5 Tips to Reduce Employee Turnover

Employee TurnoverIf you want to be a successful business you need to hit your goals.  To hit your goals you need more than the right talent, you need that talent to perform and to keep on performing; to stay committed. You can’t hit your goals without a committed team.

This is why it’s important to ensure you make not only the right hire, but that you create a culture that will make them want to stay.

With a job market full of candidates (congrats, college graduates - sorta!) – why should you care about reducing turnover when you can just replace headcount?

1. On average, it costs you their salary x 150% to replace each person.  (250% if you’re an executive).

2. You lose in-house knowledge that is not easily or cheaply replaced.

3. You’ve lost momentum towards reaching your goals.

Hiring someone who is a skills and culture fit to join your team is only half the battle. To get talent to stay – reduce turnover – you need to make sure your culture supports engaging and retaining your talent.


So how can you increase employee retention and reduce turnover?

1. Communication - Create a culture of transparent and open communication. Maintaining open lines of communication between leadership and employees goes a long way to increasing employee commitment. Employees need opportunities to feel heard. Allowing for interdepartmental communication, reducing silos, also makes employees feel less isolated. Open communication also helps employees see how their work contributes to the bigger picture.

2. Recognition - I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – recognize, recognize, recognize! People have a fundamental human need to feel valued, heard and appreciated – particularly when they feel they’ve done a great job. If you’re not sure how to recognize for a job well done – ask your people. Without an understanding of your people, behaviors, and what engagement and rewards strategies work for best for your culture, reducing turnover can be even more difficult.

3. Processes -  Your people are just as likely as your customers to get pissed off by poor or redundant processes. If you want to reduce turnover, develop transparent and easy to follow processes – and train your people on how to execute them. You want to design processes that help bolster a high performance culture  not inhibit one.

4. Leadership - According to one study 80% of employee turnover resulted from the environment created by a manager as opposed to the company at large. So it’s critical to work closely to make sure there’s a consistent open line of communication between employees and managers, and that managers are working collaboratively and positively with their employees to reduce turnover. Trusted relationships are key. Leadership should be authentic, approachable, honest, and supportive .

5.Training - For employees to remain engaged and committed, they need to feel they have the skills to do their job. To help determine what type of training may be needed, think about what types of knowledge and learning opportunities can help them better perform their jobs? Most employees don’t want to perform poorly, they often just haven’t been provided with the training needed. Ask what types of knowledge and learning opportunities make them feel challenged as individuals? Collect the data and act on it. Offer options based on employee input. One of the quickest ways to reduce turnover and increase performance is to increase engagement.

At the end of the day – you’re only as successful as your people.  Do what you can to reduce employee turnover and keep the good talent.  Not only will your budget thank you, but so will your employees and customers.

About Scott Span, MSOD: is CEO & Lead Consultant of Tolero Solutions - an Organizational Improvement & Strategy firm.  He helps clients in facilitating sustainable growth by connecting and maximizing  people –> performance –> profit™, creating organizations that are more responsive, productive and profitable.

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Lack of Trust in Leadership is the Biggest Issue Impacting Performance  – How do you Fix the Problem?

Issues that impact employee performance are nothing new.  Knowing what causes these problems is the first step to resolving them. I’ve seen and experienced many of these reasons first hand. At one point or another in your career, you’ve also likely experienced something that impacted your performance.

45% of people say lack of trust in leadership is the biggest issue impacting their work performance!

As an organizational improvement and talent management practitioner – I was curious if what I had encountered in my work held true to a broader section of the workforce. That’s why last week Tolero Solutions conducted a survey.

45% of people said lack of trust in leadership. Though sadly not shocking – if you want your business to be successful – that’s not a number to be unaddressed.


Leadership and employee trust“Me, I’m dishonest, and you can always trust a dishonest man to be dishonest. Honestly, it’s the honest ones you have to watch out for.” - Captain Jack Sparrow


So, how does lack of trust in leadership impact your employee’s performance? 

