Tag Archive: Turnover

  1. Job Competencies: Why They’re More Important than Industry Knowledge

    Sports distributor unlocks the secret to sales success when they begin hiring based on candidates’ personality, rather than background

    Imagine you’re a large-scale distributor of sports equipment and apparel. You hire salespeople from coast to coast to connect with local schools, community organizations, athletic programs – anyone who might be in need of uniforms, spirit wear, practice equipment, or game-day gear.

    What makes a great sales hire in the sports retail world? Someone with the right job competencies, or someone with deep industry knowledge?

    Well, you can probably guess that most of your job applications will come from people with a coaching or sports related background. Which makes sense. Former coaches and players have industry knowledge and a special love of the game that will draw them to your type of business. It may even fuel their sales energy. But will it help them close deals?

    Not exactly. While this type of person likely has experience using the products you sell, and can probably make personal suggestions as to which cleat is best for the community’s youth baseball league (molded? metal? turf?), being a sports fan is not the only requirement for sales success.

    This is what a leading sports distributor discovered when they took a close look at their 800+ person sales team. The company had seen a recent uptick in turnover, and wanted to address it before it became a bigger problem. Also, they knew that their sales managers, who were in charge of all the hiring on the sales team, could use some help vetting talent from outside the industry. The company’s Talent Acquisition Manager said they needed a tool to “tip the odds in their favor.” That’s when they came to Outmatch.

    After taking part in a research study that included 250 of their sales professionals, the company realized that sales productivity was driven primarily by the salesperson’s personality, not by their background or love for sports.

    Six months earlier, the company began using a predictive talent assessment with two goals in mind: (1) streamline the selection process for busy sales managers, and (2) identify sales candidates who were best fit for the role and least likely to turn over. Rather than measuring product-specific skills or industry knowledge, this assessment measured candidates’ personality, including Accommodation, Assertiveness, Sociability, Frustration Tolerance, and other job competencies that are critical to success in a sales role.

    As part of the research study that followed, Outmatch collected supervisor ratings and objective metrics on newly hired salespeople, and compared them to the recommendations made by the assessment. Such analysis would reveal just how well the assessment was predicting success in this company’s sales environment.

    Results showed that salespeople who were identified as a strong match by the assessment were 9X more likely to achieve above-average sales productivity, compared to those who were identified as a poor match.

    Without an assessment in place, the company would have likely hired a mix of strong and poor matches, based on their previous selection process. With an assessment in place, they can focus all their hiring efforts on strong matches, who have proven to be more productive in the role.

    Not only was the company able to address their turnover problem, they’re now equipped to boost performance and productivity across their entire sales team. The company still considers a candidate’s coaching or sports background in the selection process, but it’s not the most important consideration. As it turns out, job competencies for sales success can cut across industries.

    It’s not so much what you sell, but how you sell it, and people with a natural strength for sales will often thrive, even if they’re not selling something that’s deeply personal or nostalgic to them.

  2. Culture Management Strategy: 6 Signs Your Company Needs One

    Your company may need a culture management strategy.

    A culture management strategy will benefit your business even when things are relatively stable. But, you will definitely need a strategy to keep your culture strong through growth, mergers, leadership changes, and other tough transitions. Here are 6 common culture shocks that can derail your business, and tips for managing through them:

    1. A merger, acquisition, or restructure

    Nothing causes culture shock quite like this. For employees going through a merger, acquisition, or organizational restructure, it can feel as if the rug’s been pulled out from under them. So many things change, and changes happen fast. To emerge with a stronger culture, rather than a discordant culture, you need a culture integration strategy. This involves highlighting and understanding all the cultural dynamics at play. A culture measurement tool can help you see the cultural impact of the changes you’ve made, and identify key differences between your different operating groups. Over time, you’ll be able to measure the progress of culture integration and take steps to support a strong company culture, as well as strong subcultures.

    2. Change in leadership or organizational strategy

    Leadership sets the tone for organizational culture. When there are changes at the executive level, culture shifts often follow. To proactively manage these shifts, business leaders needs a way to assess their current culture, and track progress toward their new cultural vision. A culture measurement tool can compare the executive team’s aspirational culture to the current culture (as experienced by employees) to identify areas where the greatest shifts need to occur. Measuring the culture fit of candidates is also essential—you’ll be able to see how new hires will help move you toward your desired culture, rather than keep you in the past.

