Encourage co-workers to share positive interactions they have with one another. Begin with a top-down approach of providing praise for work well done.

Myth 3: Our Small Business Just Can't Compete

Large companies and hospitals have a great ability to draw talented prospective employees to their doors. However, this doesn't mean that a small business has to pick up the less-desirable workers. Oftentimes, small businesses provide greater hands-on opportunities. Tout the career growth opportunities that your small business has to offer talented employees.

Myth 4: Managers Don't Affect Turnover

Does this one even need to be said? I mean, who wants a micromanaging, quick-tempered, or uninspiring manager? Obviously, no one wants to work with a manager who makes life miserable. But did you know that the way your managers perceive their team members can also make a difference in whether employees stay or start looking for new work? Managers who help their team members recognize their talents and encourage them to continue growing can help employees stay engaged. Encourage your managers to identify how their team members' strengths fit into the organization's goals and values. Then provide managers with the tools they need to help their team members continue to increase these skills. Instead of thinking about training as a one-time event, encourage continuous learning among all employees. 

Additionally, a company culture that encourages its staff to apply for positions within the company can help employees feel there are opportunities for growth where they are. Highlight lateral career paths within your company in addition to vertical career paths. Encourage managers to help their team find the work they love without leaving. 

Myth 5: Turnover Only Affects Finances

Losing valued employees takes a much larger toll on your company than just the expense of replacing the individual. When an employee chooses to leave, you lose the customer relationships they have garnered, their productivity, and the knowledge they've acquired while working for you. Turnover also affects your company culture.

Myth 6: It Doesn't Correlate with Culture

According to Wikipedia, culture is defined as the social behavior and norms found in human societies. What are the normal social behaviors in your company? Is there a high amount of negative competition? Do employees hoard information from other employees? Are employees forced to choose between family and work life? Are the staff members building positive connections with others? Does your company tell the truth to itself? Are your employees happy at work? Are your employees sick and/or tired?

The culture of your company makes a huge difference in how your employees perceive their job. In fact, author Brent Gleeson argues in that it's the most important aspect of employee retention.

Myth 7: New Employees Are Most Likely to Leave

Starting a new job can be challenging, but the path your employees take doesn't have to be treacherous. Providing a strong onboarding program can make the transition smooth. Be sure not to confuse orientation with onboarding. Onboarding consists of acclimating and engaging employees throughout the first 90 days, and even the first year.

When I started working at Pinnacle, I received a card from my new coworkers, welcoming me. It was a small thing, but I meant a lot. Other things that can help an employee acclimate include the following:
  • A peer or mentor who can provide support
  • One-on-one time with the manager on the first day to build rapport
  • A ready-to-go work space
  • Thorough training, along with clear instructions regarding compliance
  • Consistent communication 

Myth 8: They Won't Tell You Why They're Leaving

Many companies miss out on a valuable piece of information when employees voluntarily leave—they don't ask WHY. It's a common misconception that employees won't tell the truth. However, asking exiting employees can be a source of priceless information. You can learn what about their job caused dissatisfaction, suggestions they have for improving company culture, and more. Just remember that hearing constructive feedback can sometimes be difficult. Be sure to accept the feedback without becoming defensive or combative. Incorporating changes based on exiting feedback can help your company resolve company culture and operational challenges, and increase employee engagement.

Myth 9: It's Good If You Don't Have Turnover

If your company has had the same employees for years without any turnover, that may not be such a good thing. Turnover can be good because it brings in new ideas and new talent. It can also help you reduce the number of disengaged employees in your ranks.

Myth 10: Turnover is Always Bad

Not all turnover is created equal. Employees who are not engaged or are actively disengaged at work create a negative impact on your company culture and your company's level of productivity. While you may be able to help some of the not engaged employees to become engaged, it's unlikely that the actively disengaged employees will become actively engaged. In these situations, it may be best to encourage your actively disengaged employees to find new opportunities elsewhere. Thus, leaving openings you can fill with more engaged employees.