If you want to stop turnover and prevent people from quitting, as an employer, you must fight overcommitment syndrome within your ranks.
This is the toxic cycle: When an organization is understaffed, the extra work inevitably must fall to someone. Everything is urgent and important. People overextend themselves, committing to too many projects with too short lead times, and this may even work for a little while. But no one—even the most committed, hardest-working individuals—can sustain that pace forever.
Eventually, they’re going to drop some balls. Projects are delayed. Clients, customers, and collaborators are left frustrated. So, they increase the pressure. But once the pressure builds up, people begin to shut down. They resist new tasks, responsibilities, and opportunities as a way to relieve some of that pressure. If they don’t, the stress builds to burnout. And then they truly have no choice but to step back for an extended period of time. Their work gets passed on to someone else…and the cycle starts all over, cascading throughout the organization.
The solution for employers is not to find ways for everyone to work less, or to encourage vague ideas about self-care, while simultaneously expecting more from everyone. The goal is to conserve, protect, and manage productive capacity in today’s high-pressure, high-collaboration workplace. It’s about helping everyone work a lot smarter so they can take back control of their time.
As an employer, yes, it is your job to get people focusing on the right things, at the right times, for the right reasons.
The hard truth you have to accept is that in order to take control of turnover in the short-term, you must commit to a long-term solution. Tweaking your financial incentives and offerings might be a way to fill the gaps, but it’s not likely you’ll find many lasting employees that way.
So, play the long game as an organization by empowering your people, in the long-term, to:
We are more committed than ever to helping our clients play the long game and gain the long-term benefits.