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Stronger Relationships/Lower Turnover - Executive Coaching Can Help


One of the most effective ways for smart organizations to reduce their turnover is to actively seek and develop ways for their employees to develop meaningful relationships within the company. These relationships need to span both horizontally (peer to peer) and vertically (manager –employee) in order to truly be effective. Executive coaching and talent development programs can help facilitate and nurture these programs.

I have been reading a great new book written by James Citrin, CEO Practice Leader for Spencer Stuart titled “The Career Playbook”. One of the many insights that he shares is that the single most important factor to happiness at work is the quality of the relationships you have.

“… the single most important factor leading to happiness at work is the quality of your relationships. And there is a direct connection between the strength of an organization and the opportunity to build enriching relationships. The fact is that winning companies attract higher-caliber people and tend to have more positive cultures that foster the collaboration and shared experiences that in turn lead to quality relationships”.

The deep and strong relationships that are developed are in many ways way keeps employees from looking elsewhere. As Jessica Miller-Merrell wrote in Bloggingforjobs.com:

“There are many things that can help to decrease employee turnover, such as getting compensation right from the time your employees are hired and continuing to monitor market trends, but studies have shown that another major component to employee loyalty is their connections to their co-workers and managers. The fact is, people are loyal to people, not companies. When employees have leadership and co-workers who are engaged, they’re more likely to stay at a job. As an HR manager, you have the power to develop a culture of strong workplace relationships, which lead to loyalty and low turnover.

Kristen May of Demand Media also supports this with her research that shows:

“Employees who have a positive working relationship with their direct supervisors and co-workers are likely to stay at their jobs”.

Kristin May goes on further to say what the positive impact on an organization will be:

“A company with low turnover is generally quite productive. This is because the employees know and trust each other and are better at their specific roles than a group of employees that sees more turnovers would be. Employees are likely to be more loyal to the company and more willing to devote their personal energy to the job. Low turnover makes it easier for the company to focus its time and energy on the business at hand rather than adapting to new staff”.

Organizations need to invest to develop  cultures of trust, strong relationships and sharing. This starts with a sincere top down engagement by the senior leadership to promote and encourage this positive behavior. The easiest way to do this is leading by example. If the senior leaders demonstrate positive relationships the rest of the organization will take note and begin to display the same behavior.

Kristen May notes:

When employees trust co-workers and leaders and see that they are invested in the success of their career, it opens up opportunities for communication. This is often where the most genuine connections are built. You can help your managers communicate better with employees by setting the standard in your company for transparent, consistent communication. This may mean changing the culture of your corporate communications, but it will pay off. Employees who feel that their company is honest and open with them are more likely to remain employed there. Additionally, when you and other leadership set the standard of frequent communication, your managers will be more likely to follow suit.

It’s vital that managers communicate with employees because to in order to effectively lead, managers need to understand their employees. Since characteristics and motivations vary greatly from person to person, managers must quickly find out what each employee needs, which is a part of building that loyal relationship.

When it comes to reducing turnover by building relationships, the focus is on a mutual loyalty between leaders, employees and their co-workers. Employees are loyal to those who are loyal to them. Building trust, being invested in employees’ success and creating open communication can all lead to solid workplace relationships that save your company time and money in the long run”.

Executive coaching and talent development programs can help organization strengthen and develop this positive behavior. We have seen the significant business impact that has come through Emotional Intelligence (EQ) training and development, executive coaching for key leaders and teamwork building projects designed to improve communication and cooperation.

The cost of turnover is significant in many ways. Building and developing stronger inter-company relationships can help in many ways and can be a very smart investment.