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Slow the ‘Revolving Door’ of Turnover: Four Steps to an Employee Care Strategy

July 15, 2014 by Bruce Jones, Programming Director, Disney Institute



Going, going…gone! What’s the average employee tenure at your organization? Does high turnover and low employee retention make it feel like a “revolving door” that’s spinning out of control? Consider this: only 30 percent of employees say they are engaged at work

At Walt Disney World, we recently celebrated the 45th anniversaries of two of our Cast Members who have each worked for the company since 1969. Can you imagine working for the same company for 45 years? While this milestone is impressive on its own, it’s even more so when you think about how incredibly rare it is in today’s business environment.

All organizations, even those currently enjoying low turnover, cannot afford to rest on their laurels. Experts warn that despite rising slightly for the past decade to the current average of 4.6 years per person/per organization*, employee tenure will begin to wane in the future as the job market continues its recovery and more Millennials (renowned for job hopping) enter the workforce. 

So, how can an organization increase employee retention and slow the “revolving door” of turnover? We explore this topic in great detail in our professional development course that examines employee engagement through the lens of Disney Culture. But, for the purposes of this blog, we offer this advice: Leaders should start by asking the question “Beyond a paycheck, what do my employees value?” Look for opportunities to address these needs, and consider investing in Care as an organizational strategy.

Here are four steps to implement as part of an overall Care Strategy that will positively impact organizational culture:

  1. Display genuine care for staff – It goes WAY beyond providing traditional benefits such as health care, gym memberships, maternity/paternity leave, etc. Genuine care is about engaging the heart and connecting with employees as individuals, demonstrating that they are truly valued and cared for on both a personal and organizational level. Here are three forms of genuine care that can make all the difference
  2. Create a hassle-free workplace – People feel cared for and behave differently, when you make their lives easier. Leaders should intentionally ask questions, and actively listen when employees express their frustrations. Where possible, implement changes to eliminate these frustrations as quickly as possible.
  3. Cultivate developmental opportunities through job rotation / responsibility rotation – At Disney, leaders are regularly rotated to new divisions, lines of business and locations (theme parks, resorts, etc.). If it’s not possible to rotate leaders to a completely new role within your organization, consider rotating certain aspects or responsibilities of an employees’ role to provide a fresh perspective and new challenges.
  4. Overmanage the process by “operationalizing” care – What do we mean by this? With never-ending deadlines and the daily grind, a focus on practicing genuine care can easily fall to the bottom of the “To Do” list. But, just as you would put forth the effort each day on strategies for pricing or risk-management, you must pay extraordinary attention every single day to the strategy of providing genuine care for employees.

Tell us – What would a Care Strategy look like for your organization?    

We’d love to hear from you! 
Post your response below, or respond to us on Facebook or Twitter using Hashtag #DThinkBlog.

TO LEARN MORE…
For nearly three decades, Disney Institute has provided engaging and insightful learning opportunities for business professionals and organizations, teaching them the Disney approach to business….focusing on Service, Leadership, Culture, Brand Loyalty, Creativity and Innovation. To learn more about how you can attend an upcoming course, see our full Course Calendar. Not sure which course is best for you? Try our Course Recommender

*According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employee Tenure Summary, September 2012.



Posted in Selection, Training, Engagement | Tagged Culture, Selection, Training, Engagement, Leadership, Genuine Care, Care, Overmanage, Turnover, Retention, Bruce Jones | 1 Comments


1 Responses to Slow the ‘Revolving Door’ of Turnover: Four Steps to an Employee Care Strategy

  • Matt says:

    on July 18, 2014

    Hi Bruce, With such a high stake in the game, does Disney feel it partially the responsibility of the employee to seek engagement? It seems to be along the lines of finding a mentor and/or mentee; there has to be an effort on both sides. I'd appreciate your thoughts. Kindest regards - Matt Ream


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