What’s the cost to your organisation of poor employee retention? Don’t know?
Not many of us do but we should. Try this for a ball-park calculation*: take the approximate direct cost of recruitment (£3,000). Add half again for indirect costs (writing interview questions, assembling interview panels and so on). Add together, then multiply by the number of people that left last year.
That leaves you with a back of a fag-packet number, but even if it’s 25% or 50% out, it’s still worth thinking about, no?
There’s a natural attrition rate that you won’t be able to do anything about – for instance changes in personal circumstances like moving out of the area – but what about those you can affect? A recent study+ shows that only 37% of employees trusttheir organisation’s senior management. This is on a par with the proportion of employees that don’t know the values of the organisation they work for and levels of productivity in disengaged staff. There’s a fundamental disconnect that can be significantly addressed through better internal communications.
Try another question: how much do you know about what motivates your staff to work for you?
Where this aligns with your organisation’s values you should be communicating this back to your staff consistently and creatively. It will have an immediate impact on trust and productivity as well as how your staff live and communicate these values. If your staff connect with your values, they’ll go along way to believing them. That makes a difference on a rainy Monday morning when the last place you want to be is in the office. This is all about your brand essence. It’s how your staff emotionally respond to the authenticity at the heart of your brand and it is the key to winning them back.
There’s much anecdotal evidence of when this works well – those Apple shop staff probably meant it when they applauded their customers. And evidence of when it doesn’t work so well – like the bank that told its customers that they came first in all collateral but were otherwise known as ‘muppets’.
Your brand should resonate with your employees and remind them of this through its consistent application, through messaging and supported by a strong verbal and visual identity. Messaging is particularly valuable because it explains the brand relevantly when targeted at your audiences. When brought to life well those messages will resonate and remind staff of why they came to work for you in the first place.
Written by Neil Gilbert, Corporate Client Services Director