If you were put in the position of doing just one thing you believe is critical to the success of your business, what would it be? Answer that question in the privacy of your own mind. Now, we want to challenge you with an idea that may never have occurred to you: reducing staff turnover may be the most critical thing you can do to ensure business success. Yes, reducing staff turnover is that important.
Business heavyweights across the board know the importance of staff retention. For example, Virgin CEO Richard Branson1and former PR consultant and TV personality Nick Hewer2 have both publicly talked about the value of retaining staff over the long term. Both have built highly successful businesses that are the envy of the competition. If reducing staff turnover is important to heavyweights such as Branson and Hewer, it should be important to every business executive.
Satisfaction Improves Performance
Taking the steps necessary to reduce staff turnover nearly always results in staff that is genuinely satisfied with their work. However, it gets even better. Job satisfaction translates into better performance because staff are confident the work they are doing is contributing to the success of the company. There are few motivational tools as powerful as job satisfaction when looking to maximise performance.
Family Atmosphere Conducive to Collaboration
A CIPD survey released earlier this year showed that some 23% of employees are looking for a new job. Why? Most survey respondents said they would prefer to work in a company in which a family atmosphere3 is fostered; only 26% said they actually work in such an environment. People want to feel like a part of a family where staff all work together in a collaborative environment. That is what workers are hungry for, particularly young workers.
When a company offers a family environment conducive to collaboration, workers take personal ownership in their work, the work of their peers, and the company as a whole. The result is reduced staff turnover and a new-found and sustained sense of loyalty that continually helps to improve company performance.
Engaged Staff Will Engage Clients
A well-known but little-recognised secret in the business world is that staff are a literal extension of the company for which they work. If you want to know how your business is doing in terms of client relationships, just take a look at the state of in-office management and staff relationships. You will soon discover how important it is to retain staff by engaging them so that they, in turn, properly engage with clients. As staff engagement goes, so does client engagement.
With Retention Comes Continuity
Every time a member of staff leaves your company to go elsewhere, you are left to pick up the pieces and start over. Not only do you invest time and resources in recruiting efforts, but you also lose the time it takes for the new hire to be absorbed into the corporate culture and company processes. This lost time is highly destructive to continuity.
Staff retention provides the critical continuity your company needs to remain on track over long periods. When continuity is strong, a business can further develop and expand products or services. When continuity is lacking, a business is likely to suffer from the inefficiency and unpredictably caused by repetitive starts and stops.
Reducing staff turnover may be the most important thing you could ever do to ensure the success of your business. Make it a goal for the remainder of this year so that you head into 2016 on a high note.
Seb Atkinson blogs about a range of business topics, including marketing, HR and workplace wellness. He currently helps businesses improve the profitability of their online campaigns at Selesti.