How EOS® Improves Morale and Raises Employee Retention
A company’s rate of employee turnover can be a big source of stress. Replacing an employee is expensive, but the financial hit is only part of the equation. An outgoing employee takes a lot of institutional knowledge with them. The void created by the departure can put a strain on the rest of the team, which will need to fill the gap until a replacement is hired.
Retention is a management puzzle
Finding strategies to address employee retention challenges can be hard. That’s in part because the problem may have deep roots within the organization. Reactive solutions, like adding perks or holding team-building exercises, rarely get to the source of an employee’s urge to quit.
People leave their jobs for plenty of reasons. According to the Harvard Business Review the three most common reasons are not get along with a boss, not seeing a path for growth, or simply getting a better offer from another company. Each of these issues point to deep-seated problems: a culture clash between a boss and employees, a lack of shared vision about where the company and the employee are headed together, and a lack of commitment to the business as a cause—something that can, at times, overcome the draw of a small bump in salary.
The Entrepreneurial Operating System® addresses the root of the employee retention challenge by pushing first the business’s leaders, and then the entire organization, to find firm answers to the question, “Why are you here?”
The comfort of the right seat
Gino Wickman’s idea of putting the right people in the right seats helps businesses as well as employees. For the business, putting employees into the positions where they’re best suited is an important part of achieving operational success. For employees, being in the right seat means having an opportunity to succeed and grow a career. It’s a great example of an idea that is right for everyone.
But at the beginning, defining those seats and identifying the right people for them can be disruptive. After one of my clients adopted EOS they spent about six months trying to define a role for a member of their leadership team. After working hard to squeeze her into a seat that wasn’t a good fit for her, the team realized—with an authentic sense of loss—that the business wasn’t the right fit for her. She resigned and went on to find a job that was the right match for her. The company, meanwhile, was free to define its organizational roles in alignment with its strategic direction.
Stories like theirs are common. Sometimes the consequences of a bad fit are heated arguments and sudden resignations of top managers. It can make the team question whether EOS was the right choice.
Here’s my response. When a team sits down to define its roles, tensions that have been under the surface tend to come forward. I always encourage teams to commit to open and honest communication in part because gaps in communication are a huge source of problems. When the “right people, right seats” formula leads to someone’s departure, it’s usually a sign that they were a bad fit to begin with.
Where the retention begins
“But, Jackie!” I can hear you saying, “isn’t this about keeping employees?”
Absolutely! Introducing EOS involves a little dust. For every story of someone jumping ship after their employer starts EOS, there are dozens of stories of employees finally finding their footing thanks to the shared vocabulary and vision that comes with the system.
A CEO of a manufacturing company recently told me about how the V/TO™ has transformed the way her rank-and-file employees see themselves within the company’s bigger picture. “We want everyone to know what our goals are,” she said. Above all, sharing the V/TO gave the entire team a clear context for the changes they were experiencing.
She put it this way: “We’re in a changing industry, and we’d seen a lot of people leave because they didn’t like where they thought their job was going. Now, when someone feels that way, they feel free to share ideas about how they can fit into the company’s future. They see that they have a voice, and because of that they want to be here.”
Shared vision and values are cornerstones of the EOS Model®. They guide leadership decisions, but they also inspire rank-and-file employees. When employees feel respected and can see where their careers are headed, they are more likely to be happy in their jobs and stay on.
A Professional EOS Implementer® can turn your retention issues around
How is your business working to improve its employee retention rate? Is the strategy working?
In my experience EOS has proven time and again to create stronger and more resilient teams. I’d love to share some EOS insights with you. Call me at (954) 598-4615 or send me a message.