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Dealing with Staff Retention Issues

stack of handsStaff turn-over (churn) is typically 40% per year and the figure for new-hires can be as high at 90% in 90 days. Manufacturing Inc was running at 30.4% annually in 2017. But, there are small and medium sized companies locally that manage to do much better while paying no more.

83% of companies reported that staff churn is one of their leading concerns. The high cost of churn is not just financial; churn demoralizes other staff. Management tends to firefight. Churn and firefighting prevent focus on continuous improvement, curtails investment in developing people or implementing new technology; there simple is not time to run projects while customers need product and the skilled workforce is not there to get it out of the door.

Workers often say they are leaving for a few cents more. That is easier than saying that they cannot stand working for their supervisor; research shows that workers leave bad managers rather than leaving a company. The key to change is training supervisors in coaching skills and in promoting/hiring supervisors with existing coaching skills. These skills have been identified by a number of local companies as a critical element in how they do things better. Up until now, most supervisors and managers have been promoted due to technical ability only. That is not working. People-skills must improve or there is not only churn, but resistance to change, including new ways of working, continuous improvement and the adoption of new technology.

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