Updated: Feb 14, 2019
Eliminate High Employee Turnover
A mid-sized technology company experiencing high turnover among its employees needed to address its turnover issues.
Use Focus Groups to Identify Reasons for High Turnover and Generate Ideas for Improvement
To determine the root causes for the company’s high turnover, The Chatfield Group conducted a series of focus groups at the firm’s primary operating facilities. The lack of a clear chain of command and poor communications were identified as key concerns. So, too, were the needs to improve employee orientation and to provide training and development opportunities for both managers and employees. After analyzing staff feedback, The Chatfield Group teamed with company management to implement the following six-step plan to correct organizational deficiencies: Step 1: Expand Management Ranks – To clarify reporting relationships and improve functional management, the company created a layer of departmental management. Under the company’s revised organizational structure, Department Managers take the lead in communicating with employees on a day-to-day basis, in coaching employees on performance, and developing employee capabilities.Step 2: Launch Onboarding Program for New Hires – To increase retention of new employees, the company developed an onboarding program designed to make New Hires feel comfortable and productive in their new work environments from Day One. Hiring Managers developed an Onboarding Plan for each New Hire to address practical concerns of both the new employee and the Hiring Manager. Topics included 1) key people for the New Hire to know; 2) tools of the trade, such as computer log-ins and directory structures, file-naming conventions and reference materials; 3) a review of job basics, including the New Hire’s job description; 4) a “starter” assignment in which the new employee works independently to quickly add value with minimal supervision. To check on New Hire progress, Hiring Managers and HR schedule formal reviews with New Hires after they have been with the company for 90 days.Step 3: Strengthen Corporate Communications – A number of focus-group participants expressed the need for more frequent communications from the company. To address this issue, the company launched a company intranet designed to share lessons learned, project updates, job descriptions, job titles and contact information. It developed additional forums for discussion. And it began conducting exit interviews with departing employees to continue gathering feedback about the factors underlying its employee turnover challenges.Step 4: Improve Benefit Communications – In response to focus-group feedback about the need for a better understanding of employee benefits, the company benchmarked its current benefit plans with industry standards. During benefit-enrollment periods, it met with employees in small groups to provide them with an overview of company benefits and announce benefit changes. In addition to strengthening some benefit options, the company also began providing vacation accrual information on employee paychecks.Step 5: Introduce Performance Appraisal System – To provide greater clarity with regard to performance expectations, the company introduced a performance appraisal system that includes goal-setting, ongoing performance feedback, employee development and coaching. Training managers on setting goals and providing feedback was given high priority.Step 6: Provide Training & Development Opportunities – Many employee suggestions focused on the need for better management training. In response, the company developed a multifaceted T&D program that included Quarterly Workshops for Managers covering topics such as Maintaining a Strong Customer Focus, Interviewing Skills for Managers, and Coaching for High Performance. To build its management pipeline, the company introduced a Leadership Development Program. And to respond to employees’ thirst for learning opportunities, the company launched a series of “Lunch ‘n’ Learn” seminars for all employees.