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Quit complaining about losing staff ... do something about it.

It seems to me that Leaders find it much easier to complain about not being able to attract labour, losing labour or that government subsidies have made people to lazy to come to work. But ultimately the fix is pretty simple ... actually really simple. and ... IT IS NOT MONEY !!!

Eighty-three percent of more than 100 surveyed companies, in the 10-county area, reported staff turnover as their leading concern. The most common figure for staff turnover is 40% per year, with most in shop-floor, hourly paid jobs.

In great contrast to the many, about 5% of the companies have turnover rates at or below 15%, without paying more than other companies local to them (except for one company).

Managers often cite pay as the leading reason for employee-leaving. It is not. The costs of staff turnover at 40% levels is not just financial. Indirect costs are significant in high staff turnover environments; working staff are disrupted and disappointed, with possible effects on morale, safety and quality. Without quantifying these “costs,” we cannot adequately fix them.

The physical work environment matters. If you would not want to bring your family to your workplace, why would you be happy there? We found massive variations, from work-place safety, order, cleanliness, bathrooms, rest areas and eating areas; workplaces where you could eat off the floor to those that are dark and hazardous; disorganized and filthy due to neglect.

You have heard the term "Dress for Success" but how is your business dressed to attract and retain employees? A clean, well organized environment will attract professionals and if it is a brand that they can become emotionally attached to ... they will deliver ongoing professional results.

Do not Preach to your employees but rather listen and respond. I tour many companies that are proud of their KPI Boards scattered through-out the facilities thay are even proud of their "Stand-Up Meetings" which all sound good until i do a deep dive. The KPI Boards are just a physical form of preaching the corporate gospel of what they want to communicate and most often are items that the regular employee cannot adjust and similar to the meetings it is just a different venue to elicit "Command and Control instructions ... just stop.

An easy fix is just to adopt a "Servant Leadership" style ... where you listen to employee concerns and then address them on the spot. You will be surprised, pleasantly surprised that they will only be asking for items that will improve their day and the capability to deliver professional results.

It is not a Job ... make it a career for them. Offer every worker in the company a career plan, engaging individually with every single worker, at all levels. One company enjoyed zero staff turnover as a result. It does not matter even if an employee just wants to remain stationary within their current position ... we need them also ... but they still deserve some one-on-one coaching time.

identify coaching skills as a way to improve the competencies of supervisors. Coaching-skills include facilitation language, asking questions, listening well and using the language used by the worker. To create a general culture change, any initiative will include managers at all levels.

Here are things that other companies are doing that have met with success:

  • Wellness Day/Week plant closure

  • Mandated work-breaks

  • Wellness personal budgets (for gym etc.)

  • Care-giving financial-help initiative

  • Paid Time Off initiative

  • Paid ‘Relief Days’ (up to 5 days off per year for unexpected domestic/family situations)

  • Vaccinated-only environment (where state-legal)

  • Flexible work schemes including remote/hybrid work, where feasible

  • Benefit packages.

  • Hire a concierge to assist your employee's needs which can include attending to parent's needs to attend appointments or looking after children to keep your human talent at work.

Prospective employees should have clear expectations about what it is like in your work culture, to avoid a mismatch between expectations and experience.

But it ultimately still starts with "Dressing for Sucess", personally and your business image.


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