We’ve been working with a couple of organizations lately that are both experiencing a turnover problem, in the same position. And it has been no surprise to us that there’s a common denominator (and it isn’t that they aren’t paying enough). It’s frustration. The role is complex and in both cases, there isn’t any training and there isn’t enough process documentation for a new hire, no matter how talented they are, to find their way.
Process documentation and training play a crucial role in reducing turnover within an organization. When employees have clear guidelines and instructions for their tasks, they can perform their duties efficiently and with confidence. This not only improves their job satisfaction but also reduces the chances of them leaving the organization. Lack it, and you might as well put a revolving door on the office.
Here's a confession for you – I’ve been guilty of this myself and that is precisely why I’m writing about this topic (Spoiler: this is Part I of a two-part series). I’ve been frustrated with trying to work with organizations who can’t seem to keep someone in a key role. At the same time, that turnover and ambiguity has made a key role in our organization extraordinarily difficult and resulted in turnover here. I’ve been on a mission to at least solve the problem for myself (and try to help where I can with our clients).
I know process documentation reduces turnover by providing employees with a reference point for their work. When processes are clearly documented, employees can easily access information and follow step-by-step instructions for their tasks. This reduces the time and effort spent on figuring out how to perform their duties and minimizes the possibility of errors. As a result, employees feel more confident in their work and are more likely to stay within the organization, knowing that they have the necessary resources to excel in their roles.
Process documentation also promotes standardization within the organization. When everyone has access to the same documentation, they are aligned with the company's best practices. This ensures consistency in the quality of work produced and facilitates teamwork and collaboration. Employees can easily understand each other's roles and responsibilities, enabling them to work together smoothly. Cross-training becomes easier. And, teammates can have one another’s backs instead of the work just piling up whenever someone is off work. That sort of teamwork enhances job satisfaction, and reduces turnover. Standardization fosters a sense of unity and belonging within the organization, increasing employee loyalty and commitment.Over the past month or so, I’ve pulled all of our company’s routine tasks back to myself and have worked through them, laying down process documentation as I go. I picked up a cool tool called Scribe that has helped tremendously. In the second part of this series, I’ll share more about the training I’m doing to support all those documented processes. In the meantime, if anyone would like to hazard a guess as to the high-turnover role we keep encountering in our nonprofits, leave a comment and check back in two weeks to see if you were right.