Employee Tenure Is Our Key to Success
By: Greg Fischer
Published On 08/25/2017
Over the course of this year, I have reflected many times on the 30th anniversary of Marketing Support Services and one thing keeps standing out in my mind – I've been saying "good morning" to the same people every day for as long as I can remember. Gail, in the Contact Center has been with MSS for more than 20 years; Stacy, in Client Services, has been with us for 16 years; and Joyce, our Production Manager for 13 years. As a business owner, I know that long employee tenure is invaluable and I also know how uncommon it is in today's workplace.
A Bureau of Labor Statistics report in 2016 showed that employees are staying with companies for only 4.2 years on average. Turnover itself isn't necessarily a bad thing - new employees bring a fresh set of eyes and new ideas. But a high rate of turnover takes a toll on several aspects of a business from a decrease in production that leads to loss in revenue, to declining customer service and low morale among the staff.
Long term, experienced staff members who have been fully trained are the most productive within an organization. They have in-depth knowledge of company procedures, products, and services that allows them to perform more efficiently and with less mistakes. It may take a new employee 1-2 years to reach the productivity level of an existing employee. Organization Magazine estimates the cost of a lost employee earning $8 per hour at a retail chain store can be as high as $25,000!
Established employees become the support system for new employees. They must take on additional workload and responsibilities while the new staff member gets up to speed. They also need to supervise new employees while they learn new tasks, as well as verify that those tasks were completed correctly. Excessive turnover disrupts the stable environment in which employees thrive and they may lose job satisfaction or begin to question whether or not it is wise to stay in their positions. These vital employees then decide to resign, taking all of their expertise with them, and continuing the turnover cycle.
While a loss in revenue may be relatively short lived if vacant positions are filled quickly, a lasting effect of high turnover is the deterioration in the consistent quality of service that is provided. Solid business relationships are built over time; a strong client relationship takes months or even years to establish. Constant employee churn prevents these relationships from forming and in turn decreases the caliber of customer service that your clients are receiving. Long standing employees have knowledge that simply cannot be learned during initial training. They know what works and what doesn't, which makes them more equipped to anticipate hurdles and provide solutions.
Delivering this type of exceptional customer service is something that MSS is very proud to be able to do. I believe that our 10-year average employee tenure is the key ingredient to our success these past 30 years.
"Train people well enough so they can leave,
treat them well enough so they don't want to." - Richard Branson