Retention Deep Dive: Leadership

There is a saying that goes “people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers.” It is up to a company’s leadership team to create an environment of honest and open communication where employees feel respected, valued, and have a purpose.

While serving as interim CHRO at a $300M manufacturing company, a Beckway operator noted how the company’s leadership was negatively affecting their retention rate. Some challenges included unclear decision-making processes, changes and gaps in plant leadership coverage causing confusion, workers lack understanding of company goals and objectives, and a lack of direct engagement with workers on conditions that need improvement.

The current state of the company and absence of guidance from the leadership team caused for high turnover and the company experienced an abundance of “quick quits.”

Our HR expert took action to address the key leadership issues and the lack of transparency, responsibility, accountability, presence, and trust. These actions included:

– Resumed formal program for supervisor training to create mentorship between supervisors and hourly employees
– Completed role profiles for top leadership and enabled cascading of goals to direct reports to create accountability
– Created succession planning program for high performers to determine development needs and improve engagement
– Mapped talent according to impact, contribution, and potential, and identified top talent considered critical for success to better calibrate employee performance and potential
– Engaged directly with workers to identify work condition issues and made upgrades to break/lock rooms based on feedback

Since implementing the above changes, all key positions have been filled and turnover has been reduced significantly. The company is also seeing a better caliber of candidates applying and a palpable improvement in the buzz around the company.

For more information contact Keith Swenson at

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