It is pretty easy to find statistics on industry turnover online. The rates vary year to year and the cultural factors that affect the scores come and go; it's also pretty easy to blame attrition on factors like Brexit, Trump, credit crisis etc etc. The truth is that the majority of reasons people leave an organisation is actually related to the organisation itself. The management, the team, the structure, the culture; a whole host of reasons. LinkedIn has done the research and it's stark.
But why is this important? Hopefully the above is an indicator not on what the number is, but instead what factors you can look to understand and influence when you get your employee turnover calculation completed. After all, senior management doesn't employee people to get only the number, they want solutions!
But what solutions to give? Many tools measure the problem and many others provide solutions, engagement survey providers are everywhere and it's easy to build your own survey and collect statistics on what's driving people away. Choosing the correct solution however is one of the hardest aspects of an organisations planning process. Let's say that the task you have is to bring in new ideas which will help reduce the attrition in key areas where it's not wanted i.e. high performing staff. To do this you will be challenged by the cultural shift that needs to happen within the teams to adopt a new attrition reduction process. Generally team management will be the key lead in the success of the transformation and targeting your time at convincing a manager the new process is correct is the most efficient way forward, change their mindset and they will do the transformation for you.
If we are to look at the main attrition contributors for employees: lack of advancement, poor leadership, culture; and we look from an employee - rather than management perspective - we can understand, what's really driving employees to leave - (then reverse engineer a solution).
Help employees understand their capability better
It's pretty easy to find a "bad manager" - 58% of manager's haven't been trained according to CareerBuilder.com and any organisation knows that people mostly leave their line manager - not their organisation, and depending on the study you read the attrition contribution factor can be as high as 85% of people left due to their direct line manager. Unfortunatley, however, most people go into management not out of desire but through circumstance and organisational pressure. Managers tend to get paid more as they climb the corporate ladder, quite simply, the perception in our capitalist society is the closer to the top, the more you get paid. Though this isn't necessarily a bad or good thing - it's mostly an opinion as to where you stand - it's useful to understand that this position tends to drive people towards management roles, whether they are ready for it or not.
So why is this important? It's important that in order to reduce attrition the "bad manager" problem is addressed. The best ways to do this is either the short term, high impact solution of training run by the organisation or choosing a long term but gradually built up solution which focuses on skill and self-awareness training for early hires into the business and to make sure people don't take the leap before they are as ready. Each route has it's pro's and con's, and at the end of the day the organisations decision will impact it's success for the next generation of employees. At Weavee we believe the best strategy is the long term, gradually built up approach which will focus on introducing smaller changes to the organisation to minimize disruption and enable enough time and space for all employees and managers to continuously learn what they need to strive to be their best within their role.
Do you want your attrition reduction strategy to work?
The best bet, as with any strategy, is to raise these strategies with the person most likely to benefit (and be at the company long enough to see the change take root). This is a judgement, not a science, however the senior leadership team of an organisation is likely to be the best place to start (even if the engagement surveys rank their performance as poor!). All you need to do is pitch a solution to the problem to them.
An example pitch strategy: Emotional and statistical pitching
A focus around the benefits that your proposed changes will bring to the wellbeing and motivations of the person being pitched to is a good approach. Aim it at people receiving the pitch directly while talking about the people that surround them, and the people within the wider organisation, keep extolling the benefits of your solution. As an example: if the senior management is motivated by primarily money, it could be advisable to talk about the affect your strategy might have on customer satisfaction, after all, the industry statistics agree that that there is a strong relationship between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction. Even if customer satisfaction is already high, no one will say no to solutions which increase those numbers even further!
What solution to propose
No matter what solution you propose ensure it is correctly scoped within the framework of the original employee turnover calculation, always consider the benefits of it being better. The transformation an organisation must go through to accomplish the task can seem large but small quick wins can ensure the approach is supported by stakeholders. Just make sure you are leading the transformation as much as possible - it's a great CV headline!
At Weavee we have focused our efforts on culture transformation, we work with people looking to take their culture change ideas forward. A lot of the issues around stakeholder continual buy in are removed through our technology and consulting combination. We have helped organisations move from a static closed culture to a self-learning, inspirational culture where employees can share ideas with people in a transparent, friendly, and innovative way. This not only benefits the people and teams, but also the company. After all - most of the best companies in the world adopt this approach - so why wouldn't your company?