February 2007 Newsletter

 In this issue:

To reduce turnover, know what causes it:

In most ways, CEO Robert managed his people well.

He told his managers what he expected and gave them freedom to do their jobs as they saw fit. He kept his door open and willingly discussed issues with his assistants.

Even so, turnover plagued his large manufacturing company affecting everyone who worked there in some way.  Often his staff had to assume someone else's duties in addition to their own. Sometimes employees were moved temporarily to other areas. People worked overtime to finish jobs left undone by missing employees. Discontent and stress soared, and no one kept employees in the loop about the search for new workers.

Robert had a hunch his pay structure was to blame. People simply wanted more money, he reasoned, and so he reviewed and revised pay policies. But even when he paid employees more, turnover continued. More puzzling, turnover often was lower in areas where he expected it to be high, and higher in areas where pay and professionalism were highest and required stability. Clearly Robert needed to dig deeper—beyond the common exit interview—for answers.

Would you be surprised to learn that Robert eventually found many reasons why people were leaving his company? Here are a few:

Since discovering reasons for his turnover problems, Robert has learned more efficient ways to retain valuable employees. He has worked hard to understand his workforce and learn what his employees want.  He now encourages them to ask questions and make suggestions about how to get jobs done. He makes sure all his employees understand company policy. And he as implemented a "promote-from-within" priority at his company.

Above all, Robert has learned that when dealing with something as costly as turnover, facts offer better solutions than hunches. When hiring, he has begun to use assessment tools to reliably identify candidates who will best perform the particular job he is trying to fill.

With these changes, Robert's turnover costs plummeted. Absenteeism and accidents dropped off and production increased. And not surprisingly, his profit margin increased dramatically.

How you, like Robert, can stem turnover costs

Turnover costs are soaring in America. Estimates vary from a low of $10,000 per employee to a high of $50,000. How can you stem these costs in your company? By using assessment tools that match employees to jobs.

Look at this chart from the Harvard Business Review (Vol. 55, No. 5), which shows the impact of job match:




High Turnover Industry

% left/fired after 6 months

% left/fired after 14 months


Low Turnover Industry

% left/fired after 6 months

% left/fired after 14 months


Job match helps determine work fit. Think of the analogy of trying to put a square peg in a round hole. To make the peg fit you'd have to shave the corners. If the peg were more round than square, you'd have to shave off less to make it fit. However, if the peg is already round it fits perfectly with no shaving needed. Job match helps ensure that you have a round peg for your round hole, in other words, an employee who matches his job.

Do your workers match well within their job?
Facts offer better solutions than hunches!  
Sales Tip Of The Month:
Five ways to improve your telephone messages

When telephoning, how often do you reach and speak to the decision maker in person? Not often, I'd guess. Some studies show that up to 70 percent of business calls go to voicemail. Clearly it's time to make this time-and money-saving device your friend. Here's how:

Technical Corner:

Using the "whole-person" approach to assessment

Last month in Technical Corner, I examined how Profiles International meets the first Department of Labor guideline for using occupational assessment tools. Now let's look at guideline number two, which says that assessment tools must use the "whole-person" approach, in other words, measure more than limited aspects about a potential employee.

Profiles' assessments measure the total person

Several Profiles International assessment tools assess the total person by measuring the three most important dimensions of human beings: thinking and reasoning, behavioral traits and occupational interests.

Profiles International assessments measure thinking and reasoning, which is essential to knowing how to train people effectively. They measure behavioral traits because top performers in any position will have behavioral traits in common. And they measure occupational interests because people perform much better when they are interested in the work they are assigned and when they find it challenging at a motivational level. Even if a person has never done a certain kind of work, you may find that with a bit of training they will perform very well on the job if it fits their motivational interests.

Profile XT is Profile International's "Total Person Concept" assessment. With it and Profile's help building a Job Match Pattern, you can find employees who fit well into their jobs--employees satisfied with their jobs who perform well, come to work more often and change jobs less frequently.

MGA can help put people in jobs where the demands match their abilities, the stimulation matches their interest, and they have the greatest opportunity to succeed.

Never forget, you already have a significant investment in your people through salary, benefits, recruitment and training. This investment can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, per person. With MGA you can maximize that investment.

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