Sick of high turnover? You should be; the potential costs of losing and replacing an employee are enormous.

There isn’t one cure-all panacea to fix turnover, and this article won’t  be prescribing any such turnover miracle medicine. However, PerkNow  believes that issues with a company’s culture is one of the biggest  determining factor in any employee’s decision to leave. Here are some  basic tips on improving your company culture; rate yourself against them  and come up with an action plan for change. It’s not easy to  immediately overcome the root causes of high turnover, but we promise  that these principles are a great start!

You Try to Create a Personal, Powerful Experience for Your Customers; Start Doing That With Your Employees!

We live in an age of “customer happiness” rather than “customer  service”. Companies win loyalty and multiple repeat purchases when they  make personal, powerful connections with customers, even if those  connections cost more to create than typical “customer service”. It’s a  simple but powerful principle: why spend money on marketing to new  customers if I can, by offering truly remarkable service, get repeat  purchases from my existing customers?

Newsflash: the same principles of establishing personal connections  apply to your employees! You have a choice in how you approach employee  perks, benefits, and work environment: are you going to scrimp and save  every penny possible, or are you going to fork out a little extra time,  effort, and money to create a one-of-a-kind, powerful personal  connection with each employee?

The decision to pay more for a robust perk suite will cost you some  money. However, when implemented correctly, it becomes an investment  with a perpetually increasing ROI.

Either Buy Into Perks & Generosity or Don’t; You Can’t Be On the Fence
You may be looking closer into the advantages of perks. However, you  may still be feeling skeptical about the decision that you made. You may  feel tentative about trusting employees to not abuse the perks, or feel  dubious about the bottom-line improvements that such perks can make.

It’s fine to feel skeptical! However, a word of warning: when it  comes to providing generous employee perks, you’re either in or out.  Skepticism about offering perks is a self-fulfilling prophecy: if they  detect even the faintest whiff of corporate consternation over their  redeeming of perks, they won’t use said perks. Even worse, they might  begin to resent the company; it feels disingenuous to be offered perks  but subtly encouraged not to use them.

One of our founders worked at a company that decided to get onboard  the “generous, empowering culture” train. The company decided to begin  subsidizing 80% of lunches that employees take with other employees,  reasoning that any money spent encouraging employees to spend time  together would lead to more positive cross-pollination between  departments and thus more innovation.

That idea has merit! However, within a week, the company began to  fully grasp the costs. The subsidy dropped to 40%, then to 25%. Managers  would reject subsidy requests on small technicalities. Soon, employees  began to realize that the company was sending mixed messages: they were  offered a subsidy, but it was obvious that the company didn’t want them  to make use of it. Employees stopped taking subsidized lunches, which  saved the company some money. However, the entire experience left a sour  taste in employees’ mouths; the company would have been better off not  offering anything to begin with than to offer something and quickly take  it away. When it comes to perks, you’re either a believer or a skeptic.  Don’t be caught waffling; no one will win that way!

Your Employees Live Up to Your Positive (or Negative!) Expectations
Douglas McGregor, one of the founders of management theory, describes two assumptions managers can make about their employees:
Theory X: Workers are lazy, dishonest, and work only as a means to fulfill their most basic physiological needs.
Theory Y: Individuals work out of a sincere, innate desire to succeed,  prosper, and create. Work is the only avenue by which people can satisfy  their need for self-respect and success.
Theory X gives you, as a manager, an easy out; when turnover occurs, you  can say “not my fault, they didn’t want to work”, “they just didn’t  have what it takes”, or “it just wasn’t the right fit”. Do those excuses  sound familiar? If so, we implore you to change how you think! Try to  mix in more of Theory Y: as McGregor says, Theory Y challenges  management “to innovate, to discover new ways of organizing and  directing human effort, even though we recognize that the perfect  organization… is practically out of reach”.

You aren’t always culpable for all employee turnover; employees will  always leave, no matter how pristine and empowering your company culture  is. However, remember that employees will live up to your expectations.  If you treat them like their work isn’t deserving of your trust and  generosity, they’ll work as if they don’t deserve your trust or  generosity. However, if you give them the benefit of the doubt and  invest generously in their work experience, you can reap great  dividends!