A Company Run By Employees
Founded in 1995, Focus Services has worked year after year building a high performing company with long-term client relationship. Developing relationships with clients requires a well-trained, effective work force with constant desire to improve.
There are many different aspects that hinder a company’s success, but one of the main deterrents is attrition. Attrition, by definition, is “the action or process of gradually reducing the strength or effectiveness of someone or something through sustained attack or pressure.” We are in the business of people. Ultimately, everything we do is designed to improve the customers’ experience. When qualified, trained employees leave, voluntarily, companies are damages. The direct cost of attrition includes the cost to recruit, screen, hire and train a new employee. But the hidden costs may be even higher. The cost of poor performance, damaged moral, and the overall lack of employee engagement can be crushing to a company. Therefore, if one can reduce the attrition rate, performance will improve resulting in better customer satisfaction and client loyalty.
This case study shows how Focus Services has enriched Performance by crushing attrition.
Attrition is poison to a company. It’s like a bad apple; it spreads and spreads, contaminating everything in its path. Focus Services determined to cut employee attrition by strengthening the employee experience. If we can increase their engagement attrition will be lowered significantly if that is the goal.
Performance and employee retention tend to go hand in hand, where attrition is high, performance is low. Therefore, in order to strengthen the company, one must start by strengthening the employees.
Here at Focus, we have found that the most likely time for an employee to attrit is during the transition training room to the call floor; the process of getting them acclimated.
With every new employee, companies spend thousands of dollars to recruit, select, hire and train them and teach them, expecting that it will turn into a sound investment. The objective is to prepare them so that they can and then hit the floor running, ready to conquer.
In reality, even after training, a company continues to lose performance because a new employee lacks experience. No matter how much they learn in training it is still not enough to fully prepare them for the real experience. Sales are lost, customers are unsatisfied and revenue is lowered, not exactly something a client needs for their business.
With proper training and motivation, employees become more and more engaged. When employees are engaged with their customers, customer experience improves. However, if an employee is not happy with their work environment, they do not get engaged with customers, resulting in poor performance and soon the employees leave at a significant expense. Focus has found that if a positive work environment can be created, the employee will become increasingly engaged, improving their performance and increasing their tenure, thereby strengthening the company, lowering attrition and increasing performance and profits.
The goal at Focus is to make every site a home for the employees. A place where they can feel comfortable, where personal potential can be acknowledged and reached and positive feedback is instantaneous and motivational. In an environment such as this, an employee works harder because he or she is motivated with a desire to do the best possible. An engaged, hard working employee is an irreplaceable asset and can make all the difference to a customer.
Too many times, a company sees a problem in performance and tries to address it with a general short-term solution instead of a specific long-lasting answer. This approach may fix the issue temporarily, but in the end the employees are still unsatisfied and the same problems return.
At Focus, to raise performance we have spent much more time personally with each employee, finding what drives them, how to help them and show them their full potential and give them steps they can take to work toward it. As we have done that, the employees feel important, they feel that they are able to do their job right and therefore they stay. Attrition rates have plummeted because each employee feels accountable and responsible for the success of the company. They are determined and -motivated; engaged in being the best that they can be.
Focus employees aren’t let go for having a bad week, they aren’t written up just for a few bad sales. It’s the objective of the company to understand a person as an individual, and not just a number. “We get it, life happens,” says Chris Hislop, Director of Human Resources, “if we fired everyone for losing a week, no one would work here.” Therefore, instead of trying to eliminate the problem, a solution is found and progress can continue. If there is a desire to improve, improvement is imminent.
As cliché as it sounds, Focus Services is more than a business; it’s a family. It has created a home environment that cannot be replaced. And instead of having to replace the workforce every few months due to a weak environment, the employees stay longer and work harder, gaining experience, improving performance, and decreasing attrition rates.
In the last four months alone, Focus has had a steady decrease in attrition:
That is Focus Services’ goal. Self-improvement. A company is run by its model employees. Model employees are self-managed and dedicated to the cause. Focus creates an environment that changes how an employee progress. Lindsey Simmons, the regional manager said this:
“Everybody at Focus is engaged on helping each person be the best that they can. It’s not about the numbers; it’s about the people. Everybody holding hands to make it a better place. It may sound cheesy, but being a part of a family is what gives people the desire to be better. At Focus, the environment shows that we care. And if one feels cared about, one will work harder to improve. That’s where performance increases and that’s how attrition is lowered. It’s a night and day difference.”
Again, it may be cheesy but it’s how results come about. “Our strength is our people, and we are constantly looking for exceptional people to join our team,” says the recruiting department.
In Conclusion, if good performance is desired, attrition cannot be a factor. Attrition will kill any good company when gone unnoticed. At Focus, attrition is crushed by:
- Treating the employee as an individual person
- Finding specific solutions instead of trying to get rid of the problem
- Creating a work environment that builds people up and motivates them to do their best
With these simple solutions, it is obvious why performance is improved, attrition is reduced and clients are satisfied.