5 Tips for Handling Unexpected Employee Turnover

org-chartOnce you realize that building a team is the key to growing and scaling your business, you’ll likely start adding team members. Even if you do everything right during the hiring process, you’ll likely experience turnover. All turnover is not bad, but all turnover costs your business something. The truth is that how you manage employee turnover can determine the viability of your business. Hiring definitely impacts your bottom line.

In this week’s episode of Incredible Factor TV, I’m answering a question from June, check it out:

“Hi Darnyelle, I have a team of 8 employees who overall do a good job but lately one of my employees has been pushing the envelope a little too much so it became necessary to let them go. Now that we are down an employee and another is out on an unexpected sick leave, my question is – What do you do when you have unexpected employee turnover?”

Check out my response to June in this week’s episode:

As I share in the episode, turnover is the cost of doing business. And it kind of sucks when you weren’t expecting it. In order to better safeguard your business, here are some of my recommendations.

1. Create SOPs. By having standard operating procedures for each position in your company, you’ll minimize the learning curve for a new person or to have another team member step in so that the business doesn’t suffer because you’re down a key employee. I recommend that moving forward each person who is on the team begins documenting all that they do and it becomes their responsibility to keep it updated in the event that they will be absent for any reason.

2. Keep job descriptions updated. If your job descriptions are always updated, you can get access to a new team member much sooner. Also, during the termination process, consider if some of the functions done by your employee can be outsourced, at least temporarily. By having a contractor who has the experience (in general) step in to perform the function on your team, you’ll be less likely to miss a beat and you’ll likely even save big on the overhead associated with having an employee versus having a contractor.

3. Cross train. Where applicable, I recommend making sure that you cross train your team on other functions so that you can cover during vacations, illness or employee termination/resignation. If everyone just does their job, you’re not ensuring that your business will be able to grow effectively no matter what. You may even want to consider hiring two people per position at a time if you can afford it so that you always have a built in back up.

4. Have every employee complete a “day in the life” summary. If you have every employee document what they do day in and day out in the form of a “day in the life” summary, it will be much easier to slide into that role temporarily to make sure that the processes that they are responsible for don’t slip through the cracks. In the summary, be sure to have them indicate what they do every day, once a week, once a month, etc. And what they do in the morning versus the afternoon.

5. Hold a monthly job shadow. Once a month, have your employees spend the day shadowing each other. I typically pick one day of the week during the fourth week of the month for them to shadow one another for 90 minutes on their core job functions.

While none of these things will stop turnover, they will help you to manage until you can refill a position. I do also recommend that you take a turnover situation as an opportunity to evaluate the position and ensure that you need to refill it. For example, let’s say you have a lot of administrative team members and you don’t have any sales team. Eliminating an admin job and consolidating functions to the other admin team members may better position your to hire a sales team person whose job responsibility will be to grow the business through new sales.

Now, I want to hear from you: What’s your two cents? How have you handled employee turnover that was unexpected? What do you recommend for June and others like her in the community?

©2015 by Darnyelle A. Jervey. All Rights Reserved. Darnyelle A. Jervey, MBA, The Incredible Factor Business Optimization Coach and Mentor, is the founder of Incredible One Enterprises®, Incredible Factor University® and the Leverage Your Incredible Factor System®, a proven step-by-step program so you experience financial and spiritual abundance in your life because of your business. For more information and a FREE audio CD “7 Critical Mistakes Even Smart Entrepreneurs Must Avoid for Clients, Connection and Cash Flow!” just fill out the form below.

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