Dear Workforce High Turnover at Our Bank Is Affecting Business. How Can We Turn Things Around

By Staff Report

Apr. 29, 2005

Dear Tired:

Maybe you aren’t hiring the right people in the first place. Start by examining your recruiting practices, including how managers are measured and rewarded for their recruiting effectiveness. Sadly, many organizations fail to do these things, and the results speak for themselves.

Hiring the right person is arguably a manager’s most important decision. Tie at least 25 percent of the management team’s variable compensation to the results of their recruiting efforts. Be careful, though, to target the desired results. As you are learning, people have a nasty habit of doing what they are given incentive to do.

Most banks promote the principles of relationship marketing. The more successful ones actually apply the principles. Consider applying some of the basic tenets of relationship marketing with your employees. A key strategy to maintaining a successful relationship is to continue the courtship long after the knot has been tied.

Many companies, however, discontinue recruiting at precisely the wrong time. In actuality, finding and hiring the right person is the beginning, not the conclusion, of your recruiting. Even before the ink is dry on the employment paperwork, you immediately need to launchanother phase of recruiting (sometimes called re-recruiting) to get these hard-won recruits off to a great start, turbo-charge their performance, and convince them to stick around and stay productive for the long haul.

There are a lot of meaningful and inexpensive things you can do to show new employees (and their families) that they have joined a company whose work is important and where they can belong. Provide some solid coaching during the first 12 to 18 months, with the person who hired the individual checking in every few months to see if things are proceeding as expected and promised.

More organizations are usingemployee opinion surveys than ever before to measure, track and improve employee satisfaction. Several firms incorporate survey results into their business metrics as part of a balanced-scorecard initiative. Once this is done, it becomes relatively easy to link employee satisfaction to executive pay packages. In some organizations (FedEx, for example), management bonuses don’t get paid until employee satisfaction, service quality and profitability reach certain preset levels. Trust us, this gets people’s attention.

Here are two more simple but effective retention measures.

1) Ask managers to name their three best people and then answer these questions:

  • Why do these people stay with the bank?
  • Why do they stay with me?

We’re betting that a meaningful conversation will ensue.

2) Ask top management to periodically visit personally with your best and brightest to let them know they are special and appreciated. This simple gesture often means more than anything you put in a pay envelope.

SOURCE: Richard Hadden and Bill Catlette, co-authors,Contented Cows Give Better Milk,, June 18, 2004.

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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