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Staff Retention – Do your key team members keep moving on?

It is possible to calculate resignation levels that could be particularly useful for employers in assessing the effectiveness of people management in their organisations.

While voluntary turnover rates have decreased recently as a result of challenging economic conditions, skills shortages persist for certain occupational groupings even during troubled economic times, so it is important to be aware of trends in turnover rates for different groups rather than simply focusing on ‘headline’ figures.

Turnover levels can vary widely between occupations and industries. The highest levels are typically found in retailing, hotels, catering and leisure, call centre’s and among other lower paid private sector services groups.

When does employee turnover become problematic?

Where skills are relatively scarce, where recruitment is costly or where it takes several weeks to fill a vacancy, turnover is likely to be problematic for the organisation. The more valuable the employees in question – for instance where individuals have specialist skills or where they have developed strong relationships with customers – the more damaging the resignation, particularly when they move on to work for competitors.

Why do people leave organisations?

Employees resign for many different reasons. Sometimes it is the attraction of a new job or the prospect of a period outside the workforce that ‘pulls’ them. On other occasions they are ‘pushed’ (as a result of dissatisfaction in their present jobs, possibly because of a lack of training, development and career opportunities) to seek alternative employment. The move might also be prompted by a combination of both ‘pull’ and ‘push’ factors.

A poor relationship with a line manager, leading to disengagement, can often be a ‘push’ factor behind an individual’s decision to leave the organisation.

An organisation would be encouraged to ensure an exit interview takes place so that they are in no doubt about what prompted staff to leave and of there is a ‘push’ factor involved a review of line manager training is strongly recommended. In most cases this is identified as an isolated case of ‘Clash of personality’ but any line manager not equipped to deal with communication across all the personalities in their charge would benefit from communications training so that the organisation does not lose skilled staff to a competitor.

This is particularly important where the organisation has invested a lot of time and money in training the member of staff and then loses out on the benefits of all the training. A little extra spent on line manager communications training will prove to be the best investment in training an organisation can make.

Ask yourself:

  • Have you recently employed or promoted anyone who does not have a previously good track record of interpersonal skills?
  • Have you focussed only on their technical expertise when considering them for promotion or employment?
  • Did you identify that they also had people management skills before letting them loose on your team of loyal, engaged and enthusiastic employees?
  • Are there any individuals in your organisation that are a valuable technical asset, yet they have very poor communication skills?

Indigo Kinetics NLP can facilitate a change in their communication skills which will drive productivity beyond your current level of expectation.


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