Silent Company Killers – Part 1

I’m sure you have heard the story about the amazing warrior, Achilles. He seemed almost invincible, but he had one weak-point. When an arrow struck him in his heel, it lead to his demise. Thus the term “Achilles heel” – a weak point despite overall strength, that can lead to downfall.

As individuals we all have an Achilles heel. Larger groups like organizations, and even civilizations, have an Achilles heel. The Roman, Greek, Mongol, Persian or Viking civilizations are no longer with us.

When we look at these civilizations today, it is easy to find their Achilles heel. It’s not always as easy to spot it when you are intricately involved. As an example, you might be to some level be aware of a company weakness. Yet you might not be aware of a much bigger problem behind this, since you are involved in the day to day running of the business.

Being aware of these weaknesses is the first step, then one can attack the problem. What this series will cover are common Achilles heel situations that could exist in your company with possible solutions.

Company Staff

There have been many studies on the subject of staff turnover and what it actually costs a company. Let’s look at some statistics before we delve into the core message of this article.
Josh Bersin of Deloitte believes the cost of losing an employee can range from tens of thousands of dollars to 1.5 – 2.0x the employee’s annual salary.
The Center for American Progress published about 11 papers over a 15 year period that determined the average economic cost to a company of turning over a highly skilled job is 213% of the cost of one year’s compensation for that role.
The cost of replacement will vary from company to company and industry to industry. The average is around 20% of all new staff hired leaves in the first year.
It is expensive, disruptive and a big problem.

But what are the main reasons for staff turnover and how can one keep it to a minimum? That’s what we are going to cover in the rest of this article. Now I am going to get the first “reason” out of the way. A lot of people have the idea that it is all about the money. The employee was not paid enough so he or she left. There is a very interesting article by the Harvard Business Review, where they site numerous very thorough studies. The finding was that the correlation between payment and work satisfaction is very weak. How engaged someone is with their job seems to be the main factor that determines job satisfaction. The engagement with a job is monitored by enjoyment, how much the person is learning or growing and the amount of challenge. When it comes to enjoyment, there are certain things people enjoy more than others. So there might be tasks or duties that are not that enjoyable, but this will vary from person to person. This is why it is important to place someone in a position they are suited for. With learning and growing it is important that you have a good on-boarding program for new staff and that the rest of your staff continually have training to further improve their knowledge and skills. Also, when we look at challenge, the person has to have adequate challenge in their position. So this is where goal setting comes in very handy. One must make sure you set realistic, but stiff, goals. Goals that are too easy to attain will not motivate your staff and goals that too steep will also demotivate. I don’t know about you, but I have found that if I have a lot of knowledge and skill in a certain field, I generally like doing it. And that I have a lot of confidence that I can handle almost any challenge coming my way, even if it is a tough one. So for me the learning and growing factor stands out above the rest and would be the most important factor to address. Of course this has it’s own challenges as evidenced by the fact that most companies don’t have good and efficient on-boarding and continual training programs in place.

Staff Training

Staff training can be expensive. I get it. It costs money and takes time to train staff. So far we have only looked at what it could cost you when it comes to staff turnover. What about what it costs you per day, per week or per year with a workforce of people who are not working at their full potential?Training should be viewed as an investment and not a laborious expense. Your staff are valuable assets that accumulate worth over time. Well, they do if you train them and have them expand their skill and knowledge. If you don’t, you are losing out a lot on their full ability to contribute to the success of your company.

Also, something to keep in mind is that even though it does take time to train staff, when they are more competent at what they do you will have increased their ability to produce quality work in less time. This has a snowball effect.

With untrained staff everyone might look and be super busy, but the level of busyness doesn’t correspond with what outcome you get.

Other common problems with staff training could be that it is boring or staff do not retain what they learn.There could be many solutions to these last two, but I would like to share something with you that is a great solution to all the above-mentioned problems with training. Something that I am very familiar with… yes you’ve guessed it! Video 🙂 So once again, I am going to present some statistics and facts from other sources before I get into why I say what I say.

Leading analysts at Forrester, Bersin and Gartner has done some extensive research at Fortune 100 companies like Microsoft and IBM and Forrester Research found that employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than read documents, emails or web articles.

Recent data from the SAVO Group has shown that only 7 days after training the average employee would have forgotten 65% of the material covered. What’s worse is after 6 months they would have forgotten 90%. Video however have been shown to greatly improve people’s ability to remember concepts and details. So it not only increases the efficacy of your training as it happens but also improves the ability of people to remember the information for much longer. Video has been proven to increase retention by  65%. Training using video keeps the costs down. The reason for this is that most of the costs of training is delivering it. Also if you look at the above statistics about retention it is clear to see that conventional methods are very ineffective and you are basically throwing 90% of that money down the toilet. With video, you create it once and you have it to keep. Your staff can train on-demand and even do so from their mobile devices. So it saves time and it saves a whole lot of money. As an example, Microsoft brought down their staff training costs from $320 per person to $17 per person when they used video instead of conventional methods. Over a 3 year period they saved an average of $13.9 Million per year! With video you can break down complicated tasks and boring company procedures into an easy and engaging format and make your training fun! Your training videos could also have instilled in them you company culture. In the previous article I spoke about staff turnover. Another great thing about using video is you can rapidly get your new staff up to speed using video and you could also build an amazing on-boarding program with video. I can actually go on for days talking about this subject, but I think you get the point. If you would like to chat to us to see how we can help produce some great videos for your company staff training program, you can book a free at the top of this page. In Part 2 of this series we will look at another silent killer, that has a lot to do with your clients and prospects.

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