20 times return on investment in less than a year; record retention of customers in a commodity business during a severe downturn; highest morale in the history of the company; and the best two quarters, ever, in terms of profitability. The key? An initiative called “Dream On.”
3 Tactics Using StrengthsFinder Why stop employee turnover?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that the U.S. voluntary turnover rate is 23.4% annually. It's generally estimated that replacing an employee costs a business one-half to five times that employee's annual salary. So, if 25% of a business' workforce leaves and the average pay is $35,000, it could cost a 100-person firm between $438,000 and $4 million a year to replace employees.
Jesus told a parable in Matthew 13: 3-8 “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
Three reasons for employee turnover is poor job fit, ineffective on-boarding, and inconsistent focus from managers. Test these tactics to produce a crop of engaged employees.
- Use StrengthsFinder in the Interviewing Process.
Rushing the hiring process can create a bad job fit similar to scattering seed along the path. Having a smarter talent selection system can prevent unnecessary hiring, firing, and quitting.
An example how I helped an oil and gas company was to create a talent selection system for their sales force. I interviewed the CEO’s, sales director, and top sales performers creating an ideal behavioral profile for the job and culture. We then crafted a job posting that reflected the type of talents we were most looking for in an ideal sales person. Each applicant who made it to the interview process, was asked to take the StrengthsFinder assessment.
One of the best strengths spotting questions interviewers can ask (along with follow up questions) to help measure skill level of strengths and culture fit is, “Share a story you love of your most significant project, task, or accomplishment in your career to date that you are most pleased of and why?”
It’s important to note that StrengthsFinder is NOT a talent selection tool that determines WHAT job a person is good at; it’s a talent development tool that reveals HOW a person will likely succeed in a role.
- Combine StrengthsFinder Goal Setting with On-boarding.
Sowing clear measurable expectations and roles during on-boarding is crucial to get the best long term production from your new hires. It won’t be long before the work honeymoon disappears, the role gets rocky and the heat turns up.
How do you help new hires flourish in their performance and take root in their role?
Teach and coach employees how to name, claim, and aim their strengths intentionally with each area of work responsibility.
- Train Managers to use StrengthsFinder in Performance Reviews.
Employees leave an organization because the manager relationship is perceived as thorny – focused on weakness fixing or choked due to ignoring career advancement and promotional opportunities.
My recommendation is for managers to have meaningful one on one conversations about the development of their associates once a quarter using the strengths based Four Keys Coaching Guide. Discuss what the manager can do to help the employee succeed.
When leaders focus on employees strengths they are 8x more likely to be engaged and those who receive strengths feedback have 14.9% lower turnover rate producing a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.