Solve Turnover: A Human-Centered Approach

Woman smiling standing next to a white board

The percent of workers voluntarily quitting their jobs rose starkly in 2021 and many experts expect to see this trend continue as we move past the pandemic and into a new normal. There is no one magic bullet to preventing employee turnover, but we think treating people as humans comes pretty close.

When was the last time someone in your organization told you they are leaving? Are you wondering when the Great Resignation will catch up with you? You know that whenever another employee exit is announced, your most valuable people are wondering, “What am I missing? Why am I still here?

It feels like many of us have become a bit more human over the past year, but, of course, we’ve really always been human. The events of the past year have just forced us to be more honest about our humanity – both with ourselves and with each other. And employers are starting to fully recognize and value their people as human, too.

Now that the protective screen has been taken down, employees are not going to stay at an employer that is not designed for their humanity. Life is too short.

The Paradox Employee Experience ModelTM is based on academic psychologists’ research about what humans need to thrive in life. Work is a big part of our lives so why should the workplace not also provide us with the secret sauce of life?

The model includes four categories: Purpose, Community, Opportunity, and Ownership.

  • Purpose encompasses the meaning you receive from the organization’s vision for the future and the impact of your individual work.
  • Community provides the identity and belonging that you receive by being a part of this organization of people.
  • Opportunity includes both the current and future security and mobility (i.e., growth prospects) you can expect from your experience at this organization.
  • Ownership means the autonomy, control, and influence you have over your own success and also others’ success (including the organization itself).
Group clapping in celebration
Group of people team support startup business

People challenges – including turnover – are often tough to solve (both in business and in life) because they are part of a cycle. It’s the age-old chicken and egg paradox, and the only way to solve it is to break the cycle.

When it comes to turnover, the cycle is simply this: Recognize your employees’ humanity and meet their human needs; Enjoy the productivity and innovation that comes from fulfilled and committed employees; See the business grow and exceed profitability expectations, which, in turn, enables you to meet your peoples’ needs further. And the upward growth cycle continues.

Now, imagine the opposite. You are not meeting your employees’ needs, which means they are either on the way out the door, looking for other opportunities, or are apathetic. Either way, they are not optimally contributing to the productivity and innovation that your business needs to have impact and grow. In turn, you are less able to meet their needs, and the cycle – or downward spiral in this case – continues.

The choice is clear: Think about your people as humans. Break the cycle by designing your business, talent, and work systems to meet their human needs. Enjoy business growth and impact that delivers on our need for purpose, community, opportunity, and ownership.

This is your chance to fix or prevent turnover and stop saying, “We just can’t compete.You CAN compete. You just need to break the cycle and help your employees live and work their best lives. Your business needs you, and your humans need you.