How to Control Employee Turnover and Maintain Retention?

Employee turnover (leaving an organization) in small businesses is a painful event specifically when the business is down. It further intensifies it when the processes and outcomes of the business depend only on the key employees and their experience.

If you think you know why your employees leaving your business, then it is the right time to change your mindset. Because people do not tell you the facts every time when they leave. The exit interview data is often misinterpreted. The charts and the feedback from your HR team are often lacking enough information. ‘

I would recommend you to read this article with an open mind. I mean that you should have the willingness to accept your mistakes and take concrete steps to benefit your employees and your business.

Let us begin now.

Before understanding the methods to control employees turn over, one must understand why employees leaving the organization. Because

“A Problem Well Stated is a Problem Half-Solved.” – Charles Kettering

Why Employees Leaves the Organization?

You might have heard many reasons from the leaving employees, your respective colleagues, and HR. But you would be surprised to know there are some hidden reasons, that nobody would tell you upfront. If it is not corrected, then there is no way to stop your employees from going out which can result in a series threat to your business.

• Employees expecting the company and management to deliver on its promises, to be honest, and open in all communication, treating them fairly, and compensating them in a fair and timely manner.

• Employees want a sense of hope in the organization. They want to have the opportunity for advancement or career progress.

• Employees want to feel a sense of worth. Feeling confident that if they work hard, do their best, demonstrate commitment, and make meaningful contributions, they will be recognized and rewarded accordingly.

• They need to feel competent. Expecting that they will be matched to a job that aligns with their talents and the desire for a challenge.

If the organization does not support the above expectations, then it is difficult to control employee turnover in your small business and retain your employees, specifically the key talents. Having learned why employees leaving the organization, it is important to act on it.

Being Honest with your Employees

I know few companies who are displaying their value system, policies, vision, mission statement, etc. at the gates, entrances, shops, and offices, only to know that it exists for some certification purposes and for gaining recognition from their customers and visitors, but the people working in the organization would certainly know the facts. You can’t hide it for a long time.

The value system must be practiced every day by organizations. It can be clearly visible in the meetings conducted at all levels. It will tell you whether you are putting your employees first or your business on all occasions. Following are some of the examples to exhibit the value system of any organization,

– It authorizes stopping production to ensure the safety of their employees
– It involves employees at all levels while making key decisions and resolving issues.
– It shares profit and loss openly with the employees.
– It respects their employees the same way they treat their customers.
– It listens to the employee’s issues frequently

Establish a higher value system in your business and demonstrate the same in all activities you do. If you are mean it, you will be surprised to see the benefits.

“The future of any corporation is as good as the value system of the leaders and followers in the organization.”- N. R. Narayana Murthy

Your competitors may copy your product and processes, and they sometimes pull your key employees with them too. But they cannot copy your culture or value system. That makes you lead the business always. This is the first and foremost thing your employees want from you. Moreover, it costs nothing to you.

Respect your Employees’ Career

Employees are always given some responsibilities and expected to outperform.

“Each job requires a conscious choice of career path, and a different plan of development”- Auliq ice

In this context, one forgets to note that, the employees are not robots as it will start work once the program is loaded. We cannot expect an employee will work for his life with the same organization. Unless the employee’s career path aligns with the organization’s growth, there is no possibility of retaining them.

So, it is equally important to know about his or her career path, ambition, goals, passion, etc. What will happen if you keep an employee in marketing wherein his whole interest is towards operations?

The fact that many employees would not have enough courage to tell upfront that they want to switch their department, fearing a loss of a job, losing support from his or her manager on promotion and increment, etc.

It is the responsibility of the manager to know the career goal of employees who are working under them and providing opportunities, more responsibilities, challenging tasks on the field they are more interested in.

Because the career of your employees is as important as your organization’s career. Your support in his or her career development is important as it increases motivation and productivity. Attention to career development helps you attract top staff and retain valued employees. 

Pay your Employees Objectively

This is an important subject because your employees need fair compensation. How to ensure you are paying them fairly?

Do some study among the peer groups within your industry. Ask the experts, Ensure that you are paying above than the average salary.

It doesn’t stop here. Once you know that your salary is above the average for your every position, you need to classify the employees in two categories that are highly skilled and low skilled.

Turn out from low skilled employees up to 15% is not a series alarm. But the turnout of key talents or highly skilled employees more than 5% is something you need to worry about. If it is due to the salary constraint then your compensation policy to be relooked into.

Ensure your key talents are being paid well. Experience doesn’t count on deciding the compensation scheme as it was the conventional idea. Make skills count. That is the only way to retain key people in the organization.

Don’t show your operational expense reduction skills in employees’ salary, rather involve them in providing innovative solutions to the problems. That will benefit you a lot.

