How to slow down turnover
Turnover of 15% or less is normal. When you have more than that you have a problem. Turnover costs can eat your lunch and really harm your business so how do we slow it down?
The first answer I get when asking this question is “Treat your employees like you would like to be treated” Wrong and I’ll explain why.
First, let me say as human beings we all want to be treated with respect and honesty. We don’t want to be used and abused and like to think we are liked and appreciated. All that is a given.
In this world there are 4 main personality types each with their own needs, wants and rules. You can’t treat them all alike and expect them to be happy about it.
As a manager or employer, you try to do the best you can. You do it from your prospective. You may be an A-type personality. What works for an A-type is not necessarily good for the other personalities.
It is vital that you know what another personality group wants and needs are which will help your company immensely. One example of a personality clash is an A type interested in results and a C type interested in details. The results person is direct with a bottom line attitude. This personality collides with that of a detail-orientated person who is very analytical and extremely uncomfortable if all steps of a plan are not laid out. When these two employees meet at a the table to discuss a project, the results person (A type) complains his co-worker is too picky and prolonging the progress. On the other hand the C-type detail person feels his co-worker is going to mess up the project without a plan, and that the whole project is headed for a disaster. To be successful, the two must recognize that each need the other and they both bring something to the table that will enhance the overall effectiveness of the project. You have to appreciate differences and know that someone different can fill in gaps you cannot to fill. Not resolving conflicts leads to back-stabbing and negative attitudes that are contagious. If untreated, this low morale can result in turnover, a costly process in any business. These situations also affect customers who pick up on the tension and observe the attitudes.
First, you need to have the same type personality groups in the same department. You can then design a promotion, which will reward those that excel. Everyone will be excited about the promotion and the department should do well.
If you have three B-type personalities, and three D-type personalities in the same department, no promotion will work.
The B types will laugh at a D-type promotion and the D types will shun a B-type promotion. You will wind up with 50% production, added expenses and a failed promotion.
If you must have different personality groups in the same division, you may want to have 2 different types of promotions and allow the employees to sign up for the one they want and design two separate teams to work on different projects or work at different tasks.
Managing the A-type personality
The A-type is your leader, driver type and is usually very independent and stubborn. It’s almost impossible to manage the A-type. If you hire an A-type, be sure to give them room to breathe and a general direction in which you want them to go. Don’t give them orders or ultimatums but instead ask them how they feel about the issue. Debate the issue as to the pros and cons. You can win only if you allow them to see your side in a positive manner. The A-type is motivated by money and challenge. They have no room for non-logical thoughts and actions that will not result in a monetary reward. The cheer leading type seminar or meeting is a real turn off.
This individual has a great need to feel like a part of what is happening, a cog in the wheel. One of their greatest fears is being taken advantage of. They want to hear only the bottom line. Don’t paint a pretty picture or beat around the bush. Give them the bottom line figures and facts, good or bad. Remember, they thrive on challenge so keep the pace up and throw everything you have at them to keep them from getting bored.
They need to know they can move “up” in the company and there is an opportunity. A-types seldom seek a job, only opportunities. The last thing they want is a boring, mundane type “dead end job”. The first time they feel stuck or trapped, they will want to move on. They may threaten your position. To out-smart them, work with them to get yourself promoted so they can have your position. The A-types are good at this and would rather work with you than against you, but be aware, they will steam roll you under if you get in their way.
The A-type is very independent and may not take direction well. You will have to convince them going in your direction is best for them. They usually have little compassion traits and most are too busy working to take the time to care about someone else. They typically don’t waste time or money. In dealing with the A-type, you will have to let them run the show with little interference.
The A/C is the strongest of the A types followed by the A/B. The A/B will be less of a problem in the direction department but will lack some of the leadership qualities the A/C has. Rarely will you see an A/D. These two groups are exact opposites. The A-type commonly acts like a D-type when at home relaxing. When they’re working and see a D-type at work, they perceive it’s like they’re not working.
The A-type has a big ego, so avoid reprimanding them in front of others. The A-type can do most anything and loves to learn. They will try most anything if they think they can make money or move into a better position.
POSITIONS: High executive positions, Independent Contractors, Managers, Professional Services, Sales, Marketing, Consulting
MOTIVATORS: Reward by offering more responsibilities / money / challenges
TURNOFFS: Talking too much, routine, non-logical people, demands, wasting time or money, being taken advantage of.
