Employee turnover is not merely about letting one person go and putting someone new in their place. The actual and inherent costs involved in hiring new personnel have an immense effect on companies.
From loss of productivity when remaining employees must pick up the slack of the vacant position, to supervisors having to take time away from their jobs to interview people and train new hires and everyone having to adjust to new working styles and team dynamics- not to mention the staggering cost of turnover.
According to the American Management Association, turnover costs between 25%-250% of each exiting employee’s annual salary and it calculates the average monthly turnover rate for skilled workers in the financial services industry at 13.3%.
With these astonishing costs put in perspective, what are the best ways to stop the revolving door in your sales department?
Don’t Rush the Hiring Process
The worst time to hire is when you are under the constraints of time and urgency because a position has been left vacant. To avoid having to compromise on the best candidate, put a system in place that attracts sales talent on an ongoing basis. Keep an eye out constantly for potential additions to your team. Keep in mind that an impressive CV does not always mean that a candidate will be the right fit for your company. When interviewing candidates, take the time to determine whether they are a good fit for your organization and for the position you need to fill.
Offer a Good Work Culture
Establish a corporate culture that places emphasis on the individual, that engages, empowers and challenges employees and that recognizes their hard work. An environment that allows employees to gain meaning from their work fosters loyalty.
Offer Family-Friendly and Work-Life Balance Benefits
Accommodating people’s scheduling needs, like offering flexibility for working parents or employees facing a family crisis and allowing telecommuting, creates happier and more satisfied employees, who are less likely to leave.
Structure your company so employees can have the opportunity to grow long term. If they know your company has an environment in which they can grow and that the company is committed to their success, they will be more loyal when another opportunity presents itself.
Offer Mentoring Programs
Help your employees find a mentor within your company, someone who can help them advance their career to the next level.
Set Clear Goals and Expectations
Set goals that are fair and reasonable, but at the same time challenging and tell the employees what is expected of them. Salespeople work best when they know what is expected. Set goals based on your salespeople’s input to foster an attitude of teamwork rather than an ‘us vs them’ in which your sales staff feel that their goals are unrealistic and their boss just doesn’t understand them.
Give and Get Feedback
When employees know where they stand, they are more confident in their jobs and perform better, not to mention they are less likely to leave when presented with another opportunity. Just as important as giving feedback, is getting feedback. Listen to what your sales staff has to say and let them know they should share their thoughts without fear of retribution and when appropriate, do your best to make adjustments and improvements based on their feedback.
Even the shrewdest of salespeople have room for improvement. Create a motivating work environment in which you help your sales staff overcome their weaknesses. Providing training, whether it is one-on-one mentoring programs, online systems or offsite seminars, lets salespeople know they are valuable and worth investing in.
Motivate Top Performers
Both financial and personal recognition can go a long way to motivate top salespeople. Sales leaders have a natural will to succeed, but everyone could use a little pat on the back. Besides, keeping top producers motivated will avoid them going to the competition when opportunity knocks. A good and fair commission plan that allows top producers the opportunity to generate a large income as well as assigning them the company’s ‘mega’ accounts are great financial incentives, while giving ‘salesperson of the year’ awards and putting up wall plaques are great personal motivators.