Sunday, February 23, 2014

Research Uncovers 1 Emotion that Causes Employee Turnover, Another Retention

A paper by Tobias Kraemer and Matthias Gouthier explores the roles of emotion in employee turnover, specifically in the high turnover world of Call Centers.  They identify two emotions that impact employee retention and turnover.

The first emotion is ANGER.  They have discovered that anger causes "emotional exhaustion" which increases intention to leave. Anger includes feelings such as annoyance, irritation, fury and rage and is one of the most common workplace emotions.  In the Call Center study, anger inducing events included personal attacks, incivilities, unjust treatment, task interference, unaccomplished work goals, corporate policies and personal mistakes.

Interestingly they found that while the most intense anger comes  from customer interactions, anger that is produced from supervisor interactions causes stronger negative emotions. The reasoning is that employees become used to negative interactions from customers. Anger that arises from supervisor's actions are less frequent but carry much more weight with employees.

Conversely, the emotion that leads to employee retention is PRIDE. Their research confirms that feelings of pride increase organizational commitment thereby reducing turnover intentions.

Pride producing events include:

performance acknowledgement
company success
recognition of potential
"socioemotional" feedback

Of all the pride producing events, performance acknowledgement was the most important. This can come from customers, supervisors, co-workers or the employees themselves. Like with anger, acknowledgement from supervisors was shown to be the most important source of pride.

Some of the suggestions provided for reducing anger include regular open discussions between managers and employees and other methods to detect what angers employees.  Exit interviews can be used in this way as well. Exit interviews can determine the factors that produce enough anger to have actually caused someone to leave rather than create a stated "intention" to leave which might dissipate over time once the anger is forgotten.

To increase pride the researchers suggest offering active feedback and reward outstanding behavior. Since self-acknowledgement is also critical, providing employees with benchmarks with which to evaluate their own performance can be helpful. Acknowledgement from co-workers can be achieved through creating an environment of team spirit and team recognition.

For updated US Employee Turnover Rates by Industry and Geography, download Nobscot's EE Turnover Tracker app.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Something Much Better than Robots or Machinery Replacing Workers on these Ranches

On the short flight back from Oahu to Kauai, I enjoyed the article in the Hawaiian Airlines magazine Hana Hou called "Canine Cowboys."  

The in-depth article details the use of work dogs in place of cowboys on some Hawaiian ranches.

My fellow HR professionals will appreciate this line which is quoted from Kapapala Ranch owner Lani Cran Petrie:

“In this country three dogs will do what seven men could barely do,” she says. “They’re happy little souls if you give them a job. And no workmen’s comp.” 


Sunday, February 16, 2014

"Scientific Management" Circa 1910

The methods of motivating workers have changed dramatically since 1910 when Frederick Winslow Taylor advocated the following approach...

The task before us, then, narrowed itself down to getting Schmidt to handle 47 tons of pig iron per day and making him glad to do it. This was done as follows. Schmidt was called out from among the gang of pig-iron handlers and talked to somewhat in this way:

"Schmidt, are you a high-priced man?"

"Vell, I don't know vat you mean."

" Oh yes, you do. What I want to know is whether you are a high-priced man or not."

"Vell, I don't know vat you mean."

" Oh, come now, you answer my questions. What I want to find out is whether you are a high-priced man or one of these cheap fellows here. What I want to find out is whether you want to earn $1.85 a day or whether you are satisfied with $1.15, just the same as all those cheap fellows are getting."

"Did I vant $1.85 a day? Vas dot a high-priced man? Vell, yes, I vas a high-priced man."

" Oh, you're aggravating me. Of course you want $1.85 a day--every one wants it! You know perfectly well that that has very little to do with your being a high-priced man. For goodness' sake answer my questions, and don't waste any more of my time. Now come over here. You see that pile of pig iron?"

" Yes."

"You see that car?"

" Yes."

"Well, if you are a high-priced man, you will load that pig iron on that car to-morrow for $1.85. Now do wake up and answer my question. Tell me whether you are a high-priced man or not. "

"Vell--did I got $1.85 for loading dot pig iron on dot car to- morrow?"

"Yes, of course you do, and you get $1.85 for loading a pile like that every day right through the year. That is what a high- priced man does, and you know it just as well as I do."

"Vell, dot's all right. I could load dot pig iron on the car to- morrow for $1.85, and I get it every day, don't I? "

"Certainly you do--certainly you do."

"Vell, den, I vas a high-priced man."

"Now, hold on, hold on. You know just as well as I do that a high-priced man has to do exactly as he's told from morning till night. You have seen this man here before, haven't you?"

"No, I never saw him."

"Well, if you are a high-priced man, you will do exactly as this man tells you to- morrow, from morning till night. When he tells you to pick up a pig and walk, you pick it up and you walk, and when he tells you to sit down and rest, you sit down. You do that right straight through the day. And what's more, no back talk. Now a high-priced man does just what he's told to do, and no back talk. Do you understand that? When this man tells you to walk, you walk; when he tells you to sit down, you sit down, and you don't talk back at him. Now you come on to work here to-morrow morning and I'll know before night whether you are really a high-priced man or not."

Read the full story here:  F.W. Taylor, Scientific Management


Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Pope's 3 Words for Happy Marriages Also Applicable for Employee Retention

Pope Francis summed up a happy marriage to three words:

According to an AP article, "Francis told fiancés gathered in St. Peter's Square for a special papal date that expressions of courtesy, gratitude and contrition go a long way toward conserving and enhancing love over time."

From what we read in exit interviews, these three simple actions would also go along way toward reducing employee turnover.