Weapons in the War for Talent

The Rising Tide of Turnover

The candidate-driven workforce is leading to staggering turnover in the United States. In 2018, 41.4 million U.S. workers voluntarily left their jobs making the voluntary employee turnover rate over 27%. Since 2010, turnover has increased by 88%. When you calculate this with the average employee departure valued at about 1/3 of that worker’s annual earnings, the financial implications are enormous. There is no end in sight with predictions that the 2020 number will rise to 47%. Facts

2018 Retention Report – Work Institute

In order to stop the bleeding, let’s understand why people are leaving their jobs. Work Institute collected data from the employees leaving their jobs in 2018. The leading reasons why employees left their jobs in 2018 are outlined below.

Why People Quit

Source: Work Institute.

With numbers like this, employers are asking how they can combat turnover and more importantly, how they can get employees to want to walk in the door each day?

Earning a paycheck and the sense of job security is not enough to retain workers. For perhaps the first time in history, employees are in the drivers’ seat to provide input on the factors that are important to them outside of dollars and cents. Employers are finding some of these influencers impacting employee engagement and retention do require an investment, but others are more about reevaluating policies, instituting team building activities, and supporting initiatives focusing on community engagement, among others.

We’ve seen this across industries and in companies of all sizes. A few examples from our clients are cited below:

  • COMPANY A: As a multi-generation, woman-owned produce distribution company, this client adopted an environmental policy consistent with their commitment to providing quality products in a manner that ensures a safe and healthy workplace for their employees while minimizing their potential impact on the environment. The company has integrated the consideration of environmental concerns and impacts into all of their decision making and activities. They will strive to continually improve their environmental performance by periodically reviewing their policy in light of current and planned future activities.
  • COMPANY B: This company was created to be the preferred choice in their healthcare specialty, not just the typical outpatient or another hospital-owned business. The founding clinicians relied on their knowledge and experience to develop a company that not only provided the best patient experience imaginable but the company that these specific clinicians would seek out, eager to be a part of their team. Most importantly, the clinicians would enjoy unique benefits of Personal Development, Professional Development, and Profit Sharing. By investing in these clinicians, our client maintains a higher than average retention rate and have enhanced their ability to leverage solutions in the healthcare environment.

And others:

  • The Indiana University Health System eliminated a rule where nurses with associate degrees were told that if they didn’t earn a bachelor’s degree within two years, they would be terminated. The health system also raised its education allowance for nursing degrees from $3,600 to $5,250 a year.
  • Last year, global management consulting group, Pricewaterhouse Coopers gave its employees the entire week of July 4th off, with pay. PwC already does so for the week between Christmas and New Year’s. PwC also began providing various types of digital training to its employees to expand their knowledge in such fields as artificial intelligence and data insights. The idea isn’t to make employees topic experts, but rather to broaden their knowledge to better serve clients.
  • In the retail sector, an industry that has the highest percentage of employee turnover, footwear giant ECCO stopped tying bonuses to overall store sales and instead tied to outcomes more within staffers’ control. 

Here’s our takeaway:

Systemic changes in organizations should not be done in a vacuum. Taking time to celebrate each victory by socializing the information internally is a good first step to ensuring the news is delivered and enjoyed throughout your enterprise. Company announcements through press and on social media provides an opportunity for others to see your progress as an organization who has made a commitment and investment to their employees and their engagement. Progress begets progress, these victories create buzz and foster environments of positive change with employees and their families, clients and customers, vendors, and the community at large. Progress towards building productive cultures of engaged employees is developed organically by sharing good news. Listening, learning, and reacting to what is important to your employees is just good business. Employees are the face of your business, as well as your recruiters, your supporters, and they celebrate your success as their success.