Responsibility: a key in retaining frontline staff

Industry research has indicated that employee turnover depresses earnings and stock prices of American businesses by an average of 38 cents per share. It’s a wonder more attention isn’t given to how turnover can be reduced, especially in our business.

I have found that one of the best ways to reduce turnover is to give your team members more responsibility in the business. For example, it seems that the employees who work on extra projects for the business, who are asked their opinion when decisions are being made, or who are given the authority to try their new ideas are the ones that end up sticking around.

You could say that this is a circular argument; that the people that are motivated to take on extra projects would have stuck around anyway. I disagree. It starts with finding ways to get people involved with the business in a way that takes advantage of their skills and experience. Maybe you have a waiter who is a pianist and allow him to play in your restaurant for a few hours a week, in place of waiting tables. Maybe you have a public relations major who can write advertising copy when hotel check-ins are slow, or a graphic artist who can design your publications when no guests are needing concierge services. There’s no limit on how you team members’ talents can be used.

By taking advantage of the skills and talents of your staff, you’ll not only reap the benefits of this person’s expertise, you’ll also give them a reason to stay with you. If your company is big enough, maybe you can promote them or give them more official responsibilities.

If your team members feel like they’re making valuable contributions to your organization—and they feel like you appreciate their contributions—they’ll be more likely to stay with you in the future and you’ll cut your turn-over.

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