    3. Hyper growth

    Culture is dynamic, and by constantly adding new employees, organizations can severely dilute their culture. If you had a strong culture before a period of hyper growth, you may find that culture significantly changed, and significantly less effective than it was before. Culture dilution has also proven to negatively effect employee engagement, performance, and retention. So how do you scale your business without deteriorating your culture?  You must have a dedicated effort on reinforcing the values and underlying behaviors that drive success in your company. With a culture measurement tool, you can monitor for culture dilution, see where it’s happening, and identify values that are decreasing in relative importance. It’s also important to measure candidate fit to ensure you’re hiring people who share the values of your desire culture.

    4. Diversity & Inclusion initiatives

    There are many dynamics at play within a culture that can inadvertently undermine your diversity and inclusion efforts. The first step is understanding organizational attitudes toward diversity and inclusion. You can do this by measuring cultural behaviors such as tolerance and collaboration. With a culture measurement tool, you’ll be able to see the relative importance of tolerance as compared to other priorities or values that employees perceive as important in your organization. You can also measure perceptions within diverse populations to see if these groups experience culture differently than others in your organization. Only then can you work to harmonize culture across diverse groups and confirm that your diversity and inclusion initiatives are effective.

    5. Issues with engagement, performance, or turnover

    Culture strength is a direct predictor of employee engagement, which in turn predicts performance and retention. Weakly aligned cultures consistently experience more issues with engagement, performance, and turnover. Whether these issues are pervasive across your company or higher within certain segments of the business, a culture measurement tool can reveal areas of cultural disconnect and help you diagnose the underlying cause. Without visibility, you will struggle to enact positive change. How you hire also impacts on your ability to ‘plug the leak,’ as alignment between personal values and organizational values has proven to enhance engagement, performance, and retention. By measuring candidate fit, you can ensure alignment from the get-go.

    6. Defining or refreshing organizational values

    Because culture is rooted in organizational values, step one of any culture initiative is understanding what those values are. Values set the expectation for how work gets done within your organization, and values drive the behaviors behind all of your business operations. Rather than choosing words simply because they sound important, like INNOVATION or INTEGRITY, use a culture measurement tool to survey employees and see the values that exist in your organization today. Then, use that insight to align your work practices with your existing values, or build a strategy to shift your values. Either way, a bottom-up approach to defining values will foster an environment where employees are more connected to the culture and feel a sense of ownership.

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    To learn more about culture management strategy and best practices, download our infographic: 4 Pillars of an Outstanding Company Culture

  3. Predictive Talent Analytics: Overcoming Barriers in HR

    Predictive analytics has become the standard decision-making framework for finance, marketing, healthcare, retail, logistics, and countless other business operations. Predictive analytics also powers our non-working lives, from Amazon product recommendations to travel itineraries and social media news feeds.

    Predictive talent analytics – where do we start?

    When it comes to adopting predictive analytics for talent decisions, however, HR still faces many barriers. In a recent webinar, HR Tech CEO Greg Moran talked about the top use cases for predictive analytics in HR, and barriers including a lack of analytical expertise, as well as silos in and outside of HR.

    To help HR leaders overcome these barriers and begin using predictive talent analytics, Greg answered the industry’s top questions on skills, silos, and technology in HR.

    HR is traditionally a soft-skills industry. How do we improve our analytical capabilities?

    The best place to start? An online class. An intro-level understanding of data analytics would be helpful to everyone in HR today. You don’t need a Ph.D. in data science, nor do you need to gain a mastery of statistical analysis. You can hire data scientists and data analytics teams for that. Your goal should be to adopt an analytical mindset where you can start to think in terms of ‘How do we apply data to our biggest business challenges, what kind of questions can we answer that we weren’t able to answer before, and how do we get access to the data and technology we need to improve the operations of our business?’

    Talent Acquisition and Talent Management departments are often disconnected. How do we connect these teams together so we have more access to data?

    This is really common area where silos form within HR. The first step is to build a business case for sharing data, which involves articulating the types of questions you want to answer and the results you’re aiming for.

