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A Manager's Checklist to Reduce Turnover-Part 1

A article in May 2018 about turnover outlines 18 tips from human resource pros regarding their best defense against turnover. Looking through them, it is clear that the biggest impact one can make on their employee turnover rate is to invest in the leaders and managers.

Here are some ways that managers can develop their employees and reduce turnover:

Use the Three G’s: Growth, Gratitude and Goodwill- If the work environment is conducive to development, employees are appreciated genuinely for their contributions, and there is a culture of goodwill: transparency, dignity, respect, inclusion and care, you have achieved the Three G’s of Retention.

Understand Why They Leave-If you show you sincerely care about the reasons an employee wants to leave, they will usually tell you. This does not mean give your outgoing employees the third degree when they hand you their resignation letter, but by asking simple, precise questions regarding their departure. In doing so, you may find that you are able to prevent others from leaving.

Provide an Excellent Onboarding Process-Think about this as ‘first impressions matter’ and it sets the foundational tone of their employment with you. Make sure you take the time to anticipate any sort of questions or concerns that new employees may have; try to put yourself in the new employee’s shoes and walk through what you wish you had known when you started in their position.

Monitor the Employee ‘Ecosystem’- The employee ecosystem is measured by employee engagement, burnout, and leaves of absence requested. This will help you to identify areas of opportunity and implement proactive measures. By being proactive, you have the ability to prevent turnover by anticipating those who may be “feeling the burn” and finding ways to motivate them in a different capacity.

Engagement Tells a Story- Engaged employees who have emotional connections at work will enjoy being there. A dynamic and engaged leadership is key to providing a motivating environment where employees feel understood and appreciated. As a manager, don’t set yourself apart from your employees so much so that they don’t feel comfortable coming to you with both positive and negative feedback. Remember to remain visible and accessible.

Having Properly Trained Managers- Managers who know how to onboard, coach, train and develop their staff will build trust and create fun in the workplace. Club leadership should not be responsible for every management decision and task. Make sure that your middle managers are easily accessible to employees and are capable of handling the day-to-day staff development.

Opportunity Knocks- How can cross training or departmental transfers help the employee achieve their goals? Many employees find the club for whom they work to be a great fit; but not necessarily the job for which they were hired. Club leadership and managers should understand how training employees across departments can benefit the club and decrease turnover in the long run.

Motivating Managers- use the “Coach Approach” to management, which is less of ‘managing’ and more influencing behavior by being a motivational leader.

Expectation Management- Most of the negative interactions employees have with their managers revolve around unclear goals or career paths. Have a well-documented hiring, disciplinary and promotion process that all managers follow consistently. Managing both positive and negative outcomes is crucial.

Proactive Customization- By using feedback from employees who are leaving, you will discover there are likely opportunities to improve processes, invest in leadership training, empower people, or take steps to adjust the company culture. Be a proactive listener and then take appropriate action.

Hire Transparent, Trustworthy Leaders. Leaders must walk the talk. Leaders can inspire trust in their employee by visibly holding themselves to high standards. Sharing appropriate and relevant information builds a collaborative environment and encourages personal investment. Engaged employees are likely to stay.

Next week, we will be diving into some questions that the leadership should be asking of themselves and of their management in an effort to reduce turnover. This week, we are encouraging managers to focus on leading by example, having open and honest communications with their team, and striving to find ways to inspire hope, trust and fun in the workplace. More to come…..


Whitney Reid Pennell, president of the RCS Hospitality Group (formerly Reid Consulting Services) is a celebrated management consultant, educator and speaker. RCS, the creators of the Food and Beverage Boot Camp™, specialize in operations consulting, strategic planning, food and beverage management, and training programs.

For more information, phone (623) 322-0773; or visit the RCS website at

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Whitney Reid Pennell
 Founder & President

Whitney Reid Pennell is the founder and president of the award-winning RCS Hospitality Group (formerly Reid Consulting Services). She is a published author and widely praised seminar leader, with over 20 years of club operations management and consulting experience. 

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