Managing the B-type personality
The B-type is very outgoing and loves excitement and hype. All that glitters is gold to the B-type. They need good direction but will be consistent once they are taught. They hate to read manuals, listen to facts and figures or get complex. They thrive on excitement, change and hype. They tend to be fairly emotional and self-sensitive. They need constant reassurance and rewards in order to give 110%. The B-type loves to talk. This is the area you will have the most problems and rewards with.
This individual has a short attention span and will want to do everything at once, without completing any of it. When dealing with the B-type, you will need to be strong and deal on the emotional side of the issues. Logic rarely enters their minds so facts and figures will not interest or persuade them. Help them finish what they start.
They need constant change. If working in a small area, make sure it has windows and is open. If it is possible, play music or allow a TV to keep things active and changing. The B-type has a problem following rules so make sure they have a good understanding of what you expect before you hire them. Being on time and time management is another area you may have problems with.
Most B-types are fairly flexible when it comes to work. Usually a volunteer, they don’t mind doing different tasks or being pulled off one job to do another. They do have a huge ego so be careful in this area. The B-types can be very child like and if you deflate their ego, they will become depressed and will not give 10% never mind 110%. The quickest way to lose a B-type is routine and rejection.
The B-type is a natural salesperson, hair stylist, designer, entertainer or public relations type person. They have a need to be liked and will go out of their way to please someone they care about. If you handle the B-type right, you will have a happy, productive employee.
Make the work as exciting as you can with prizes and trips as a reward. Reassure them they are doing a good job and are a valued part of the team.
Money rarely excites the B-type. Place posters in the work area showing successful employees and the B-type will work very hard to be on the top of the list. They are extremely competitive. A special parking space for the employee of the month works well also. Health spa memberships, dinners, trips are all ways to motivate the B-type.
A good working relationship requires a daily pep talk and good direction. If you do all this, you will be rewarded with great production, morale and a very loyal employee.
POSITIONS: Hair stylist, Entertainer, Sales, PR work, Trade Shows, Travel, Creative/artistic positions, Sales Trainer
MOTIVATORS: Reinforcement of praise, Prizes, Attention, Excitement
TURNOFFS: Graphs/charts/figures, manuals, routine, rejection, serious people, confinement.
Managing the C-type personality
The C-type personality thrives on perfection, consistency, routine and challenge. This individual is very analytical, serious, detailed and down to earth. When dealing with the C-type, you need to be logical and honest. There is no room for hype in the C-world. Everything has a place and everything must be in it’s proper place. This includes you.
They work well by themselves with little direction. Once placed on a project, they will work until it’s completed. Don’t try to move them from one project to the next uncompleted. Don’t ask them to do it half-right or in a manner that is not by the book.
They need a secure, steady environment in which to work. The same place, time, desk, etc. They make very loyal, long lasting employees if their conditions are met. They need clear-cut rules and boundaries to abide by. If you need to change anything about a C-types work, do it gradually and inform them way ahead of time it will happen. They need the time to adjust and reasons why the change is taking place.
The most important aspect in dealing with the C-type is logic. If it makes sense, they’re all for it. If it doesn’t, you will have problems.
The C-type is usually quiet and reserved. Serious to a fault and does not work well with the B-types. They do like to argue and their worst fear is criticism. If you need to correct something with the C-type, do it in a positive, non-critical way. Saying, “What do you think of doing it this way?”, approach works best. Debate the pros and cons toward a “logical” conclusion.
The C-types are not the movers and shakers of the world. They are the anchors, the ones who insure all is correct. They tend to spend too much time on details and make mountains out of molehills. They rarely voice their feelings so you will need to be sensitive and aware when dealing with them.
They need their own “space” to work well. Be it a large private office or a closet. If you need to have them work along side other personality types, use room dividers or some other type of partition to give them their own space. They may not work well under a commission structure, high pressure, threats or crisis management.
POSITIONS: Accountant, Banker, Engineering, Administrative, Professional Services, Customer Support, Technical sales, Technical writer, and Comptrollers.
MOTIVATORS: Money, challenge, titles, awards
TURNOFFS: Fakes, criticism, loud people, hype, commission pay, unsteady workplace, change.
Managing the D-type personality
The D-type thrives on consistency and balance. They want to come to the same place, desk, job, etc. Don’t change a thing. A D-type once said he worked at the same bench, doing the same thing, with the same people for 40 years. Welcome to the world of the D-type personality.
Don’t expect the D-type to put in overtime or try to climb the corporate ladder. They don’t want to work more than play and a few dollars more than they need to pay bills is enough money for them.
They usually don’t expect much from you so don’t expect a lot from them. They will come into work everyday, on time and do exactly what they were hired to do, nothing more, nothing less.
