Typically, based on decades of research, there are four major reasons that people leave jobs:
- A lack of respect from those around you, especially your bosses
- No real opportunities for growth or promotion
- Too much stress + unclear priorities
- Communication issues that ultimately lead to people being blamed for something
So that’s why people (e.g. your technicians) tend to leave. Now let’s move to cost.
A departed technician usually means six to nine months of his or her salary as a cost to find a replacement. If you had a technician making $50,000, then, the replacement search could run from $25,000 to over $36,000. (In fairness: other research has it closer to $10,000 total.) Remember: that’s just the replacement cost. There are still somewhat more intangible questions, like:
- Once the new technician is hired, how long until he or she gets up to speed?
- What’s his or her level of expertise?
- Will your current customers respond favorably to this person?
When you add up this entire picture, turnover is almost universally bad for a field service organization -- and especially a small field service business, which can't afford to lose quality people. You spend time and money to make sure your techs are as efficient as possible, and now you have to do it all over again.
OK, so we’ve established one idea now: You want to prevent turnover. You don’t want to lose technicians.
Here’s the new wrinkle: Let’s say you are a small business. You want to prevent this turnover but you can’t necessarily afford to spend a lot while doing it. In other words: The answer to “prevent turnover” can’t immediately be “raise salaries.”
First, the good news: there’s some research from Indeed (a job board) on the best places in North America to work. The research is organized by a whole host of factors, and according to Indeed’s data scientists: “Compensation has the weakest correlation with overall job satisfaction score; company culture and quality of management have the highest.”
There’s a fascination with compensation in many societies, although research has repeatedly shown it’s not necessarily the major thing people need from work. (Some research has argued that making $75,000/year is better for personal happiness than being a millionaire.)
So yay! You can reduce turnover without spending a lot of money. But how exactly does one do that?
We put together an entire eBook on this topic. If interested, download it now.