Reducing Turnover Comes From Best Practices

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Reducing Turnover Comes From Best Practices

By Melissa Kress, Convenience Store News - 10/14/2015

LAS VEGAS — When it comes to creating an environment employees want to work in, good ideas can often backfire. But there are strategies businesses can use to cut back on high turnover rates.

"We are all looking for the magic pill to eliminate employee turnover," said Bob Graczyk, vice president of human resources at QuickChek Corp. "While that may be a lofty goal, we all know there is no such magic pill."

Graczyk joined Susan Stang, vice president, leadership services at PSI Services LLC in presenting the "10 Things to Guarantee Turnover" educational session at the 2015 NACS Show.

Turnover statistics tell the story of an organization, according to Stang. However, "there are ways to rewrite the story," she said, explaining that companies sometimes implement good ideas, but often find out too late that those good ideas go awry and don't have the intended results.

"Good ideas are not necessarily best practices, but best practices are always good ideas," she said.

Best practices lead to desired results, such as improved profits, employee engagement and reduced turnover. 

Stang outlined ideas that, on the surface, appear to be surefire ways to run an organization, but may not be the best approaches. For example, establishing a clear line of authority can often lead to one-way communication from the top down and create a rigid work process. A better practice is to let employees have a say not only in what they do, but how they do it.

In another example, companies often promote the best employees. However, according to Stang, they should hire to fit based on competency and not performance. A great sales associate may not always make a great manager.

And instead of motivating employees through pay, managers who focus on employees' meaning and purpose have significantly reduced turnover, Stang pointed out.

Key practical recommendations to reduce employee turnover, according to Stang, include:

  • Define a top performer.
  • Evaluate the basics. 
  • Communicate honestly.
  • Offer meaning and alignment.
  • Lighten up and have fun.