    You can say, ‘As a talent acquisition organization, we don’t want to just understand our cost per hire or our time to hire. We want to understand how we’re impacting quality of hire and the overall performance of the business. The only way we can understand that is by getting access to post-hire data.’

    A big challenge in HR is being able to articulate bottom-line results. So, take your case a step further by saying, ‘We believe that by connecting performance data to pre-hire data, we can improve our hiring decisions for a 10% increase in sales’ – which, depending on your business, can have millions of dollars of impact. And that’s a compelling reason to make a change.

    There are a lot of IT products on the market. Which is best for HR analytics?

    The answer to this depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. Before you look to technology, you first need to understand the business questions you’re trying to answer. Are you trying to solve for turnover? Are you trying to solve for performance, or diversity, or some other challenge? The technology you choose should be geared toward driving business intelligence in those areas.

    If you’re trying to solve for employee performance and turnover, you’ll benefit from using a predictive analytics tool in your selection process. A predictive talent assessment, for example, will analyze performance potential and turnover risk to identify your top candidates. Another good option is an employee engagement tool, where you can start to identify correlations between engagement, performance, and turnover. All of this you could potentially do on a spreadsheet, but the technology is there to provide efficiency and transparency into your processes.

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    To learn more about improving HR’s analytical capabilities and getting started with predictive talent analytics, watch our webinar: How to Gain an Edge with Predictive Talent Analytics

  4. Managing High Potential Employees: 9 Derailers to Watch For

    High-potential employees are your company’s future. In today’s tight labor market, you can’t afford to lose a single one of them.

    But here’s the challenge: High potential employees are more likely to leave than average employees. In fact, high potentials typically only stay with a company for about two years.

    If you can improve your ability to retain and manage high potentials, you’ll benefit from solid business growth and strong performance in the market. If you can’t, then all your energy (and dollars) will be spent replacing good employees.

    Being a high potential employee doesn’t mean there’s an easy road ahead. They will face many challenges as they grow in their careers. To better manage your high potential employees and help accelerate their development, watch for these potential derailers:

    1. Appears stressed, overworked, or beginning to burnout.

    2. Resisting change. If the person has been successful a certain way, change may look like a platform for failure.

    3. Blaming others for their mistakes or failures. They don’t want to look bad because they know other people’s expectations of them are high.

    4. Taking on all the work themselves because that’s what’s made them successful so far. They’re used to being independent and taking the initiative.

    5. Lacks trust in his or her team. They’ve been recognized for their work and dedication, and they don’t want to let that go.

    6. Spends most of their time completing tasks versus thinking strategically about ways to improve the business.

    7. Lacks important knowledge about other functional areas and/or the long-term goals of the organization.

    8. Doesn’t seek out opportunities to connect with others, or is unable to effectively engage and influence their superiors.

    9. Lacks visibility across the organization.

    The people closest to your high potentials and most likely to spot these derailers are your organization’s managers. How confident are they that they can mitigate these derailing behaviors? According to a recent poll, only 6 % said ‘extremely confident.’

    Managers have a huge influence on the career trajectory of your high potential employees. For insight on how to equip them to be better coaches, as well as strategies for retaining high potential employees, watch out webinar on-demand: How to Get the Most Out of Your High Potentials


  5. What To Do about Hourly Turnover?

    Hourly turnover, especially in a competitive talent market, can feel much like a revolving door. In an hourly work environment, the pay is low and the job isn’t all that “sticky.” (Unless you’re pulling gum off the bottom of dining room tables, or cleaning buttered popcorn from a movie theater floor.)

    What we’re talking about here is the challenge of retaining employees in not-so-desirable jobs, or jobs that are easy to walk away from. That’s the reality for companies with large hourly workforces, like restaurant, retail, property management, manufacturing, call centers, and countless others. You can’t change the job, and often you can’t bump the pay. HR leaders in these industries have come to accept high turnover as a fact of life.

    Maybe you can’t stop turnover at the hourly level. But what if you could slow it down? Stretching an hourly employee’s tenure from 30 days to 90 days can have a surprisingly big impact.

