Today, I wanted to take a moment to address a key issue that has been brought up during this election, and that is the high turnover rate of employees within the clerks office.
High turnover is problematic for many reasons, but the main issue is the cost of the hiring and training process. One recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management estimates that the cost to replace an employee to the organization is $4,129 – and this is a low estimate compared to other studies. This additional expense is passed on to you, the tax payer, every time a position needs to be filled.
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Then, of course, there is the non-monetary loss to the organization in the form of the valuable experience that walks out when the employee does.
The clerk’s hiring process alone is a multi-step process that takes multiple days and requires multiple people. The study mentioned above estimates it takes 42 days just to get the new person in place. During a period like this, employees must devote time to recruit candidates, conduct interviews, choose someone, go through the hiring process, and train the new employee. Not only does this take up a lot of time, but in a small office it requires people to stop what they were hired to do, to perform tasks they were not hired to do.
Personally, when I start a new job I usually give myself about 30 days before I feel like I have become a value to my employer. That’s 30 days where I’m asking a lot of questions and interrupting someone else’s work, and I’m also making mistakes that someone else will have to fix, so overall productivity suffers during every step of the hiring process.
Turnover is a necessary evil – every business owner will tell you that – so keeping it to a minimum is ideal. It’s important not to get complacent and fall into this idea that it’s just the nature of the beast.
No! it is a problem that can easily be fixed.
Not only does low turnover cut costs on hiring, but it also leads to a highly skilled team, because the office holds onto that collective work experience.
I’ve heard a couple reasons as to why turnover is such an issue at the clerk’s office, but the one I would like to talk about in this post is the claim by the current Clerk of Superior Court that the positions at the clerk’s office don’t pay competitively. The pay currently starts at $11.88 per hour. There are clerk’s offices in the surrounding counties that can pay up to $13.00/hour.
(5 More Common Reasons for High Turnover and How to Addressed Them Can Be Found Here)
Years ago, I read a really interesting book called Fish!: A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results. It talks about how a having different perspective on leadership can build a positive environment while also delivering on productivity.
Now, I read this book 10-12 years ago, but after I read it, I started paying more attention to different management styles I experienced, and I really started to think about what it means to be a good leader. Done right, a manager can foster a positive work environment while also continuing to produce high quality service.
Because, let’s be honest, I’ve worked at places that were wonderful to work for, but were also not productive. I’ve also left jobs like that because there was no challenge there and ultimately someone who is a hard worker by nature isn’t going to be satisfied by not being productive.
But I’ve also stayed at jobs for years, probably being paid less than I deserved, but enough to be comfortable, because the management style worked so well, and I didn’t want to leave.
It’s not about being a “good boss” or a “bad boss.” It’s about having the management style that is flexible and motivational and that works best for that particular worker and that particular situation.
It’s a high energy job to take on all of the responsibilities of the Clerk of Superior Court’s position, while also remaining flexible enough, and mindful enough, to manage an office in a way that works for everyone – both the employees and the citizens that pay our salaries. I feel confident in my ability to work within the office to solve this turnover issue, and save the taxpayers money, while also increasing the office’s efficiency and productivity in other ways.
If anyone has any comments or questions please reach out! I’d love to hear your thoughts about this issue or any other issue you are concerned about. I’d love to start a conversation with you!
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