One day when I was out getting a coffee, I overheard a man talking on his cellphone.
"We need to be stricter with our hiring practices next year," he said. "We want to keep them past a year."
I wanted to turn around and tell him, "Maybe you don't need to be stricter with your hiring practices. You can bring them in but you're not keeping them. It could be your corporate culture."
Authors Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman said in their book, First Break All the Rules: What The Worlds' Greatest Managers Do Differently, that people don't leave jobs, they leave managers. If employees don't get along with their managers, don't like them or don't respect them, they will leave a company despite a high salary or great benefits. A bad manager is a big factor in employee performance. A good manager, no matter the salary, will inspire loyalty.
Managers who don't create the right opportunities for their employees, don't communicate with them, and don't appreciate them often find themselves dealing with a high turnover rate. Good managers are people you keep in touch with even after you leave a position. Bad managers are people you keep track of so you can avoid them in future.
Companies that seemed to reorganize every six to nine months don't have a good retention rate. Their upper management gets shifted into different positions, managers are changed and even business units are renamed. Almost every time a reorganization happens, people get laid off. This creates an environment of uncertainty and people don't feel like they can lay down roots.
Competition is good, gladiator wars aren't. Pitting people and departments against each other does not encourage people to stay. Some people thrive in all stressful environments, most don't. Why do you think there are so many articles about how to manage stress? People will leave a job if stress makes them ill.
Lack of Support
Do you communicate with your employees? Have you sat down and created a plan for their growth within the company? Has that plan been implemented after sign-off? If a manager doesn't take the time to know his employee and foster growth, people will feel unappreciated. Do you know what unappreciated people do? They walk.
Mary Kay Ash, the founder of Mary Kay cosmetics, once said about appreciation, "Everyone wants to be appreciated, so if you appreciate someone, don't keep it to yourself." That company appreciates its sales force with gifts, recognition and glamorous events. Managers don't have to go that route, but acknowledging their employees' work will make a huge difference to retention rates, as discussed in this Workopolis article.
As Mary Kay Ash also said, "People are definitely a company's greatest asset. It doesn't make any difference whether the product is cars or cosmetics. A company is only as good as the people it keeps."
Thanks to Renee Sylvestre-Williams / Forbes / Forbes.com LLC™