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March 21, 2018

4 Ways to Prepare Your Operation for Employee Turnover

Bailey Wong

Every business experiences employee turnover, some more than others. Aviation businesses especially, are struggling to retain its pilots, technicians, service personnel, etc. The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) provided great insight from a recent survey they conducted regarding workforce retention. Whether it is from employees transitioning to major airlines, retirement or the lack of qualified talent, they all impact the success of an operation. Implementing processes to mitigate the negative impacts of employee turnover will help operations stay flying. 

1) Develop a calendar of required events

According to The Huffington Post and other similar publications, turnover is expensive! But probably not more expensive than receiving fines for not following required processes and procedures implemented by the TSA, FAA and DOT. Maintaining a calendar of important events helps with planning and task-management. If this is an online calendar, notifications can be set up as an additional reminder. Items to post on your calendar may include, but not limited to, the following:

  • Training schedules (e.g. Recurrent Supervisory Training, Recurrent Security Training, etc.)
  • Random drug and alcohol test selection generation
  • Random drug and alcohol test submission deadline
  • Any annual required audits.

2) Cross-Train

Knowledge is power. But when a single employee has all the knowledge and expertise for specific programs and department operations, your company may find itself between a rock and a hard place. Failing to prepare for employee turnover can disrupt your daily routine and lead to:

  • Rushed hiring decisions that may, or may not, work out long term
  • Poorly trained replacements
  • Delayed operations and decreased revenue
  • Inaccurate information distributed to other employees, clients, vendors or government agencies
  • Dissatisfied to loss of clientele
  • Poor morale 

Reduce the risk and share information by training additional employees in those areas. Doing so will mitigate many headaches in the future.

3) Assign back-ups for important functions

In conjunction with cross-training employees, make sure you have delegated individuals to back up someone else’s job function. Even if you think you will never need one, it is impossible to predict the future. Consider the following scenario:

You have an employee, who has been with you for the past 15 years. That employee is the only person acting as drug program manager and has your drug program running like clockwork. Suddenly, that person informs you they are moving to another state at the end of the month and will no longer be working at the company.

You now have less than three weeks to try to find someone who has experience in running a drug program for an aviation company. What if you cannot find someone? You will have to scramble to train a new employee or a current employee, and then hope they can absorb that knowledge by the time your current drug program manager leaves. Do you really want that kind of stress? Imagine how much smoother the loss of the employee in the above scenario will go if there is already an individual backing up the tasks and duties associated with being a drug program manager. 

4) Use Your Resources

There is a reason companies have developed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), training manuals, frequently asked questions (FAQs), step-by-step help documents and lists of need-to-know contacts. Keeping these documents current will make it easier for someone new to pick up where the last person left off. Other resources to keep in mind are Third Party Administrators (TPAs) and Associations that specialize in those areas of need. Often, there is little to no cost associated with informational content like, webinars, blogs/articles, infographics and social media posts.

Do you have other methods in place to mitigate the effects of employee turnover? Leave a comment. We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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