What's the real cost of staff turnover? How can you create a workplace where people love to come to work?
Some reports suggest the cost of replacing an employee that leaves to be as much as 50% of their annual salary. Even at half that amount, clearly retaining great staff is a sound business strategy.
So how do we create a sticky culture? Steve Jobs provided some guidance in his famous 2005 Stanford University commencement speech. His frequently repeated two-sentence quote below offers several key points to consider when creating a sticky culture.
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
1. Work is an important part of life
The Jobs quote starts off with the obvious. We spend a lot of time at work. Sure, that time is exchanged for pay and other remuneration, but it's time our team will never get back. Recognising how valuable that contribution is and letting your team members know how much it is appreciated is critical to creating a sticky culture.
2. The work we do is "great work"
Next, Jobs sets another high benchmark. He challenges us to find work that we believe to be "great work". Of course, this is subjective and, in the eyes of the worker. In some respects, this is easy in the fire protection industry. Fundamentally the industry keeps people and places safer by reducing the risk of fire. Sharing the big picture of the importance of fire protection, whether that is scheduling work, testing a sprinkler system or replacing an extinguisher, will keep your team focused on the big picture and bring them together.
3. Love what you do
Lastly, Jobs encourages us to love our work. Loving our work supplies the energy we need when we encounter challenges. It doesn't mean our life work is perfect, but it does mean we can see through current challenges to the other side.