As an employee retention speaker and employee retention trainer, I always encourage my audiences and clients to look at their employee retention data. Data can often show you what the problem is and in which areas of your organization that employee turnover is taking place. Often times, this employee recruitment speaker hears people say, “But we don’t have data on that.” My reaction always is that you then need to go back in history and compile the data the best you can. Some data is better than no data because it will at least give you some indication as to areas where you need to focus.
Once you have some data, you have to analyze the data and reach some reasonable conclusions. Very often this recruitment expert finds that the data is not clear cut. If it was, then everyone with any will to act could solve their employee retention issues. Unfortunately, the data is often sketchy so it needs to be interpreted. This requires you to go out, look at specific cases of employees who departed to figure out “why” they left. After looking at several cases, you MAY have a fairly solid idea as to why you are experiencing some of your turnover.
Once you have this quantitative and qualitative information you have to ACT ON IT!!! All too often, I hear organizations say things like, “But there is no clear cut reason.” So, they do nothing! In the opinion of this employee retention author, doing nothing is not an option. TRY SOMETHING…see if it works. If it doesn’t work…TRY SOMETHING ELSE. You may have to engage in trial and error based on incomplete data. Doing nothing is not an option if you want to get a handle on your turnover.
The best comparison I can make is to intelligence during times of war. All too often the people in intelligence have a murky picture that major attacks are going to take place. We had a strong sense that attacks such as Pearl Harbor, the Battle of the Bulge and the Tet Offensive in Viet Nam were going to take place but it wasn’t clear cut. As such, we took no action and the results were catastrophic. I advocate that acting on imperfect data is better than taking no action at all if you want to avoid a catastrophic result with your employee retention. Doing nothing is not a viable option!