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Another day, another layoff. Sounds familiar?

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Of course, employees will often move onto pastures new, whether to broaden their experience, take another step up the ladder or move to a new location. All perfectly valid reasons for switching roles.

Of course, employees will often move on to pastures new, whether they want to broaden their experience, take another step up the ladder, or move to a new location. All perfectly valid reasons to switch roles.

However, if you feel like your organization is in perpetual “recruiting and training” mode, always innovating and never growing, there are problems and it’s time to take action.

High turnover will not only cause reputational and cultural damage, but it will also cost you money, much more money than you might think. According to research from HRZone, employee turnover costs UK businesses alone at least £4.13 billion every year.

So why do people often leave?

Research has shown that it is not just about the money. Employees are looking for job satisfaction and meaningful work that aligns with their personal values, and for a clear sense of purpose and belonging within the team and organization. A level of trust and autonomy, alongside opportunities to grow and develop, and a sense that staff well-being really matters, are also key factors in improving motivation, enthusiasm and productivity.

That’s why it’s imperative to have a clearly defined purpose, with the culture ensuring this purpose permeates your entire organization on a daily basis.

If your team doesn’t feel valued, trusted, respected and empowered, the floodgates can open. Not only will you have trouble attracting new talent, but you’ll also have trouble hanging on to the talent you’ve already invested in.

Imagine this: as you recruit a replacement for an unexpected departure, your existing team will not only have to pick up the slack, but they will also have to help train the new person when they arrive, and familiarize them with your systems and processes. , or supporting their workload until they are sufficiently competent. New team members can take several months to get up to speed (28 weeks on average according to Oxford Economics). This can result in lost productivity, reduced efficiency and increased workload, which can lead to stressed and overworked colleagues.

Of course, there are also demands on your personal time as a leader. Imagine you spent six months searching for a new senior employee, paid the recruitment costs for that search, spent a lot of time onboarding and upskilling that employee to do the job you expected him to do, on the way you wanted him to do it. only to have to do it all again when they leave.

The harsh reality is that the actual cost of replacing a senior employee is at least double their salary by the time you take it all into account.

How is your organization performing, in light of the above? Is there a positive work culture that allows your team to thrive or do you have a sneaking suspicion that you could do better?

To assess employee satisfaction to boost your culture and increase retention, there are some things you can do:

Involve your current team

Collect anonymous feedback about their experiences at your company – the more honest, the better.

However, if you do this, make sure you take action to improve your culture once the common issues have been identified. Otherwise, your team will lose even more confidence in your leadership skills.

Measure the turnover rate regularly

This is a good way to get a benchmark of how well you are doing as an employer. 10% is considered a healthy percentage (according to industry experts), so anything above that is worth investigating.

Conduct exit interviews for your departures

Or if this isn’t possible, check out other resources like Glassdoor, where people can give you their honest, anonymous opinions. It’s no fun hearing the harsh truths from disgruntled employees, but knowing the truth can help you improve things before it’s too late.

Communicate regularly with your team

Sell ​​the sizzle – and believe it! If you’re not excited about the future of your business, how can anyone else be?

Give your team clarity

Clarity about the career path is crucial. Give your people the opportunity to thrive in their careers while supporting your organization to achieve its purpose and objectives.

Growing the team

Think carefully about your potential new hires and make sure you are clear about what role you think you need and what success looks like for a potential new candidate in that role. Managing expectations on both sides is essential for successful hiring.

Improve your recruitment process

It’s not just about the candidate’s ability to ‘perform the duties’ in the job description, it’s just as important to hire candidates who are a cultural fit for your organization. This approach reduces risk for both the company and the employee and results in a more satisfying, productive relationship for all parties.

In summary

It’s cheaper and easier to take care of your current team – to engage them, excite them and ensure they have the tools, training and clarity to thrive in your organization. But if you do need to hire new people, think carefully about your recruitment strategy to ensure you hire people with the fundamental skills to perform the tasks in your (well-thought-out) job description, giving them clarity on how well looks and ensures they fit your culture.

This helps you ensure a successful outcome for everyone and, most importantly, it helps you get off the often costly recruitment carousel.


Rhonda Curliss

Rhonda Curliss is co-founder and co-CEO of Gray Lemon. Founded in 2020 with her co-founder Victoria Firth, Gray Lemon has helped boost many businesses by working with CEOs, owners and senior leadership teams. Their strategic, holistic input and direct approach have enabled these companies to turn around and thrive: tripling profits, growing internationally, doubling profits and mitigating risks. Previously holding director, board and c-suite positions in international and UK companies, Rhonda has a wealth of expertise and is also the first female president in the history of The Nero Club, which was founded over 50 years ago for leaders in London’s real estate sector. She is trained as a mediator and guides and advises a number of charity organizations in the real estate and construction sector.