When you lose a member of your team it typical costs 150 percent of an employee's salary to replace them, when you consider the cost of hiring, training and loss of productivity. So take a moment to consider these three fast examples of how you can prevent your best people quitting any time of the year.
1. Ask, listen, and act.
Employees stick around if they feel heard and valued. I was talking to a frustrated member of the valet team at an upscale hotel last month that was running between the car lot and the front of the hotel. Often guests would leave missing items in their car and he told me they could deliver cars 50% faster if they had a radio to communicate with the rest of the valet team. He had suggested it, but no one had listened. Once your ideas are ignored twice, you stop giving them. How are you listening and acting on ideas from your team?
2. Celebrate long serving employees
Our server at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott hotel was wearing her name badge stating she had 25 years of service. When asked, she proudly told me many stories about her and her co-workers who had been working there since it first opened and how the hotel had been flexible when she needed reduced hours when she had small children and how they let her do what she loved best, working in the restaurant. While gold watch retirement gifts after only working at one company may be a distant memory for many, celebrate your long serving employees and make it a feature of your customer service distinction.
3. Collect real fast customer feedback
At the end of my flight on Air New Zealand over the summer, one of the crew came and sat by me and asked me for my feedback on Vera my cabin host. She asked for stories and examples, which I shared. There were no tick boxes and lengthy questionnaires, they simply asked me for my stories. Air New Zealand shares these stories immediately with the crew at the end of the flight because it makes flight attendants happy to hear real stories and feedback from the customers they just served. Hearing a personal story is far more valuable than knowing you are 67% satisfied. How are you collecting real emotional and powerful customer feedback and sharing it with your employees?
4. Don't be fooled by the Talent Fallacy
Consider your team in three groups: your top people, your under performers and everyone else. Who takes up the majority of your time and energy? Many leaders unintentionally get dragged into spending the majority of their time with those not performing as expected or mis-matched with their current job and expectations with diminishing returns. It is a fallacy that your top performers need less of your time and energy. Make an intentional commitment to prioritize your highest performing team members on your calendar today and you will have a much higher return on your effort.
Preventing your best people from leaving you is more within your control than you think. The number one reason people quit their job is because of their immediate manager, so try one of these ideas and consider what else you can do today to make sure your all of your managers in your company are managing.