Workforce Kranz, Garry
James Harris, director of human resources at nonprofit Bost Inc., recently became certified as a retention specialist by the Retention Institute through a one-year online program. Harris subsequently sought to boost staff engagement and reduce turnover by involving Bost’s 33 department managers. He requested all 33 department heads to gauge how much they were spending to recruit, hire, and train replacements. The figures for each department were calculated, and came to $966,000, which served as a baseline figure for reducing turnover by least 10 percent across the organization. Manager training was provided through Bost’s internal School of Leadership. The training featured workshops, role-playing exercises for resolving workplace conflicts, active listening, and coaching for performance. In addition, managers set accountability targets for boosting retention as part of their annual reviews. At monthly manager meetings, Harris started handing out reports that display the monthly turnover costs within each department. Meetings were also arranged where leading department managers could share tips and techniques with peers who were struggling; such actions helped reduce annual turnover at Bost from 35 percent to 21 percent.
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The tradeoff of investing in management training and the reduction in turnover is significant to the bottomline of the company.