Two Tools for Reducing Employee Turnover

We have already identified the effects of employee engagement and the impact of employee turnover on business success.  I have seen this first hand within my own business and at many organizations around the globe. The U.S. economy is gaining steam and revenue is growing. While that is great, there are risks and one of the biggest is the loss of strategic human capital.

There are two major factors that you can help to reduce turnover and increase employee engagement:

  • Tapping into emotional drivers of employees
  • Positive progressive culture among senior leadership

What do we mean by tapping into emotional drivers of employees? Just like expert marketers who understand that emotions drive purchasing behavior, so too managers/leaders must understand the power of emotions to motivate, and yes, even mold individual contributors’ behavior while at work.

The most effective leaders are adept at identifying and connecting with the drivers that mean the most to their team members. One such important example of this is: ‘Mastery.’ Practically speaking, if an individual contributor feels like they have mastery of their occupation or field, they will feel higher job satisfaction.

So how can you as a leader increase the feelings of mastery within your workforce? This is a good question to ask yourself. Before reading any further, take a moment and get out a piece of paper. Write down a few things that you feel might make your workers feel like masters of their own jobs.

The answer to this question is, ‘it depends’ and it’s not easy. What I have found most effective during the time I led was to make sure my people were doing things they were good at and if I asked them to do something that was outside their wheelhouse I made sure they had plenty of coaching and help.

This requires us as business owners to pay more attention to how employees are doing and feeling about their tasks. The key to tapping into the emotional drivers of employees is, effective and frequent communication.

The second and possibly most important factor in reducing turnover and increasing employee engagement is developing a positive progressive culture within your company and especially its leadership team.  To get at what this means and how to make it live in your company we need to look at what I mean by ‘culture.’

Each company and in some cases, each department, has a culture. The culture of any organization consists of ties that bind individuals together within a group and give it a sense of collective meaning or purpose. Unfortunately, many do not have experience working in a positive, progressive culture, and instead, they do have experience working with the confines of a regressive negative culture. This sort of culture is characterized by defensiveness, exclusion, withdrawal, open contempt or in worst cases, sabotage. That said, the picture of a positive progressive culture becomes clearer.

The positive progressive work culture is built on openness, trust, respect, creativity and communication. The question is how does one build such a culture? The reality is that your workplace culture is built every day, in fact, each hour.

To build a building you have to have a plan. So too you must plan your culture. A wise person once said, nobody plans to fail, but if you fail to plan you most certainly will fail. When building a building most people engage with an expert. When in doubt, seek an expert in the industry.