How retaining your staff can improve your margin

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There are cases of facilities management companies losing and gaining 100% of their staff in a single year.

In such a low margin business, managing this level of turnover is tough when you consider the time and cost of hiring, losing, and then rehiring staff.

The good news is there are ways your business could reduce attrition, and therefore the cost.

So, why the churn?

One of the reasons for this churn is because 70% to 80% of employees are “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” at work. A feeling of ‘disassociation’ or lack of commitment, particularly in lower paid jobs, will make the decision not to come in today, an easy one.

Another reason, stemming from the above, is there is often a lack of autonomy, or the stimulation of ideas. When you’re paying for hands, you’re also paying for minds – so engage them; extract ideas on how you could improve service delivery (being the feet on the ground, they may provide the best ideas on how to achieve this).

As a result, you’re more likely to develop a sense of connectedness and community among employees and customers alike. Remember, many of these employees have been TUPE’d in to your business, and feel more connected with the customer then with your business in the early life of a new contract for your organisation.

So that’s the front line, but what about the back office?

A more fundamental cause of attrition comes simply down to how mundane the nature of the job being performed is.

Imagine the monotony of repeating the same processes and tasks over and over again, perhaps because your back-end processes are still overly reliant on paper to function. Going back to the original above point, engaged workers may contribute ideas as to how you can improve processes and make efficiencies – make them feel valued.

What can you do about it?

There are several ways facilities management organisations can invest in strategies to reduce the loss:

  1. Improve the hiring process to bring through stronger, more suitable, candidates; avoid panic hiring during peak periods
  2. Remove the boredom of low value, unnecessary activities by automating steps and processes
  3. Look at ways to empower staff and make them feel part of the organisation and not just an unattached part of it
  4. Improve the work environment and company culture so workers are more comfortable and less likely to be distracted
  5. Involve workers in company activities, and engage them on a 1-1 personal level so they feel a part of the organisation

It may feel onerous and costly to implement a change in how you operate with and through your workers in the field, but ultimately the results will lead to employees who are:

  • brought into the work
  • willing to contribute sweat
  • less likely to absentee

Leading to a business with:

  • less onus on finding replacements
  • increased productivity
  • reduced cost
  • greater profitability

By retaining your staff, you retain your customers; if you lose your staff, you risk losing the contract. It pays to invest in ways to keep your staff engaged.

Where should you start?

Hiring the right people from the start, is perhaps the single best way to reduce employee turnover.

Interview and vet candidates carefully, not just to ensure they have the right skills but also that they fit well with the company culture, managers and co-workers.

And when recruiting, consider also successful recruiting and hiring of staff strategy number 1: promote or hire from within. This is because a lot of people are interested in growing, learning new things and moving into new positions.

After TUPE, invest time and effort bringing front line teams in to the culture of the organisation. Engage them with self-service options, portals to review holiday options, any benefits or company schemes, see company news and announcements … The more they get to know you, the more they engage and the better the productivity and commitment are likely to be.

Using technology solutions can bring you frontline teams in to the culture of business, and for the back office teams, can automate processes. Staff can focus on managing more productive activities, or be more responsive to front line teams, and generally providing a better service.

Learn more about Timegate & Servicetrac

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