We tend to use data for many of our decisions and that is a good thing in many ways. The first step of course is to actually track it. It just amazes this employee retention trainer that some organizations that reach out to me to conduct workouts for their leaders so they can improve employee retention don’t even track their turnover. To their credit, they are on top of their business to understand if employee turnover is an issue.
Once I get a client tracking their employee turnover, I like to break down the data. I don’t just like to look at the overall turnover. I like to look at the turnover by department, by shift, by the leaders involved, etc. This avoids having problem areas camouflaged by areas that are doing well. To this employee retention trainer, this is pretty simple and logical stuff. So why don’t organizations do it? Usually, it’s because it’s a bit more work for someone! If you are on the senior leadership team you need to demand that this be done. Otherwise, you may be missing a key area for improvement.
I have seen breaking the data down work very well as a good first step to improving employee retention. When department heads, shift superintendents, and other leaders know that they can’t “hide” there is often more effort put into dealing with a turnover issue. It’s no different than a quality issue or a productivity issue. In those cases, we try to pinpoint as closely as possible where the problem is, so we can take corrective action. When we know where the problem is, we can begin to address it.
Not only should you use the data to drive action, but you should also make sure that the supervisors, department leaders etc. all know that you are looking at the numbers. When this is the case, those same supervisors and department leaders will tend to pay a lot more attention to their turnover because they know someone is watching. This is NOT micromanaging, it’s using data to make better managerial decisions. Employee retention has gotten to be such a huge issue that you need to be watching it. It’s a key metric. It’s probably the most important metric there is because if you can’t staff your operation fully, quality and productivity don’t matter!
Lastly, if you are going to hold people accountable, add in the financial element. Make your leaders responsible for their employee retention as part of their bonus plan. If you pay bonuses on productivity, quality, safety, etc.; why not on employee retention? As soon as people know their bonus depends on it, they will sit up, take notice and act accordingly.
By attacking employee retention using data, you can pinpoint problem areas, focus attention and drive action that will solve the problem. The key is to use data as part of your problem-solving process. So, if you can’t figure out where your employee turnover is, all you have to do is break down the data!
Remember…Give Your Employees C.R.A.P.® (Caring, Respect, Appreciation, and Praise) Why? Because C.R.A.P. Works!