Communications Drive Business, Part 3 - Challenge: Employee Turnover

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employee turnover is the highest it has been in 10 years, which is costing U.S. companies $160 billion per year. Breaking that down even further, a salaried worker making $60,000 per year will cost you approximately $45,000 to replace when you factor in hiring, onboarding, lost productivity and disengagement of those employees left to pick up the slack.
Losing employees is expensive. And they might be leaving for reasons you’re not even thinking of.
Surprisingly, a 2018 report by Bloomberg revealed that culture is more important than money when it comes to retaining employees. A Glassdoor survey produced a similar result, leading many companies to take an introspective look at the values and behaviors of their organization overall. Some are appointing culture officers to the C-suite who are solely responsible for improving culture.
What are the elements of a strong company culture? The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) says that it starts with consistent communication from leadership.
“Leaders in the most admired companies live their cultures every day and go out of their way to communicate their cultural identities to employees as well as prospective new hires. They are absolutely clear about their values and how those values define their organizations and determine how the organizations run,” SHRM cited in a 2018 report.
Moreover, conflicting messages from leadership lead to distrust and disengagement of employees – which makes an indirect hit to the bottom line.
Communication Opportunity
To keep your employees—and keep them engaged—discussions about culture, mission, vision and values can no longer just be pages in the handbook you hope people will read. They have to be weaved into your daily lives at work and in the words and actions of the C-suite and managers. And always be consistent.
Three things you can do today:
  1. Do a spot check. You don’t have to wait for the annual survey to go out. Stop a few employees in the hallway and on the plant floor. Ask them if they know what your corporate values are, your mission and the vision. Forgive them if they don’t know – it just means there might be some work to do.
  2. Observe managers. Take note of whose employees appear to be the most productive and engaged and talk to them. Find out what they are doing differently.
  3. Read your email. Look at the communication coming from corporate to employees. Is there consistency? Are corporate values part of the communication? Do you feel inspired when you read the material?
Acknowledging where your company is falling short is the first step toward building a culture that employees will embrace and reward the company with loyalty.
Communications Drive Business
Today, tearing down silos and building a business foundation based on effective communication is essential for businesses to thrive. When communication is strong across the board, all functions in your organization will operate more efficiently, your customers will have better experiences and you’ll be better equipped to grow and evolve your business.

Contact me to continue the discussion.

Related: Communications Drive Business, Part 4 - Challenge: Catching the White Whale