“Ha!” you say. “For someone to make a statement like that, they obviously haven’t worked in real world and certainly have never had to run a company.” Well, let me assure you. In my past I’ve not only run companies, but spent many years in one of most notorious industries for turnover – restaurant industry.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand and appreciate challenges that turnover creates. Turnover causes a drop in productivity, lower profits, inconsistent quality, and certainly creates work overload. In addition, turnover results in a lack of motivation, a lack of enthusiasm, apathy, and a lack of teamwork. But here’s question…
Are challenges I just raised problems or symptoms? In context of our discussion of turnover, most people would agree that they’re all symptoms of our turnover challenge. Turnover caused each of these shortfalls, which leads us to core question:
Is turnover a problem or a symptom?
Turnover is a symptom.
But what is turnover a symptom of? You may argue that turnover is a symptom of a weak workforce – unmotivated people, apathetic, too small of a labor pool, etc. I believe, however, that turnover is caused by other factors. Turnover is related to leadership. Turnover is a symptom of leadership problems. Some of these leadership-related problems are: lack of purpose, lack of integrity, absence of a plan for developing people, poor communications, and treating people as objects instead of people.
Let’s discuss whether these factors really do cause turnover. I always suggest that clients use their own experience as their best example. Have you ever worked for a company just to earn a living? A job where you really didn’t care about work or company? I’d guess that virtually everyone has been in that situation at one time or another. You may even be in that situation right now. When you were in that job, were you on lookout for a better opportunity? Did you leave company to take a job just to make more money? (… and then repeat whole scenario once more?) When a company and a job lack purpose, turnover occurs.
Have you ever worked for someone who lacked integrity? Someone who would say one thing and do another? Someone who promised to do something but never did? Someone who took credit and placed blame? Unfortunately, I’d have to guess that each of us has had that kind of boss at one time or another. When you were in that situation, did you continue to do your work? Of course you did. Was your work accurate and correct? Of course it was. Did you take initiative on new projects for benefit of company? Maybe not. Go extra mile to make a difference? Hmmm… Did you leave company at first opportunity? Point made. When an individual or company lacks integrity, turnover occurs.