Is your storage facility plagued by a high employee turnover rate? Constantly hiring and training new people means more than just additional work. A revolving door of disgruntled employees actually affects your bottom line.
The average cost of replacing an employee is around one-third of that person’s base salary and can run as high as two to three times the salary, said Danny Nelms, president of The Work Institute, a research and consulting company.
Hiring a new employee means paying for help-wanted ads, scheduling interviews, conducting background checks, losing productivity and more. “All those things start to add up,” Nelms said.
On average, it takes 35 days to fill a position at a cost of $3,300 per hire, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.
So, what can you do to stop employees from fleeing to other workplaces? Follow these four tips for reducing employee turnover.
1. Hire the right person for the job.
A self-storage manager needs a “unique mix” of personality traits, said Tron Jordheim, director of PhoneSmart, a self-storage call center. Managers must be able to switch gears easily from sales to customer service to rent-collecting.
You can make a bad hire by picking an applicant who’s strong in one trait but weak in the others. “That’s a sure way to waste a lot of money and time,” Jordheim said.
When interviewing, ask questions related to traits and attributes you need in an employee. For example, to evaluate someone’s decision-making skills, ask about a problem he or she faced in a previous job and how it was handled.
Don’t let a strong personal connection cloud your judgment. “That chemistry ends up being part of the interview, and you can fail to actually evaluate how that person will do on the job,” Nelms said.
2. Create an environment of success.
An employee who can’t work efficiently because of a sluggish computer system is being set up for failure.
“It can be computer software or a simple thing like brooms and mops,” Nelms said. “It you don’t have the right things to do the job, it can be frustrating.”
Unrealistic expectations also can impede success. A manager who’s expected to answer every call made to a 200-unit facility without support, either internal or external, won’t be able to handle the volume.
“Owners think store managers can do everything,” Jordheim said, “and that’s not realistic.”
3. Provide proper training.
For example, if an employee isn’t undergoing regular sales training and coaching, “it’s hard for to them to excel,” Jordheim said. “When they don’t meet sales goals, they feel like they fall short. They wanted to do it right but didn’t have the practice or skill.”
4. Conduct exit and “stay” interviews.
Hire an impartial third party to interview employees about why they left. “They’re simply going to tell an outside person more than they’ll tell an inside person,” Nelms said.
It’s best to wait a couple of weeks after an employee leaves to conduct an exit interview. By that time, the employee has the final paycheck in hand and feels less threatened.
Important questions to ask:
- Why did you leave?
- How did you feel about your supervisor?
- What do you think of the company as an employer?
- Would you refer friends and family members to work for your former company?
- Did you feel supported?
It’s equally important to figure out why people are sticking around. “Stay” interviews with current staff members reveal things that employees value about your company, what you’re doing right and issues that need to be addressed. Again, tap an impartial third party for these interviews.
“What drives turnover is companies don’t show they care enough about creating the best possible workplace,” Nelms said. “It really is about creating conditions where employees want to stay for a long time.”