  • Trust is the foundation of any successful relationship, both personal and professional, and when it’s broken, it is extremely hard to repair. When employees feel they can’t trust leadership they feel unsafe, like no one has their back, and then spend more energy on self preservation and job hunting than performing at their job.  Talent acquisition costs and employee turnover costs increase. (Which estimates put at  between 150% – 200% of the employee’s salary)
  • You may have heard that organizations with great cultures have increased performance. Lack of trust in leadership is a red flag that your business may have a “toxic” culture. No one likes to come to work every day and feel they are walking into a toxic waste dump. Employees will do the job requested of them, but without trust in leadership, they’re not likely to go above and beyond to help create a high performance organization. Your business can experience poor customer service satisfaction and declining repeat business and brand loyalty – which leads to declining profits.
  • Lack of trust reduces transparency and communication. Reduced transparency and communication leads to low innovation and lack of agility and responsiveness to changing conditions.When employees lack trust in leadership they often avoid communicating with them out of fear of retaliation – or simply because they feel that they can’t trust leadership to be transparent with them so why bother returning the favor. To achieve maximum employee performance, employees need to promptly and transparently communicate any potential problems or concerns to leadership. Without trust, this is not likely. Problems can go unaddressed and impact bottom line profits.


How can you increase employee trust in leadership to increase performance?

  • Take care of your people. Instead of spending time and money trying to repair broken trust,  take the time upfront to develop trusted relationships between leadership and employees. If leadership takes care of employees, your business performance only increases.
  • Recognition increases trust between leadership and employees. Leadership needs to recognize employees for a job well done. If you want your people to support business goals and support leadership in trying to achieve them, even in times of great demand or uncertainty, they need to know leadership is listening to them and values and appreciates their ideas and positions.
  • Increase leadership compassion. As a leader, compassion is imperative to gain trust and commitment. Without trust and commitment from those you lead or represent, good luck achieving your goals and becoming successful! If you want high performance, then respect, recognize, and appreciate your people. This will help build trust and increase performance.
  • To put it simply – listening is critical. To build trust, leadership must listen to employees. Its critical leadership learns to listen and seeks to understand. Don’t neglect to take action and follow up as appropriate. Some even suggest that with every office conversation, listen like there’s going to be a pop quiz at the end, and this skill can make or break your grade. Once employees feel leadership really listens, it goes a long way to increasing trust and performance.

A workforce that has high trust between leadership and employees is a more engaged and committed workforce; a more engaged and committed workforce is a higher performing workforce. The higher performing they are, the more innovation and revenue are likely to increase. For most businesses increased profit  is a top priority.

Profit, or on-going revenue growth, is a requirement for long-term sustainability. Increased profit is dependent on a multitude of factors. Many of these factors are related to your strategy and your people and their performance. Increasing profits requires being focused on the people – increasing trust and performance. If your organization’s executives and managers lead with an authentic, open and honest, compassionate and accountable style, you are more likely to inspire the best in your people and gain the support needed for success.

*Incidentally – 28% said lack of communication, and 30% said lack of resources.

About Scott Span, MSOD: is CEO & Lead Consultant of Tolero Solutions - an Organizational Improvement & Strategy firm.  He helps clients in facilitating sustainable growth by connecting and maximizing  people –> performance –> profit™, creating organizations that are more responsive, productive and profitable.

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*All Rights Reserved. Reproduction, publication, and all other use of  any and all of this content is prohibited without authorized consent of Tolero Solutions and the author.

Is the Entitlement Generation Really Entitled?

Millennial entitlementSpoiled. Uncooperative. Impatient. Lazy.

These are just a few words used to describe who some have deemed the “entitlement generation” – often called Millennials or Gen Y or even Generation C. Sure, with stories like the 18-year old girl who is suing her parents for financial support flying around the web, is anyone really surprised?

