Today we are continuing our focus on employee turnover, one of the biggest unreported expenses in business. These costs — direct and indirect — are very real and cut into profits and reduce shareholder value.
Why then do we seem to tolerate it? Why do most boards and far too many senior leaders pretend it does not exist, or that there is no real cost to the organization?
In yesterday’s blog post: “MEMO TO CEO CANDIDATES: Your Employee Turnover Rate Matters” that appeared on JohnGSelf.Com and LinkedIn, we wrote that recruiters are increasingly zeroing in on this issue. For CEO’s with a high turnover rate, beware: this is an issue that speaks directly to the quality of your leadership.
In this new job market that places a premium on value contribution, problems with employee turnover is not a record of accomplishment that will advance your candidacy. Dodging the question, or trying to pivot to another issue in an interview will not work.
What is so frustrating is that the problems that cause employee turnover are not that hard to fix unless the organization’s employer culture is broken and the CEO suffers from a malignant form of lack of self awareness.
Over the weekend I ran across two articles penned by Dr. Travis Bradberry, President of TalentSmart. He is the author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0.
The mistakes companies make that drive away their best employers is a major concern. Few things are as costly or as disruptive as good people walking out the door, Dr. Bradberry writes.
A foundational issue driving this turnover is lack of employee engagement. In yesterday’s post I reported that CEB, a data firm, estimates that one-third of employees are disengaged from their employer and are already looking for a new job. The Gallup organization, which looks at this issue every year, recently reported that a staggering 70 percent of US workers are not engaged with their work.
This lack of employee engagement is not a new trend. Gallup and other organizations in this field have reported that this shockingly high number of unengaged employees has been a serious issue for years.
A highly engaged workforce means the difference between a company that outperforms its competitors and one that fails to grow, according to the Gallup report
Dr. Bradberry astutely observes that executives tend to blame turnover problems on everything under the sun but the truth is people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers.
If you are in an industry feeling the rapid impact of changing market conditions like retail or healthcare, you cannot afford to lose your best people if you hope to survive.
Moreover, turnover damages an organization’s recruiting brand. Companies with a bad reputation — a sullied recruiting brand — are less likely to attract top performers which contributes to a death spiral.
The question for many CEOs is this: If our employees are truly our most valuable asset, then why do we treat them with such indifference? Why do we seem content to keep making the same eight or nine mistakes that contribute to the lack of engagement and turnover?
Let’s look at Dr. Bradberry’s lists of things managers or senior leaders do to send people packing.
© 2021 John Gregory Self