Organizational Health Part III: Low Turnover of Key Employees

The last few weeks we have been discussing the concept of organizational health, why it is important, what it looks like, and how you can achieve it. A quick review…

Healthy organizations have minimal politics & confusion, as well as high levels of productivity and morale. These characteristics lead to the last part: low turnover of key employees.

Remember this quote from Erika Anderson in her 2012 Forbes article“Top talent leaves an organization when they are badly managed and the organization is confusing and uninspiring.”

This observation is so true, and it is a direct result of being in an unhealthy organization. Who wants to be badly managed, confused, and uninspired? Not me! Hopefully not you. Yet, if you polled a number of employees, I bet you would find that many of them feel this way. People stay in jobs and environments that they dislike, and they do so for a variety of reasons. Most often they stay out of necessity because they lack a better option elsewhere.

What about you? Are you experiencing any of these emotions at work? If so, then I would submit to you that you work in an organization that is unhealthy at some level.

The good news: this can be fixed with assertive leadership.

The bad news: if you do not have an assertive leader willing to confront the challenges in your organization, it will not get fixed. It’s that simple—this problem will not fix itself.

Let’s face it, some turnover is good. Some people are not a good fit and need to leave the organization. On the other hand, great people that are a cultural fit for the organization are not always easy to come by, and when you find them you need to retain them.

I am convinced that organizational health is the key to success, and it is also the key to keeping your best people. If you are a leader at any level in an organization, it is your duty to minimize politics, minimize confusion, promote high productivity, and foster high levels of morale. Doing these things will lead to low turnover of your key people.

However, high levels of politics and confusion coupled with low productivity and morale will most definitely drive away your best people…right out the door to another organization. Probably the competition.

Achieving organizational health is not easy, but the formula is simple. Anyone can attain it if you put forth the required effort, make some tough decisions, maybe let some people go (good turnover) and surround yourself with a team of liked-minded leaders and managers who know why the organization exists and where you are headed.

Just like we want our own bodies to be healthy, we should desire the same for the organizations we lead. It will require discipline though. Are you up for the challenge?

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