What To Do When Turnover Rates Go Over 100%!

Part-One of a Four-Part Series — Building Engaged Teams

Think You Have High Turnover Rates? Some Industries Exceed 100%!

A client reached out to me recently feeling discouraged about high turnover. In fact, his turnover was over 100%. At first, he thought this was a mistake. How could turnover be over 100%?

It’s easy.

My client had a total of 135 people leave in a 12 month period. That’s over 12 people per month. He owns a quick service restaurant chain. His average overall headcount is 108 employees.

When he divided 135 (number of people leaving) by 108 (average headcount) he ended up with 125%. — (I know, everyone who knows me personally right now is checking my math. But, this is for real!)

As a personal disclaimer… Now’s a good time to mention that he wasn’t my client when he was losing 12 people per month. Like most leaders he didn’t see a connection between employee engagement, and turnover.

Together, we’re changing that.

The Facts

The fact is, 70% of American workers say they feel disengaged. And 60% claim they’ll look for a new job within a year. Service industries are often the hit the hardest.

Turnover crushes the bottom line.

And the only way to increase your bottom line, in any industry, is to get the most out of the people you count on. That starts by keeping them. And engaging them.

There are three key areas employees need to engage on. And, if we don’t address all of them, your team will not only never be highly engaged…they’ll be certain to disengage. …eventually.

They MUST engage with:

1. The organization (Mission, values, culture)

2. Their role within the organization

3. You as their leader

Miss one of them, and you lose the ability to get the most out of your teams.

I’ve spent the last 7 years working with executives. I see them struggle with retention, across industries. To help, I’ve created a four-step synergistic process to build engagement.

I call the system C.A.R.E. to Engage.

The C.A.R.E. acronym represents these four steps. It’s a framework I use to help my clients drive engagement within their teams.

The first three steps are Clarity, Authenticity, and Responsibility.

And the fourth step, Encouragement, is the glue that holds what you’ve created together. It makes the entire thing sustainable.

So, Clarity, Authenticity, Responsibility, and Encouragement.

Each piece is necessary to create an engaged team.

When used together, they have a compound effect. Creating a powerhouse for increasing productivity.

You’ll see even the most disengaged teams wake up, join their efforts and become world class at what they do.

In this four-part series we’ll take a closer look at each component of this system.

Step #1 Clarity

Clarity is about providing an undersanding much deeper than just surface level instruction…

Clear instruction is important, of course. But, it’s also about connecting the what and the how to the WHY.

Why do people listen to the instructions you give them in the first place? Hint: the answer should never be “because you’re the boss.”

No. What are the connections between the current task/job and the bigger picture? When the Energy Project & Harvard business Review combined forces to survey 20,000 employees for a report called “The Quality of Life @ Work,” they found something eye-opening.

Only 20% of employees had a leader who communicated a clear, consistent, and inspiring vision.

Those that did have such a leader reported being 70% more satisifed with their work, 56% more energized, and 100% more likely to stay at their jobs.

In fact, employees who feel a sense of meaning in their work are shown to be 177% more engaged!

It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that employees just don’t care enough. But, people want to have purpose in their work.

So finding clarity of purpose is a major key to deep team engagement.

Without knowing the why, you’re stuck with temporary motivators that fade and lose their potency. And the good employees often leave to pursue something more meaningful.

Clarity of purpose is critical.

But there’s more to clarity

Clarity in communication is also imperative. It’s necessary to communicate with your teams beyond a surface level. One-way communication leads to frustration.

For example, asking if there are any questions at the end of a meeting, is the communication equivalent of saying “let’s have lunch soon.”

It rarely produces much more than a courtesy response. Creating a real dialogue requires an intentional interplay of questioning, listening, AND understanding.

Skills that any leader can learn, but are too often overlooked.

The second part of the series will cover the second of the four pillars: Authenticity. If you want to build engaged teams….stay tuned.

Cynthia Corsetti is an Executive Coach and Speaker. If you’d like to learn more on how her C.A.R.E. to Engage system can help you create an engaged workforce in your organization, you can email her at: [email protected]

PS..I’m an open networker and I love to connect. Please join me over on LinkedIn and FB so we can take this journey together! 


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