Selecting quality employees is a challenge for many businesses. Unemployment is low, complicating the efforts to staff key positions. However, before you leap to hire a new employee, why did the last employee leave?

In some cases, the last employee departure was mutual, or suggested. In other situations, the business lost a quality employee for unknown reasons. As a side note, the business also lost a valuable employee investment.

When management terminates an employee for performance or behavior, the reasons are clear. The employee was not fulfilling their job description, or had demonstrated unprofessional behavior.

When the business loses a quality employee who has fulfilled their job description and demonstrated professional behavior, management should pause and take note. There are probably indications other behaviors and practices going on.

While some quality employees leave over compensation and benefits, many leave over existing business practices. Often times, the story senior management receives are compensation was the reason for termination when the truth is much different.

Challenged business practices alienate quality employees. They decide to seek new employment when the business consistently oversteps their personal boundaries. The business forces the employee to seek other opportunities.

These are several more notable business practices resulting in employee attrition we have observed.

 Job Descriptions

 Poorly defined and measured job descriptions complicate the manager and employee relationship. Employees want to know the specific requirement of their job. When employees fail to receive these structural job expectations, they feel over worked. They feel they are being mistreated.

Effective and well-written job descriptions also identify for management key requirements and attributes necessary for a new hire.

Equal Accountability

Employees should be held equally accountable for performance. Management favoritism and personal relationships deliver disastrous consequences. The bar of excellence declines as poor and superior performers are equally rewarded by management. Employees view unequal accountability as a direct insult.

Opportunity

Not everyone wants advancement into management. However, most quality employees want opportunities to improve themselves. These improvements can come in many forms. Education, new skills, technology, different departmental jobs, and employee team leaders are just a few ideas. The fact is these opportunities do not need to be expensive; they can be scalable to your business.

On Boarding

 On boarding is not training. On Boarding is a structured setting where management communicates information and expectations about history, culture, business practices, and customers. The process discusses quality and its relationship to company products and services.

It’s also the time to review the employee handbook and clearly establish communication expectations and behavioral boundaries of the organization. Transparency builds trust and loyalty.

On Boarding is the time for the company to be very clear in its responsibilities to employees and management to “Walk the Talk.” The moment the company fails to achieve their employee responsibilities, they set the stage for employee attrition.

 Training

 Superior organizations are focused on continuous education. Education expands the mind and offers the employee opportunities for growth. Education is a proactive approach to reducing stagnation. In addition, training isn’t just about learning new skills; it’s also an opportunity for management to connect with employees. Training sessions are a great time for refresher courses on company culture and innovation.

Management

Some managers are facilitators and transformational in approach. They create a work environment where employees are happy, communicative, and productive. These managers offer predictable style and leadership. Employee respect and loyalty are high with this quality of manager.

Customers have the same experience with transformational managers. They know when there are product or service challenges this manager will address their individual needs. Customer loyalty and satisfaction are constantly cultivated and measured. Employees are not exposed nearly as often to irate customers when management is proactive and involved in the business.

Challenged management teams are generally reactive in approach. For challenged managers replacing employees is standard operating procedure rather than examining the real reasons why employees leave.

Employee Retention

Employee retention speaks volumes about the organization to employees, customers, and community. Often times, our best opportunities for selecting and retaining quality employees come from within the organization.

What’s interesting about quality companies is they need to recruit and select fewer employees. They can focus on quality rather than quantity. In the community, they are known for being a quality organization. Current employees spread the word about their success. They are ambassadors of the company.

I mentioned earlier that employees are a financial investment. When we retain skilled and productive employee’s company value increases to the customer. Customer surveys frequently report high turnover is a concern to them from suppliers. It’s a systemic risk by the supplier to the customer.

Quality employees simply build better interpersonal relationships with customers. Customers expect consistency. They want to know their challenges and opportunities are being addressed.

Quality Management

So before you select a new employee, assess your business practices. It may be your wages are low prompting employee attrition. Nevertheless, I suggest for many enterprises, its business practices contribute not only to employee attrition, but to customer attrition as well.

When compensation and benefits are the only binding relationship to employees, your business becomes irrelevant. Relevant businesses are delivering best practices, fair compensation and benefits, and leadership.

Be honest, direct, and fair as you assess the truth about your business. Seek to recruit, select, and retain quality employees.