    Think of it like this:

    • You hire A, who stays for 30 days.
    • You replace A with B, who stays for 30 days.
    • You replace B with C, who stays for 30 days.

    In 90 days, you’ve made three different hires. Now compare that scenario to this one:

    • You hire Z, who stays for 90 days.

    Here, you’ve only made one hire. Let’s say the cost of each hire is $2,000, conservatively. In scenario 1, you spent $6,000 in 90 days. In scenario 2, you spent $2,000 in 90 days. When you multiply that out across your entire hourly population, it adds up to big savings.

    Here’s an example: A retail client of ours hires over 60,000 hourly employees per year. That’s 15,000 hires per quarter on average (not accounting for seasonality). Hiring people who turn over early (within 30 days, for example) could potentially triple this client’s number of vacancies from 15,000 to 45,000 per quarter. On the flip side, hiring people who are more likely to stay for 90+ days could reduce their number of vacancies from 15,000 to 5,000 per quarter. What a difference!

    To learn more about hiring’s effect on turnover, as well as internal promotions and customer experience, check out our white paper: The Business Case for Hourly Assessments.

  6. 3 Types of Employee Turnover – Which One Matters Most?

    If the constant battle to reduce employee turnover makes your head hurt, you’re not alone. Business leaders are looking to HR to deliver big results, but sweeping statements from the boardroom, like “REDUCE TURNOVER OR ELSE,” leave your team with an enormous task ahead of them.

    The first thing to understand is that not all turnover is bad. By focusing on one facet of turnover, rather than all turnover, you can have a much greater impact on your organization’s turnover rate—and more importantly—on the quality of your workforce.

    3 Types of Turnover

    • Desirable: When you lose a bottom performer, or even a toxic employee.
    • Okay: When you lose an employee in an easy-to-fill job, a short-term contract job, or a job with a short learning curve.
    • Regrettable: When you lose a top performer or a high-potential employee, especially to a competitor.

    How to Stop Regrettable Turnover

    Most regrettable turnover can be traced back to poor job fit and poor culture fit. Fortunately, job fit and culture fit are HR’s wheel house, and there are several things you can do to improve the way you match people to jobs.

    • Define what it means to be successful in your company. What do top performers have in common? Which aspects of your culture are essential for success? Look for these qualities in new hires to ensure a strong fit.
    • Encourage strong employee/manager relationships. A top reason people leave a job is because of poor managerial relationships. When you have the right managers in place, and use analytics to improve team dynamics, you’ll see less turnover across your workforce.
    • Ease the transition from one job to the next. Job transitions are danger zones. Make sure your employees are equipped with the skills and competencies they need before moving into their new role.
    • Foster employee growth and development. Top performers are most at risk of turning over when there’s a lack of development opportunities. And this is a widespread problem—according to an engagement survey, only 25% of workers feel they have ample opportunities for career growth.
    • Be transparent about employee development. Oftentimes, companies keep their list of high-potential employees confidential. But if you never tell a high potential they’ve been identified, how will they know what to focus on? Communicating your development plans shows that you’re invested in employee growth, and that you have long-term plans for keeping people challenged and engaged.

    So while there are several types of turnover, regrettable turnover is the one you should be focused on. This is where you’ll have the most impact. To learn more about measuring turnover and building an strategy to reduce turnover, watch our webinar: Why Turnover is the Most Misunderstood Metric in HR.

  7. Is Employee Burnout Causing Turnover? 4 Steps to Find Out

    What’s that eight-letter word that makes HR and talent management professionals cringe? That’s right—turnover. Some turnover may be healthy, but when your turnover rate gets too high, it can cost your company big. According to a study by the Society of Human Resource Management, employers will spend the equivalent of six to nine months of an employee’s salary just to find and train a replacement. That’s why it’s important to find out why people are leaving. Is burnout part of the problem? Here are four ways to find out:

