UH OH!! Turnover is Starting to Rear Its Ugly Head Again
It's happening. Turnover is baaaaaack. Good employees are starting to leave their companies when another opportunity presents itself. Turnover hurts. It causes confusion and turmoil internally and can also cause consternation with your clients and customers. The cost of turnover in cases in which employees have a strong relationship with your customers and clients is impossible to measure.
We have seen it ourselves. McKenzieHR had two very talented people who left the fold in the last few months. Losing one is not so bad and recoverable. Losing two in that time frame is downright embarrassing especially since we are a human resources management firm.
Not that I can blame either of them for leaving, as both were given the proverbial "offer they could not refuse". No this was not Vito Corleone style as nobody put a gun to their head. Neither of them was actively looking for another job. Both received offers from their former employers out of the blue. Both of the companies are members of the Fortune 500 list.
As a small and developing company, there is no way we can compete against corporate behemoths. Then again, it also tells me that I hired good people (which is just my way for me to justify losing talent).
Aside from the obvious problems with client relations, there were a number of things that had to be put on hold.
- This is the first newsletter we have published since May. I vowed to get it out every month a long time ago. I just did not have a lot of time to concentrate on it. The McKenzie Mailer has always been a good way to stay in touch with our clients, potential clients, friends and business partners. I cannot tell you the number of times over the years, this newsletter reminded clients to call us.
- A badly needed website update did not happen and is currently on hold as we enter our busiest sales time.
- Another client initiative has been put on hold until 2012.
- I got just plain tired.
Can you learn from our misfortunes? Absolutely.
The first lesson is that good people are always in demand. We have also seen turnover with our clients recently. Most of the people left because of the economic conditions of the company. They were not confident that their organization was going to make it. Changing jobs was a move for self-preservation.
Others left to pursue a career direction they wanted to go after for a long time, but kept the job because they had to make money. This is a sign that the job market is loosening up a little. Even more reason to make sure that great employees stay with you.
Money is not the answer as most of these people were given special salary increases in an effort to keep them. But, the reason they started looking for another job is there was no plan communicated to them on what the company was doing to get out of the mess. Top management was so focused on the near term profitability that they were not informing their employees of longer term plans and the lines of communication stopped. Companies that were very good about communication with employees during the good times, stopped communicating during the bad times. In these cases, no news is definitely NOT good news. No news causes doubts and rumors of doom and gloom.
Inquiring Minds Want to Know
The human part of Human Resources is very fickle. Do not assume that employees just know what is going on because they don't. Employees want to know that their livelihoods are not in jeopardy. And when things start to get quiet, the doubt gets bigger.
Your People are your Competitive Advantage
The strategic part of human resources is taking charge of the talent in the organization. Even if your organization does not have a human resources department, your organization is made up of people. Your only competitive advantage is the people you employ. So take care of the good ones and replace the not so good ones with better people.
COMMUNICATE - Let these people know what is happening with your business, where they can help and what they can do to help. You may be surprised by the response. I know I have said this before, but there is nothing more important to your business than taking good care of your competitive advantage.
Good luck and stay positive.