Magazine article Supervisory Management

Employee Turnover Can Damage Your Career

Magazine article Supervisory Management

Employee Turnover Can Damage Your Career

Article excerpt

Employee Turnover Can Damage Your Career

"I quit!" As a supervisor, you dread hearing this phrase. Employee turnover costs organizations thousands of dollars every day--and it costs supervisors time, productivity, and peace of mind. And it can threaten their professional standing. Here are ten pitfalls that, if avoided, will help you keep good performers.

1. Not carefully assessing the job or applicant. All too often, we idealize the job, hoping to lure a potential candidate on board. Similarly, we frequently aim for credentials that sound impressive but have little to do with what the employee really needs to do the job. In short, people are hired on false pretenses, offered quick advancement and varied assignments even when this will not be the case.

It would be far more effective to analyze the job for its real strengths and possible shortcomings and find someone who might like that kind of work.

2. Not orienting new hires. Once the employee takes the job, is he or she left to flounder? A person should come to a job with the essential skills, but it takes time for even the most senior executive to get to "know the ropes." People need to know how things work in the company and, if there is a problem, who they can turn to for help. An effective orientation welcomes newcomers into the company; leaving them alone will cause confusion and, ultimately, alienation.

3. Little or no training. We can all stand to learn. But for the new employee, or any employee with a change in responsibilities, training is critical.

If you want your new hires to do some work in a particular way, you need to let them know. That often means training. Each office or plant has its own requirements. Don't assume that an employee knows how his or her job is to be done given your workplace and its needs. At the very least, provide some written information or other job aid. Every job responsibility needs to have specific standards so that the employee knows how he or she is doing, but more importantly he or she needs to be specifically trained with the skill and knowledge to do the job as desired. If you don't provide this, you're setting everyone up for frustration and failure.

4. Not clarifying goals. Too often, employees are overwhelmed by conflicting demands or infuriated by requirements that appear only when it's too late to incorporate them into their work. People have to know their responsibilities and the priorities that affect them. Have you told them? Stop and ask them what they think the priorities are--you may be surprised. Take the time so that there's no confusion or conflicting demands.

5. Unclear or conflicting instructions. …

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