February 20, 2018

Do You Want To Reduce Your Employee Turnover? I Hope So!

By Paul Bieber

You may have heard in the news about a place that had a 34-percent turnover in a year. That is a non-starter at any level in the glass industry. You should be shooting for 10 percent or less.

On average it costs about a third of a year’s payroll to bring in a new employee, get him or her trained and up to speed on what needs to be done. This includes the cost of ads, lost time while the current employee is gone, and slowness of the new person during his first month on the job. If you use a professional head-hunter the cost runs about 50 percent of a year’s salary, but may be worth it if you have to spend less time yourself and can stay productive. I know that good employees are scarce right now. If you reduce your turnover, you will spend less time and money on hiring.

Here are some tips to keeping that turnover low. They have worked for me in the past.

  • Every new hire should be interviewed twice, each by a different person. These can be done on the same day if scheduling permits. After the second interview the two interviewers get together to compare notes. If one person likes the candidate and the other doesn’t, then he is a no-hire.
  • Make completely sure that you have fully described the job that you have open. At most companies, 50 percent of new hires leave within six weeks because they are asked to do jobs that were not covered in the interview. If you have mandatory overtime in special circumstances, tell them up front. Maybe this employee has to pick up a child at a certain time each day. If the person is hired as an inside man, but you end up sending him out twice a week, he may walk on you because he can’t get to his second, off-the-books job on time, and that cash position is key to him.
  • If you promise to train your new recruit, and do a lousy job of that, and then you yell at him because he didn’t do a job correctly, he is going to walk out. Teach him to do the job correctly in the first place. I cannot tell you how many clients ask me how to reduce turnover, but don’t have a good training program in place.
  • Explain your safety policy in the interviews and again on day one. If he doesn’t like wearing a hardhat, get rid of him before you hire him!
  • Explain up-front and in strong detail your days off for vacation and holidays. When are they available for new employees? You hire a new person on June 20th. Do they get paid for July 4th? When do the insurances start and who is covered in the family? What are his actual costs in co-pays and what is his salary reduction when the insurances start? What is your policy on half-days off? He has a doctor’s appointment that can’t be changed at 9:30 a.m. Does he come into work at 11 a.m. and do you allow him to work late to make up his time during this payroll week? If he loses a day’s pay here, he will spend that afternoon looking for a new job. I would.
  • Most companies try to hire new folks at the lowest rate possible, although I don’t know if that is doable in today’s economy. Make sure to explain the raise procedure. Is there a bump at 90 days? Are there annual raises at the year’s end or at the anniversary of his employment? Miss this raise and he is looking online at jobs the next day.
  • Thoroughly check his references and find out why he left his last job. If you do drug testing, tell this in your ad and have a sign posted in your lobby. This will deter many employees…and that is good.
  • If you are not doing drug testing, all of the folks who failed a test at your competitor down the street will be working for you. I would not want to be in the truck when one of those failures is driving!

Last thought, make your company an enjoyable place to work. Keep your crew informed at your company. Talk about new work coming up and how they will fit in. If employees like working for you, they will work to clear up differences. If they don’t give a darn about you or your company, when the first little reason to leave occurs, they will.