Weekly Tip: Staff churn the most expensive cost on your P&L and what to do about it blog image

Small Business Tip: Staff churn the most expensive cost to your business and what to do about it

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A business needs three skills for it to be successful.

It needs Grinding skills to get the work done.

It needs Minding skills to manage the customers and manage the staff.

It needs Finding skills to bring work in.

For those who start businesses, they tend to have some of all three skills although some may be stronger in one than the other.

Naturally, finding skills are important because without new customers, the business will not survive.

Grinding skills are also important because the work needs to be done.

However, if you want to scale that business, you need to hire people to do the work, and you need to know how to manage them.

The management of your team will be the single most important task in achieving success in your business.

The same Grinder can do extremely well under Manager A but does extremely poorly under Manager B. It’s the same worker/Grinder and the only difference is the manager/Minder.

So, productivity and output are governed by how well your workers/Grinders are managed in terms of leadership, motivation, inspiration, direction and so on.

So in the spirit of trying to help you become a “gun” Manager, here is another tip.

6 Signs of a Toxic Workplace

Your two greatest assets are your staff and your customers. Without both, you cannot have a great business that provides for everyone.

Do you see your staff as an asset or as a means to an end?

Your answer to this question will dictate how you are managing them, and whether your staff are more likely to stick around and contribute productively

Staff churn is an expensive cost and if you are experiencing this, maybe it’s saying something about your management style.

Staff don’t leave organizations, they leave their immediate managers.

Check out these six signs of a toxic workplace.

1. Criticism of someone’s suggestions or ideas is a sure way to stifle creativity and innovation.

Are you the type of manager whose priority is to help your staff develop their careers, open to their suggestions and ideas and spend time training, coaching them, focused on their welfare, being attentive to their needs?

Or are you so focused on your customers only, the turnaround times, the budgets, the Work itself and the happiness of your customers but at the expense of your team?

Yes, your customers’ welfare is important and let’s not downplay that. Without customers, we don’t have a business and thus the “customer is always right, even when he/she is not”.

But your other most important asset of your business, your staff welfare, is also extremely important.

Are you paying attention to both?

Often, the only time one is aware that the person was unhappy was when they hand in their resignation.

As a Manager, it’s incumbent upon you to notice the signs and get in front of the issue before it becomes irretrievable.

Once someone has been offered a job, it’s generally too late to fix their problem.

As my grandmother would say “…Prevention is better than cure….”

So being a good manager is being proactive and paying attention.

2. Do you see your staff working for you and not the other way around?

Employees feel like they can’t go to their immediate Manager because they make their problems feel illegitimate.

A good Manager advocates for his/her staff and makes their concerns his/her highest priority and always gives a warm reception to concerns, problems or a new idea.

3. Managers not attending to problems in a timely fashion and creating more obstacles to resolving issues or when getting something done.

While obstacles can spur change, when no one wants to help you resolve them, motivation expires.

Yes, a high priority is your customer’s needs, but don’t do that at the expense of your staff’s needs. After all, you need them to get the work done and keep the customer happy.

4. Having your priorities the wrong way around.

It’s important to generate outcomes or profits, but simply looking at the scoreboard without paying attention to the “plays and strategies” on the field is a sure way not to achieve the results.

The “plays and strategies” on the field that achieves your results are getting your staff engaged and motivated and trained up and “buying into” the game.

Not only will they contribute to achieving the scoreboard but will hang around so you don’t need to go the expense and cost of looking for and training a new person because you were only paying attention to the scoreboard.

5. Staff are miserable.

There’s usually a reason why employees are miserable, whether it be low morale, office gossip, politics between staff, a lack of leadership, lack of work, disorganisation or an emphasis on the job instead of a work-life balance.

If you are paying attention to the signs you have a better chance of getting it fixed.

6. Your staff have their LinkedIn “Let Recruiters Know You Are Open” signal turned on.

If people aren’t happy, they’re going to be looking for a new job. The more employees who have this turned on, the more likely you have a toxic work environment.

Also, keep an eye out for those suddenly updating their profiles, unless you’ve got a killer employee advocacy program in place.

If you can relate to any of these points, you may have a toxic workplace on your hands.

Breaking bad habits takes bold leadership, but in the long-term, it will be effective.

What you can do: Develop the right culture

Get to know your staff or colleagues, appreciate people’s efforts, and set strong examples with value statements.

Develop the emotional intelligence to provide constructive feedback that staff can take on board.

Develop a genuine desire to want to help your staff progress their careers, their training, their skills, their interpersonal skills, their overall welfare.

Suggest ways that can help them. Be focused on their needs and concerns as well as your customers.

Ensure you have regular meetings with them “on them” (as opposed to meetings about customers’ problems) as well as the formal twice a year Performance Reviews.

In these reviews, you should be setting out a plan to assist their career development so there is a focus on them rather than they are just here to produce for you.

Hope that helps.

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