The No. 1 Thing to Do to Improve Employee Retention Might REALLY Surprise You!

If you’ve dreamt of being your own boss and opening your own business, it’s critical to the success of your business to have consistency in your staff. That means you need to not only hire talented people but retain them. We took a look at what might be the most important thing franchise owners can do when it comes to employee retention.

We should begin this blog by conceding that while we’re calling this the “No. 1 requirement” for employee retention, it’s certainly not the only thing that matters, and there are definitely people who would say differently. This content is subjective, and while we’re merely trying to paint a picture of a very effective practice of employee retention, we’re not going to pretend that our word in this blogspace is the be all and end all.

With that said, this tip is a free, easy, and simple tool that comes highly recommended by most successful businesses and executives: the exit interview.

Take Exit Interviews Seriously

We can’t stress this enough – ask your employees for exit interviews when they do leave, and take them as seriously as you do anything else in your business.

We understand that this blog is focused on how you keep great employees. But if you’re reading this, you’ve either already lost some you wish you hadn’t, or you’re trying to prepare so that it doesn’t happen. Sometimes, in order to figure out how to get someone to stay, you need to examine why someone else didn’t.

The Harvard Business Review described finding out why employees depart your company as “crucial,” and called exit interviews “the most useful tool for doing so … that too few leaders pay attention to.”

When employees change jobs, it’s almost always for a reason. In general, people don’t just leave or change jobs without giving it some due thought, and typically, they’ve spent months thinking about leaving and weighing whether or not it’s a smart decision. By the time they’ve actually made their decision to leave, there’s usually a very clear explanation.

What they don’t always do is tell an employer what those reasons are before they go – or even at all. In some cases, there might be something that could very easily have been fixed that would have kept the employee with their employer. Other times, it’s a request that was denied or unavailable to them – monetary or otherwise – that they can receive somewhere else.

As the great American engineer, thinker, and author W. Edwards Deming once asked, “What about the work system is causing the employee to fail?”

Loosely, Deming’s theory was that an employee works in a system provided by his or her employer, and if the employee fails, it’s often a reflection of the system itself.

As a business owner, if there’s a problem with your system, don’t you want to know? If there’s a common problem or reason that is causing employees and managers to seek employment elsewhere, isn’t that worth examining? Of course you do, and of course it is. Therein lies the value of the exit interview.

Some of the most successful people in life have cited failure as the ultimate catalyst for their success. Exit interviews give employers a chance to find out from the people working within that system for them on a daily basis a real, honest opportunity to find out what people in that system think is the problem. If you can identify a problem, don’t be afraid to call it a failure, and then learn from it.

That’s a key part of this whole process, too. Companies need to take this information, analyze it, talk about it, and form a plan of action to alleviate whatever issues the exit interview might raise. Without action, there can be no improvement.

If employers shrug off the comments of a brutally honest exit interviewee as “just the comments of a disgruntled employee who didn’t work out,” they’re losing an extremely valuable chance to self-examine, learn, and grow. Employers need to actually be open-minded, patient, and open their ears and minds to what is said in an exit interview.

There might not be any more valuable information for the success of your business than what that one “disgruntled” person has to tell you.

At Marilyn Monroe Spas, one of our objectives is helping our franchisees find, identify, and retain the talented workers that make their salon and spas so great in the first place. Through the utilization of our franchisee training and support system, we’re confident that the tools for success are at the disposal of our franchisees. 

Interested in learning more about franchising with Marilyn Monroe Spas? Contact us today to speak with a representative and begin your franchising journey.

x