Attrition…it’s a boondoggle for companies. Employee turnover costs the company through wasted recruiting, training, relocation, and so on. Employee feedback is important to uncovering the causes of the turnover.

Finding and keeping the right people is key, everyone knows that. The question is, what makes an employee want to stay, or more to the point, want to leave?

That’s what IQS sorted out for a resort hotel recently and in the process helped them see an impressive turnaround. The hotel knew they were having a problem with employee turnover, but what they couldn’t figure out was why people were leaving.

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In the hotel’s case, they were seeing employees leave at six to twelve months and this was causing a serious financial drain. However exit interviews and HR asking questions did not afford the company any insight because exiting employees have little to no motivation to be honest or vocal about their experience; they’re on their way out, and they either don’t care or don’t want to burn a bridge by saying something negative. This is where IQS came in and pulled out that honest employee feedback.

In terms of general employee psychology, there is an inflection point where employee turnover takes a jump. It’s the point at which employees decide the company is a good fit, and their acclimation to the company, department, and working environment begins to accelerate, which brings engagement and satisfaction. Or they decide that the company is not a good fit, acclimation stops in its tracks, and they begin to look for other employment.

After IQS completed their research they learned that when employees were first hired, there was a tremendous amount of attention given to each new hire. They were trained, given one-on-one time, and were showered with team building good vibrations, complete with Polo shirt and coffee mug. This lasted about a week, and then the sole focus transitioned to “do you know how to do your job” and measuring their success.As a result, the employees felt lost in their environment and in some cases even misled about what they should expect.

There is much more to employment than the mechanics of the job itself, and at the hotel, little to no attention after that first week was spent on making sure new employees were fitting in, or acclimating, to the work environment, their coworkers, and the culture of the company. But after the light was shone on this elusive fact, the hotel was able to make some simple changes to continue the onboarding process beyond the first week. By extending the time over which the training was offered, the transition into the working environment became more gradual and the employee felt a deeper connection with the hotel. As a result, their first year attrition dropped by 30%.

In the end, you can only change people’s behavior when you thoroughly understand the reason behind their patterns of thinking. And the best way to understand how people think is through research.

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