They are very easy going type people and have no need for hype or excitement. They like team work and get along well with most everyone. If there is an easy way to do it, the D-type will find it. (Many inventors are D-types).
When managing the D-type, remember, nothing is very important nothing needs to be rushed. They work at their own pace (neither fast nor slow) and little you can say or do will change that. You can scream curse, threaten to fire them, it won’t work. I once watched a postal worker, (D-type), take his coffee break precisely at 10:00 am and leave 40 or more people standing in line to wait. Rules are rules according to the D- type.
Make sure they know your rules before you hire them. If you have a good understanding at the start, you will have few problems with the D-type.
Most jobs that would drive the other personalities crazy are welcome to the D-type. They need a steady paycheck and working conditions to give 110%. Of all the personality types, the D-type is the easiest to please.
Most have a good patience level and can deal with many conditions other personalities cannot. Their greatest fear is loss of security. They need to feel secure in their place at work and feel they are not threatened. They will not work well under a commission structure, high pressure, threats or crisis management.The D-type personality is the most common personality type found in the workforce today.
POSITIONS: Production, Labor, Civil service, Administration, Skilled labor, Retail sales, Secretarial, Real-estate sales, Government work and the Insurance industry.
MOTIVATORS: Rewards, recognition, titles, prizes, time off.
TURNOFFS: Aggressive people, hype, unbalance, loss of stability, change.
Motivating the different personalities
What turns on the:
A-type: Challenge, money, freedom and more money.
B-type: Recognition, awards, excitement and trips.
C-type: Challenge, money, recognition and position.
D-type: Titles, recognition, awards and security.
If you plan your next promotion based on the group personality of the department, you will have a winning promotion. If you have just one promotion for all departments then it will fail.
64% of all people hate their jobs! Do you think if they found work they really enjoyed, their outlook on life, production and morale would improve? You can make a difference in your company and in your own personal life by knowing who you are dealing with and how to make that relationship work for both of you.
Your worst salesperson could be your best customer support person. Your worst technician could be your best salesperson, your worst secretary could be your best marketing manager. Don’t fire them, fire them up by placing them in the right position for their talents and personality traits!
It costs more than triple to hire, then fire and re-hire another employee. Save yourself time and money and place your employees where they really fit.
One good idea may be to have employees wear colored badges to show which type of personality they are. This would allow others to know instantly how to deal with them. Other companies have tried this with great success.
The first rule of thumb is each separate department needs the same type of personality to do a good job. That doesn’t mean you can’t have an A-type manager and D-type employees. It means that each department needs an overall sense of being to work. If you have an B-type personality working next to a D-type in the same position, nothing will get accomplished. The B-type will upset the D-type and the D-type will bring down the B-type. Promotions will not work and production will suffer.
Test employees in each department; make sub-departments if you need to separate personalities. In sales, you may have the A and C-types work on the corporate accounts. Have the D-types work on the “Mom and Pop” companies. Have the B-types telemarket to bring in the prospects for the other types to close. Split the commission. Have the A and B-types work as a team effort. The same goes for the C and D-types. A and D-types rarely work out working together. B and C or B and D-types rarely do well working together.
If you are hiring a manager, make sure they are an A/B-type if the director is an A/C-type. Two A/C-types usually butt heads all the time. If a V.P. is very stubborn and you hire a director that is also very stubborn, you will have a problem. Hopefully, the V.P. is suited for the position and you find a non-stubborn director. (A/ B means A is the dominating group, B is the secondary group).
If every one of us was the same, the world would be a very empty place. Everyone has his or her own place in the workforce, in life and a job to do. The A-type seem to be the leaders of the world, the B-type seem to be the motivators and entertainers of the world, the C-type seem to be the politicians, the analytical people and the D-type lends a balance to the other three groups with their wit and charm. Most everyone would like to be viewed as a superstar, but we are what we are. You can’t teach personality traits although knowing our weak and strong traits we can work on them, strengthen them, and grow as individuals.
Most successful people have found their niche in life. They have found work they enjoy doing and do it well. As someone once said, “Do what you like to do and you will never work a day in your life.” Many people have become doctors, lawyers or other professionals because their parents wanted them to and pushed them into it. They would be more successful and happy if they did what they really wanted to. Maybe your accountant would do much better as your head of customer support. Using the Personality Profile, you can test all employees and find out where they should fit. If they are in a position they don’t like, you won’t get 110%. If your company is restructuring, this is an important move. Don’t let the best salesperson you have go, just because they are now a secretary.
Thank you for reading this and I truly hope it helps you in your business and in your personal life.
Bill Garrison – Plus-32 employment testing.