Following the above principles will surely reduce employee turnover in small businesses.

Recommendations for Further readings:
The 7 hidden reasons employees leave, by Leigh Branham

How to Increase Sales without Advertising?

There are three simple but effective principles that need to be followed in small businesses in order to increase your sales without any money spent on advertising.

Choose Best Strategy

There are many businesses in the world that don’t have any decisive competitive strategy or edge. However, these businesses are surviving in the current environment with a lot of ups and downs.

A decisive competitive strategy is one that differentiates you from your competitors. Here is an example.

You would have experienced many times in negotiating the purchase price of clothes when it is brought from the street vendors. At the same time, you would have also experienced in the retail shops paying the exact price without any negotiation for branded clothes.

Because we believe that street vendors offer low-quality products at a higher cost and the famous retail shops offering the best quality product at a higher cost.

The only difference between the two is establishing their brand as a strategy for business. If you want to read more about identifying strategies for your business, please read my post ‘how to set a business strategy for small businesses?’

Turning customers into the salespeople

“If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.” – Jeff Bazos –Amazon

As a thumb rule, a satisfied customer refers your business to at least five people in his or her lifetime. But a delighted customer reaches out to many people in his life and acting as unpaid salespeople for your business.

You would have recommended at least a restaurant to your colleagues, friends, relatives, and neighbors in your life, just because, that restaurant treated you with tasty foods or uncompromised service or with superior hospitality. By now, you become an ambassador for their business unknowingly.

So, remember – The best ever strategy is ‘customer satisfaction’.

Put Service First

If you think business is nothing but earning more money, then you will be soon out of business. Because the aim of any business is to providing value to the people and improve their life a little better than before with your product or services. The money is nothing but an outcome of the value provided to them.

As an entrepreneur, your focus should be on improving the value of your product and processes consistently to provide the best possible service to the customers. nothing else!

“Put service first, and money takes care of itself” – David J. Schwartz

If you would like to read more about identifying values in your business, please read here.

I am sure that by following the above principles your sales will increase exponentially without any money spent on advertising.

Check Sheets and Types – 7 QC Tools

What is a Check Sheet?

A check sheet is a simple counting tool. It serves as a data-collecting tool used for gathering and visualizing the parameters which are under study. The check sheet is used for almost every industry and process. The check sheet is identified as one of the basic 7 QC Tools. Due to its simplicity, the check sheet is primarily used by the operators or the people who are involved in the work. By collecting data on a check sheet, common patterns and trends can also be identified.

History of Check Sheet

Check sheet concept is nothing new to us. It is derived from the famous tally marking concept used by ancient people. Between 35,000 and 25,000 years ago, in the form of notched bones, tally counting is found to be done in Africa’s Late Stone Age.

Sometimes, a tally marking system was used for numbering also. A technique that has been the sole basis for the shepherds to count their cattle before and after they went for grazing was this tally marking and sometimes stones were used for that.

The counting system had been evolving since then.

Applications of Check Sheet

In Six Sigma, the Measure phase of the DMAIC approach consists of several tools including the check sheet. Sometimes the data collected from the check sheet is used as primary data to understand the problem before initiating the analysis.

In general, the check sheet is used for collecting qualitative data (colors, defect types, names, etc.) and quantitative data (temperature, dimension, weight, etc.). Fig.1- shows an example of a check sheet used for capturing paint nonconformities and Fig. 2- shows an example of temperature measurement.

Figure -1 – Check sheet for paint defects

In Fig2, the scale on the bottom represents the boundaries for each dimension range. Sometimes, instead of writing the actual value, some markings are done as indicated in the figure below.

igure-2- Check sheet for dimensions

The typical types and its uses of check sheets as a part of 7 QC tools are given below,

  1. Process distribution check sheet – to understand the distribution and mean of the collected data visually
  2. Defective item check sheet – to understand the no. of defectives in a group or sample
  3. Defective location check sheet – to identify which location of a product has more defects and the types of defects
  4. Defective cause check sheet – to count the maximum no. of causes of a defect

How to Draw a Check Sheet

  1. There are no hard and fast rules in designing the check sheets as it is the user’s discretion to use his creativity for better capturing and understanding purpose.
  2. You must ensure that it should be user-friendly and, wherever possible, include information on time and location.
  3. You should know the type of data you are going to collect and accordingly the check sheet to be designed. Some of the widely used check sheet designs are given below for reference.
  4. Also, decide who will collect the date and what time period and how the data will be collected.
  5. You can modify the check sheet form for each situation as required by the operation team.
  6. Continuously review the check sheet information to redesign for better visualization of contents.
  7. The captured data is used for further analysis. If required a secondary check sheet is prepared for collecting based on the output of the analysis.