Is Your Turnover Problem a Communications Problem

June 22, 1999
Beware the office full of closed doors, gossip, and behind-the-backs: Research shows that employees who work for companies with good communications are more satisfied, more productive and stay longer.

Tracking the effect of poor communications on your turnover problem starts by noticing early signs of communication breakdown such as:

  • Information taking too long to reach its destination
  • New information relevant to the current problem never reaching the appropriate people for action
  • More committee meetings being scheduled and canceled
  • Lots of closed-doors and closed-door meetings
  • Employees afraid to speak their mind or object for fear of "looking bad"
  • Key people on projects no longer as accessible as they once were
  • Overall employee attitude is, "Things just don't work around here any more"

To improve communications in your organization, first make sure you understand the high cost of turnover. Then, analyze exit interviews for trends indicating why people leave. Determine which trends are directly impacted by communications. Estimate the bottom-line cost of improving the situation, and then implement a plan to improve it. When done, do estimates of the cost-savings you have achieved through the communications program.

SOURCE: O'Connor Kenny Partners, Memphis, TN, April 1999.