Every time you lose a member of your team, the blow to your business likely costs 1.5-2 times that person’s salary. The bulk of that expense comes from your cost-of-vacancy (COV), which is what it costs your company to endure unfilled positions.
Feeding into your COV are considerations like redistributing remaining talent to cover the vacant position’s essential responsibilities, productivity losses, morale hits, and the domino effect of additional turnover. When there are one million more job openings than job seekers, as is the case in today’s landscape, this is an expensive, disruptive, and cyclical problem. But how can you solve it?
Smart, compassionate leaders know that building the right culture is the best shield against intolerably high turnover. Those who are most successful at this endeavor tend to share some distinct qualities – such as accountability, transparency, trust, and community.
Your employees want clarity on how your business operates at every level. In fact, transparency is often ranked as the top factor in securing employee happiness. It’s easy to see why.
When team members have a sense of organizational openness at work and are given insight into the reasoning behind business decisions or how the company is performing, they become more invested in the organization’s shared goals and more likely to want to contribute to the team’s success.
At the same time, transparency encourages clearer communication in both directions (employee-manager and manager-employee), which improves productivity and avoids many interpersonal conflicts. Instilling habits of honesty can even boost customer relations and public perception of a brand over time.
It doesn’t cost you a thing to give your employees a few minutes of your leadership team’s time from week to week. Use that time to update them on the state of your business, add context around new or changing policies, and answer any questions they may have as honestly as you can. These habits will pay off in spades.
An important buddy to transparency is accountability. This means you don’t just make sound decisions and communicate them honestly to your employees—you also own up to mistakes and misperceptions among your leadership team, and take the time to right wrongs.
Internal dialogues frequently center around what your employees are accountable for: performance benchmarks, sales goals, deliverables, and deadlines. You probably also talk about the ways in which your team is accountable to your customers. But how often do you let your employees know that your company is accountable to them, too?
There are no happy customers without happy employees. And when employees are unhappy, turnover will surge. So take a page from your transparency playbook and openly convey your sense of personal accountability to your team members.
You could start by inviting employees to submit their questions, comments, and feedback for your leadership on a regular basis. Just make sure you’re ready to reply to and deliver on what they have to say. (Pro Tip: You can easily leverage your existing in-house technology, such as one-way interview software, to make this a high-touch and polished experience for employees.)
Transparency and accountability will help build employees’ trust in you. You can take it to the next level by placing your trust in them.
When your team members don’t feel trusted to do their jobs well, they feel less secure in their jobs, less invested in business outcomes, and less likely to stick around if another opportunity from a more generous employer comes along. So start demonstrating that trust—like, right now.
The first step, of course, is hiring the right candidates so you know that your trust is deserved. Follow interview best practices to suss out crucial skills and truly get to know your candidates from anywhere.
Assuming you’ve recruiter well, some straightforward but impactful ways to let employees know you trust them include: stop micromanaging (let your employees set their own work hours, locations, or connectivity preferences whenever possible), invite employees to choose some continuing education coursework based on what interests them, and be more open to letting employees try new approaches to their projects.
Your employees should feel connected to and appreciated by their colleagues and managers. Of course, their primary loyalties lie with family and friends outside of work—but they should feel welcome and heard by their team at work, too. When they can be authentic, creative, and enjoy themselves on the job, they’re more likely to stick around.
Part of building a sense of community among your organization is inviting genuine collaboration. Encourage department heads to break down silos among their teams and invite more cross-functional conversation and brainstorming. See if your HR team can put together an employee shadowing program, where individuals from different parts of the business can spend a day getting to see what the other does and how their responsibilities intersect.
Also, be sure to invite social interaction via community resource groups. These efforts in particular will help your team members feel seen and appreciated by their colleagues.
Building a positive culture in your organization doesn’t happen overnight—and it doesn’t happen by decree, either. Good hiring practices are essential to establishing the foundation you need to foster an authentic culture that will last.
Video interviewing technology helps you make the right hiring decisions so you can avoid turnover. From the beginning of your relationship with an employee, show them your cultural values through video interviewing. Schedule a meeting with a hiring expert today.
Monique Mahler is the CEO of interviewstream. She is an avid researcher of facts, a self proclaimed marketing geek, and an equestrian in her spare time.