A Different Point Of View
By David Lopez
Art by Sarah Augsbach
Employee turnover is best defined as the rate at which employees leave a workforce and are replaced.
Work Institute estimated that 42 million employees would eventually leave their jobs in 2019, which employers could have prevented nearly 77% or roughly three-fourths of. Employers were estimated to pay over $600 billion in turnover costs, and those numbers are expected to jump by $80 million more within the next year.
Furthermore, according to a Compdata poll, turnover in the US is higher than it’s ever been with a whopping 21% of employees’ leaving their workplace by year’s end. If those numbers don’t grab you, the cost of an employee walking out of your doors could be incredible. With slower production, knowledge loss, benefits packages, and hiring and replacement costs, according to Work Institute’s 2018 retention report, it would cost an average of $15,000 to replace an average employee who makes $45,000 a year.*
The report states that the successful economy and growing job marketplace allow a large percentage of employees to make career moves when current employers are not meeting their expectations and needs.
At Professional Retail Services (PRS), we understand that employee loss goes much further than just money, however. In an office consisting of around 45 employees (75+ if you include Retail Security Services (RSS ) and Retail Mechanical Services (RMS), losing a single person could throw a wrench into a system that runs like a well-oiled machine. It’s crazy to think that one loss could affect an entire workplace, but it’s true and has happened before; so when a decision is made, it is done so with the most careful thought, strategy, and intention.
We are committed to training every person that is employed with PRS (RSS and RMS as well), wholly and thoroughly. Every new employee that comes on board with any of the companies is taught with the same guidelines and parameters that are carefully created by management. From there, each individual is initially trained by our seasoned staff. This team sets the table with information and experiences that total 20 years in the facility maintenance industry. From there, the employees are further trained by the supervisor they are assigned to. Throughout the first few weeks, we run activity reports and set biweekly meetings to discuss strengths and weaknesses.
If an employee struggles or needs support, our commitment to our team does not vanish. After investigating and diagnosing issues, it is up to our supervisory team to come up with a plan to correct inconsistencies. One solution that has become fairly popular recently is to have our vendor relations team sit back down with the individual and re-train him or her in a process that can be slowed down and done in a more intimate setting to allow more careful attention to any and all pending issues. Our training rooms are equipped with the same computers that are kept at our employees’ desks, and they have all the same software and programs to aid in the re-training process. In this, an employee will be given a fair and well-structured opportunity to re-learn and re-build their confidence and address any pending issues moving forward as they continue on with their daily tasks.
PRS has the luxury of being a part of three different companies that are connected under the same roof. In the past, we haven’t been shy in making moves within the sister companies to maximize potential in areas that would benefit the companies and employees. By having our “aces in places,” all three companies could maximize their potential by placing the right people with the right strengths in the right positions, no matter the company. After all, an employee that you are attempting to replace, a true over-achiever, someone extremely productive on one side of the job but lacking on the other, you could potentially lose someone who was incredible at building office morale or even someone who is extremely coachable but simply overlooked.
When an employee chooses to leave, it could be equally tough to a company, even with the standard two-week notice presented, when we have to let someone go. The unexpected exit coming from a good employee and the thought of how to replace the employee could be enormously troubling, time-consuming, and, as stated before, extremely costly.
The very first thing that any reasonable employer should do is question why this employee is leaving. Could it be a case of financial reasons, a change of scenery, or other position opportunities?
We must remember that when people go on a job interview, for the most part, they are looking to join a particular company for a reason. They are choosing to work for you as you want them to work for you. So, when people end up leaving the same job, statistically speaking, according to Gallup, 75% of the time, it is not because of the job itself. It can be a result of poor management, being burned out from high workloads, or having no real potential for advancement. It is in a company’s best interest to identify the exact reasons for a person deciding to leave, no matter how tough the answer may be to hear.
When we hire good people, it is for an equally good reason. It should be of the same accord that we retain these people for the same reason. It’s understood that not everyone is going to work out; not everyone is going to develop into a star employee. Sometimes difficult decisions have to be made to better the company as a whole. The same goes if a good employee gets a great offer that out-prices your payroll restraints. However, when the needle is on the line, the time and money it will take to re-train and develop an existing employee would be far less than it would be to hire and onboard.
History has also shown that we have had associates struggle or not fit well where they were originally placed. The easy answer of simply replacing people is no longer the best answer, as we have learned. All three sister companies, Professional Retail Services, Retail Security Services, and Retail Mechanical Services have been committed to hiring and retaining the right people for the success of all companies. Why search for what may not be out there when the answer could be sitting in the chair in front of you? An employee that may be struggling or having difficulties that can be corrected should be retained and set up for success elsewhere.
Unfortunately, on the other side, there are times that letting employees go becomes the only realistic option. If certain employees fail to utilize and follow through with the assistance and programs that are provided for them when they need to be re-trained, it becomes clear that the relationship between employee and company is no longer a fit. It is always in our best interest to ensure that all bases are touched before these decisions are made. At PRS, we realize that people’s livelihoods are on the line and we will be sure to give every employee the opportunity to show what they are made of, an opportunity to correct mistakes, and a chance. After all, office relationships, including the kind that we have built here at PRS, RSS, and RMS, are not easily replaced and keeping a solid core outweighs a vehicle of constant moving parts.