I must admit even, as a latter Gen Y myself, this somewhat shocked me. I could hear my mother’s voice in my head saying what she used to say to me as a kid when I’d complain and moan “…fine you want to leave, you’re so miserable, then just remember – you leave this house the way you came into it – with nothing.” Needless to say, I never left, and I didn’t sue them for college tuition either! Thanks, Mom!

But per the girl suing her parents, my parents taught me to not pass judgment based on one person’s behavior, and generalize it across the entire population.

In fact – the entitlement generation - let’s just call them Millennials, shall we – have a lot to bring to the table.

They bring new ways of doing things.  Innovation.  And with a record 47% of the active adult working population being labeled as a Millennial this year, there may be a lot of work left to be done to integrate them into the business world, but for your business to grow and succeed you should be harnessing what they have to offer – not scoffing at them.

Some hot button issues my clients usually mention relate to work hours, social media and technology, and an overall general attitude and communication style.  

Though I am not one to recommend catering to any one particular demographics’ demands without requesting something in return – this generation has the potential to bring a business to the next level. So rather than dig your feet into the ground – why not alter how you do business a bit to make it work for everyone – a win/win?

Here are a few ideas to help you get started:              

Coaching and Communication - Millennials are not afraid to speak up or call the boss by his first name. They believe that communication is imperative in all directions, up, down, and lateral. To engage this generation create an environment where they are encouraged and rewarded for speaking up regarding ideas and concerns, regardless of level in the organization. Don’t view this as disrespect; harness this style of communication, which often leads to innovation. Millennials prefer coaches not bosses.

  • To engage Millennials, add a structured coaching or mentoring program to your organization – cross generational if possible. Build in frequent developmental check-ins and create a trusted relationship and space for discussion. Helping to guide open communication, career progression, and build trust leads to increased engagement, innovation and high performance.

Connectedness – Millennials need to feel connected to the organization to remain engaged. They expect a seat at the table, want questions answered directly, often challenge the status quo, they have a need to understand the big picture – this doesn’t mean they expect to be CEO tomorrow. Don’t just provide access and input to your corporate strategy, mission, and vision to senior leaders. Allow access to and input from your Millennial non executive employees as well. They tend to feel more connected and engaged when they know their own values and beliefs and work align to those of the organization.

  • To engage Millennials, provide the opportunity to give and receive feedback, not just regarding their own careers but on the overall direction and vision of the organization, this is important to Millennials and helps them feel heard, respected, connected and remain engaged.

Tap Into Technology – Millennials are used to technology, some were even born with it at their fingertips.  They aren’t scared of new technologies and adapt fast to new innovations. Many are creating their own (do you have an ap for that?) Don’t shy away from new technologies that enable telecommuting or virtual work environments, that facilitate learning and training on the go, or that help contribute to work life balance. Utilize video teleconferencing, Webinars, and test out whatever is new and innovative. Technology can be used to encourage group and project based work. Use technology – and social media - to build in collaboration, create informal team building exercises, and as a communication tool for positive public relations for your organization.

  • To engage Millennials, utilize social media and new technology as a communication and feedback tool and for telecommuting and enhancing collaboration.  Creating public forums for employees to pose insights, questions and concerns, and for the organization to have a place to respond real time to address issues, and share information. This helps everyone feel heard and can increase engagement and productivity.

As you can see - there are things you can provide to harness Millennial innovation that don’t necessarily cost large sums of money nor do they alter your organization’s values and strategy. This generation, when given the opportunity,  provides businesses with ideas and innovations that will give you the edge when it comes to winning over customers – just advise your General Counsel not to cancel the tuition reimbursement program!

About Scott Span, MSOD: is CEO & Lead Consultant of Tolero Solutions – an Organizational Improvement & Strategy firm.  He helps clients in facilitating sustainable growth by connecting and maximizing  people –> performance –> profit™, creating organizations that are more responsive, productive and profitable.

Email | Website | LinkedIn | Twitter | Blog | Facebook


*All Rights Reserved. Reproduction, publication, and all other use of  any and all of this content is prohibited without authorized consent of Tolero Solutions and the author.


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