Partners in Business Excellence, LLC

HR process improvement

Having Trouble with High Employee Turnover?

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It May Be Time to Look at Your Processes

Some industries are known for high employee turnover. They tend to be jobs in retail or food service, where jobs pay low and are plentiful, but they aren’t the only ones. In fact, according to LinkedIn Learning, Software and Media jobs also rank among the highest.

There are some reasons for this high employee turnover that have a lot to do with changes in the industry, creating a wave of trends that those in employment sectors are watching. But, if you have discovered that your business is suffering from unusually high employee loss, and it doesn’t seem to fit the industry trend (or it does but you’d like to reverse that), you may want to take a look at your processes.

The Management Hole

One of the biggest complaints by employees is that they feel management makes decisions from behind a desk, without really understanding the front line. There tends to be a gap between what managers want from staff and what staff is able to provide. This becomes the forever battle between the front line and management teams.

Hands-on management encourages and equips leaders to spend time getting to understand their direct subordinates. Learning employee motivations and interests helps to close the communication gap, but is it enough?

Lack of Awareness

Sometimes, high employee turnover comes from a lack of awareness about why it is happening to begin with. Are there exit interviews in place? Is the management team open to feedback and continuous improvement?

Simply reviewing the motivations for employee terminations and resignations can create a huge insight from which management can begin to make positive, money saving changes. Just like changing a manufacturing error that creates a physical defect in the end product, making a change to a hiring, on-boarding, or management practices can correct problematic employee results.

High employee turnover and repeated disciplinary actions may be a sign of a broken system

An Example from the Trenches

Recently I discovered that someone close to me left his job in frustration over something that could have been fixed for under $20. The employee had been given warnings with increasing penalties for consistently not taking his lunch break on time. He was often focused on work, and with no clock in the work space, often lost track of time. Due to the type of work he was doing, wearing a wrist watch was dangerous, and he wasn’t allowed to have his cellphone on the floor.

Overall, he felt he was ‘magically’ supposed to know when it was lunchtime, and clock out at the appropriate time. Most of the time, a certain person returning from their break would be a visible trigger for him, but other times he missed it, and therefore, missed his break start, setting in motion a domino effect of missed lunch breaks for others. This was obviously a frustration for management.

When the employee asked for a clock to be installed, or the one on the wall to be repaired, he was told it would happen, but that day didn’t come before he received his third verbal warning for a late lunch clock out. Frustrated, he offered his resignation. No surprise, this wasn’t the only management fail he had experienced, but it was the straw that broke his back.

So, given the cost of replacing the employee, or purchasing a $20 clock, what would you choose? What systems need to be in place in order for this type of mistake to be avoided? A feedback loop? A change in procurement practices? What simple steps can be implemented to reduce the emotional and actual cost of high employee turnover?

Simple, Effective Solutions

Often, when I visit companies looking to improve results that aren’t meeting their expectations, I find a very simple fix. Sometimes this means throwing out cold inventory, changing how a process is done to improve efficiency, or simply purchasing the one thing employees need to be successful.

As an objective outsider, equipped with Lean Management tools, I walk through facilities and processes with a keen eye focused on the areas that can be made more efficient. Some of these changes are immediate, and others take time to get into place.


PBEX, LLC provides a complete review and analysis of the business processes that create efficiency and profitability, and the barriers to them. Contact us today to learn more about lean business management and to schedule your review with a process improvement expert.

Get New Employees Up to Speed Fast with Business Process Improvement

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business process improvement

In my years as a Business Process Improvement Coach, I have been called in to work with companies who have a new work force. In one particular case, a company acquired another, complete with an unskilled labor force, and needed to train them all quickly. The need for staff training can be created from mergers, acquisitions, seasonal or temporary employment, or a jump in production demands requiring increased staffing. It can also happen when employees are transferred to a new department, or with any big shift in management or restructuring. What if management took a proactive approach to change?

The need for business process improvement is always noticed at times of transition. Fresh perspectives can offer feedback and this feedback should lead to improvements. Whenever new job positions are created, or new employees require training, business process improvement can get everyone on the same page and be more effective than ever before.

Business Process Improvement and Human Capital Management

Human Resources is a highly documented, regulated, and important responsibility. With payroll being the highest expense in most businesses, efficiency and productivity in the area of Human Capital Management can make a huge impact on the bottom line. Overall, employers are seeking business process improvement in the areas of:

Increasing Employment Engagements. There are many distractions that can vie for an employee’s time. How do we decrease these distractions in a way that maintains high morale and improves engagement?

Increased Workflow Productivity. What systems, technology and processes can be put in place, automated, and tightened up? What training is needed to increase productivity?

Reducing Employee Turnover. Some turnover will always be expected, as people, places and circumstances change. However, high levels of turnover, or even turnover above the expected attrition, lead to hidden expenses and loss in productivity. What is frustrating and unaddressed in our workforce? Where can we be proactive, rather than reactive in relationship to staff management?

Reducing Onboarding Time. When we do have employee turnover, how can we shorten the time it takes to recruit, hire, train and get employees to the level of production we require?

How a Business Process Improvement Professional Helps

Business Process Improvement Professionals, such as myself, have an objective, trained eye to see what’s working and what’s missing. Through several assessment tools, we are able to pinpoint redundancies, holes, strengths, weaknesses and more. We can create job descriptions, job instructions, build processes, and improve current workflows to maximize effectiveness and engagement. By creating consistent business processes that take into consideration what the assessments are telling us, we can get everyone on the same page, and quickly up to speed in becoming a successful, productive, and happy member of your work force.

Contact me today to learn more about how I help businesses simplify their human capital management through business process improvement strategies. Cleaner processes create faster results, better productivity and employee satisfaction. Together, we will create a continuous improvement culture and healthier bottom line.