Good communication can reduce staff turnover by a quarter in the retail sector, according to research by the University of Cologne and ECONtribute.
The long-term study, conducted by Professor Matthias Heinz, analysed the rate of turnover in shops after the CEO wrote a letter to half the store managers asking them to take better care of their employees.
In the following nine months, store managers who received the letter spent an average of 20 minutes extra per day with their staff, which led to fewer resignations. With those who did not receive a letter, nothing changed. When the CEO wrote a second letter to those managers reminding them of their goal to reduce staff turnover rates, the number of resignations dropped again.
The study concluded that personnel turnover can be reduced with simply good communication between upper and middle management and from store managers to workers. Heinz said: “The research emphasises the importance of choosing good managers. In principle, they should be able to communicate and interact well with people to keep quit rates as low as possible. However, even the uncommunicative, poor leadership style of some managers can be positively influenced by a simple request from the executive floor.”