    1. Look and learn. Many times, an observant manager will see the warning signs. Managers who have strong relationships with their employees will likely notice subtle changes in their behaviors or attitudes. Additionally, employees who have good relationships with their managers will feel more comfortable speaking openly with them about why they may be feeling burnt out.
    2. Take a poll. If you want to track burnout on an organizational level, try surveys as part of your onboarding or talent management process. Engagement surveys can help identify trouble areas. They can also target specific departments that may be suffering from stress or burnout so that you can intervene before it becomes a real problem.
    3. Watch for signs. While micromanaging your employees is never a good idea, checking in on their time spent on the job may be useful when it comes to investigating burnout. A cursory analysis or timesheet can provide key insights into how employees may be feeling. Are they working long hours? Are they missing work more often than normal? Both overwork and absenteeism can be early signs of employee burnout.
    4. Ask why. Don’t overlook the importance of exit interviews. When people leave, the easiest way to determine if their attrition is due to burnout is simply to ask. Document these responses and share your insight. Then, look for trends so you can get to the root of the problem and prevent employee burnout from happening again.

    For more tips on identifying and preventing burnout, watch our webinar: How to Prevent Burnout Before it becomes a Turnover Problem.

  8. Don’t Confuse High Potential with High Performance — Here’s Why

    It’s easy to talk about potential and performance as if they’re the same thing. You assume that your high performing employees will deliver rock star results in any capacity because that’s what’s driven them succeed so far, right? And you assume that your high potentials will master any new opportunity they’re given because that’s what potential means… Right?

    Not necessarily. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between high performer and high potential.

    High performers: These people stand out in their current role. They do their job exceptionally well, so it’s only natural that you look to them when it’s time to make a key promotion decision. The problem is, the skills that helped them achieve high performer status don’t always translate to new roles or environments.

    High potentials: These people have the capacity to perform well in many roles. Their range of skills makes them an asset to your organization, but it’s important to remember that high potentials are still developing. They’ll need time to grow into a new role and probably won’t look like a high performer right away.

    So what’s the risk? The cost of confusing performance and potential is bigger than you might think. According to Pinsight, a leader in simulation assessments:

    “If high performers get assigned a new role that they aren’t cut out for, you’ve simultaneously sacrificed a star performer and compromised efficiency in the new position. Alternately, if you assume that a high potential already has what it takes to deliver exceptional results, you’re likely to discourage them and disappoint yourself.”

    In other words, a wrong decision about either type of employee is a turnover risk, and you need to know the difference in order to provide them with the right type of incentive. For example, high potentials crave development opportunities, while high performers are motivated by rewards or recognition.

    OK, so you’ve got high potentials in one hand and high performers in the other, but is it possible for employees to fall into both categories? Read on in this blog: High Performing High Potentials: The New Gold Standard.

  9. Tips for Hiring a Strong Hotel Staff

    Staffing a hotel is no easy feat. With turnover at 50% for non-management hotel employees, you’ll end up replacing half of your staff every few months. To slow the cycle of hire, train, repeat, you have to be sure that the people you bring on are right for the role—meaning they have the traits and competencies to succeed in the position, and possibly the potential to move up within your organization.


    For most hotels and resorts, the housekeeping staff is the largest employee population. In fact, hotels employ almost 500,000 people in housekeeping across the U.S. Here are the most important traits to look for as you hire housekeeping attendants:

    • Energy
    • Pride in Work
    • Criticism Tolerance
    • Integrity

    Employees with these traits will be better suited to handle the demands of housekeeping, which can include long, antisocial hours and unsupervised work.

    Front Desk

    With almost 250,000 hotel desk clerks nationwide, the front desk staff represents the front-line of guest service. These employees welcome guests into the hotel and set the tone for the rest of their stay. When hiring front desk reps, keep an eye out for these key traits:

    • Energy
    • Self-Reliance
    • Multitasking
    • Problem Solving
    • Positive Service Attitude
    • Resilience
    • Interpersonal Insight
    • Sociability
    • Accommodation to Others
    • Criticism Tolerance

    Because guests expect a genuine smile and a pleasant experience, it’s important that employees are a natural fit for the job. If they’re pushed too far out of their comfort zone, they’ll be at a higher risk for burnout and your service levels will suffer.

    How’s Your Intuition?

    Unfortunately, none of these traits are very easy to spot when you first meet someone—and your need to fill positions quickly probably keeps you from feeling 100% confident when it’s time to extend an offer. To see how candidates score on each of these key traits, try using hospitality assessments for housekeeping, front desk, and more.