Another day, another resignation. Sound familiar?

Another day, another resignation. Sound familiar?

13 Jun    Advice, Columns, Finance News

Of course, employees will often move onto pastures new, whether to broaden their experience, take another step up the ladder or move to a new location. All perfectly valid reasons for switching roles.

If, however, it feels like your organisation is in constant ‘recruit and train’ mode, always replacing and never growing, there are issues afoot and it’s time to take action.

High attrition rates will not only cause reputational and cultural damage but also cost you money, and a lot more money than you may think. According to research from HRZone, staff turnover costs British companies alone at least £4.13bn every year.

So, why do people commonly leave?

Research has shown that it’s not all about the money. Employees are looking for job satisfaction and meaningful work that aligns to their personal values, as well as having a clear sense of purpose and belonging within the team and organisation. A level of trust and autonomy, alongside opportunities to grow and develop, and a sense that staff wellbeing genuinely matters, are also key factors in enhancing motivation, enthusiasm and productivity levels.

That’s why it’s imperative to have a clearly defined purpose with the culture to support it permeating throughout your entire organisation on a day-to-day basis.

If your team don’t feel valued, trusted, respected and empowered, the floodgates can open. Not only will you have trouble attracting new talent, but you will struggle to hang onto those you’ve already invested in.

Picture this, while you’re recruiting a replacement for an unexpected leaver, your existing team will not only have to pick up the slack, but they will also have to help train the new person when they arrive, familiarising them with your systems and processes, or supporting their workload until they’re suitably proficient. New team members can take several months to get up to speed (an average of 28 weeks according to Oxford Economics). This can result in loss of productivity, reduced efficiency and increased workload all round, leading to stressed and overworked co-workers.

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Of course, there’s also the drain on your personal time as a leader. Imagine, you’ve spent six months searching for a new senior employee, paid the recruitment fees for that search, spent considerable time onboarding and upskilling that employee to do the job you needed them to do in the way you wanted them to do it, only to have to do it all again when they leave.

The harsh reality is that the true cost of replacing a senior employee works out to be at least double their salary by the time you’ve factored everything in.

So, in light of the above, how does your organisation stack up? Is there a positive workplace culture that enables your team to thrive or do you have a sneaky suspicion that you could do better?

In order to assess employee satisfaction, and in turn, boost your culture and enhance retention, there are some things you can do:

Engage your current team

Garner anonymous feedback on their experience at your firm – the more honest the better.

If you do this, however, you must ensure you take action to improve your culture once the common issues have been identified – otherwise your team will lose even more faith in your leadership abilities.

Regularly measure attrition rates

This is a good way to get a benchmark of how well you are doing as an employer. 10% is seen as a healthy rate (according to industry experts), so anything above that is worth looking into.

Conduct exit interviews for your leavers

Or if this isn’t possible, have a look on other sources such as Glassdoor where people can give you their honest, anonymous opinion. It’s not nice to hear the hard truths from disgruntled employees, but by knowing the truth, you can improve things before it’s too late.

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Communicate with your team regularly

Sell the sizzle – and believe it! If you’re not excited about the future of your company, how can anyone else be?

Empower your team with clarity

Clarity of career pathway is vital. Empower your people to thrive in their career while supporting your organisation to achieve its purpose and objectives.

Growing the team

Think carefully about your potential new hires and make sure you are clear on the role you think you need and what success looks like for a potential new candidate in that role. Managing expectations on both sides is imperative to making successful hires.

Enhance your recruitment process

It’s not just about a candidates ability to ‘do the tasks’ in the job description, it is equally important to hire candidates who are the right cultural fit for your organisation. This approach mitigates the risks to both business and employee and results in a more fulfilling, productive relationship for all parties.

In summary

It’s cheaper and easier to look after your current team – to engage them, enthuse them and make sure they have the tools, training and clarity to thrive in your organisation. But if you do need to make new hires, think carefully about your recruitment strategy to ensure you are hiring people with the fundamental skills to do the tasks in your (well thought out) job description, giving them clarity of what good looks like and ensuring they align with your culture.

This helps ensure a successful result for all and, most importantly, helps you step off the often-costly recruitment merry-go-round.

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Rhonda Curliss

Rhonda Curliss

Rhonda Curliss is co-founder and co-CEO of Grey Lemon. Set up in 2020 with her co-founder Victoria Firth, Grey Lemon has helped supercharge many businesses by working with CEOs, owners and senior leadership teams. Their strategic, holistic input and direct approach has seen these companies turn around and thrive – tripling profits, growing internationally, doubling business wins and mitigating risks. Previously holding Director, Board and c-suite positions in international and UK businesses, Rhonda has a wealth of expertise and is also the first female president in the history of The Nero Club, formed over 50 years ago for London’s property industry leaders. She is a trained mediator, and mentors and advises a number of charitable organisations in the property and construction sector.

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