How Employee Development Can Lower Turnover

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Why Turnover Hurts

Employees that are a fit in terms of skills, potential and culture/personality can be difficult to find. After their tenure with a business, competitors can benefit from what your previous employees know of your operations. Keeping an airtight lid on sensitive information is practically impossible. Turnover becomes a substantial expense considering the added costs of employee recruitment, orientation and training.

Skill-Focused Programs

In a large organization, aim for at least one program for each department or job type. This is a way to allow each set of employees to focus and improve on a field most important to them. Performance improvements will in turn improve business efficiency and overall employee expertise. The resulting increased revenue can be used to reduce turnover by offering hefty raises and bonuses without sacrificing other important business operations.

Personality-Focused Programs

Like it or not, a social workplace requires navigating different personalities. Understanding employees in terms of their introvert/extrovert tendencies, professional goals and personal strengths can do wonders to enhance the appeal of employee development programs. For instance, introverts and extroverts are two classic personality camps that simply don’t see eye-to-eye on human relations. Training in how to deal with the idiosyncrasies of each group is virtually certain to smooth relations between the two personality types in a large organization. Note that while neutrality and objectivity are generally worthy goals, in this example, it will help a development program to recognize that the “extrovert ideal” is far more admired and culturally dominant in the U.S. Much of voluntary turnover is due to personality problems. People often “quit their boss” more than their job.

Marketing and PR

If needed, help employees to recognize that employee development programs are investments for a win-win situation for employees as well as they employer. Make an effort to publicize development programs outside the company. Doing so may attract valuable employees from competing businesses and raise the perceived value of a company for existing employees. This is likely to dampen turnover.

Limitations to Development Programs

Avoid a company culture that clashes with the stated goals of development programs. Additionally, programs that rely too much on one or more turnover theories are likely to fall flat. Consider that the prevalence of different sociological models prevents a coherent message about the “mechanics” of retention and turnover.

Lowering turnover is a hefty goal but a strong training and development plan can help the organization.

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