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Insights: How to Combat a High Turnover Rate at Work

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Question

Submitted by: WISE NYC Metro member | 6-15 years professional experience

What are effective ways to manage a team who has had a high turnover rate of managers in the past?

Answer

I would imagine the team would be skeptical of any new manager and I wouldn’t be surprised if you also had a morale issue. Their skepticism will abate over time, especially as the team sees you accomplishing projects. Morale is another matter.

Set a positive tone by always being cheerful, professional, and friendly. Be a good example by being fair, productive, and respectful. Sometimes people lose motivation because they think their work doesn’t matter. To combat that thinking, continually tie the team’s actions and projects to the company’s mission and vision. Show them how their work fits in. Get to know each team member individually in order to understand what motivates them specifically.

Reward good behavior — and address bad behavior directly. Set goals and give incentives that make sense. It may be something as simple as a gold star or as elaborate as a high value gift card. Use your judgment. If you have underachievers, deal with them directly. State your expectations, agree to a performance improvement plan, and keep accountability.

Plan events specifically to increase morale and increase work enjoyment. One company I worked with had a “Ministry of Fun” who was charged with coming up with regular events. Some of their most successful — salty snack day, Halloween costume contest, favorite grade school snack day — cost very little (employees brought in their favorite foods/costumes) and were extremely effective. Be creative and think about what would make people excited to come to work. That’s a good idea even if you don’t have a morale problem!

Amanda Mitchell

About Amanda Mitchell

Amanda Mitchell, Corporate Navigator at Our Corporate Life, helps people just like you find what they love to do so they can have more of it in their work life. You'll be happier, your employer will be happier and ultimately corporate suffering will be reduced.

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