Knowing the salary of your coworkers?
although salary is usually not the first reason for why people change companies this is something that the company needs to deal with if they want to keep their staff. We have a very clear goal of having less than 5% leaving for companies outside our patent company every year. Although there are a few companies to move between it still means that within the group we should keep people for an average of 20 years. That also means that we need to be very active with development plans as well as working actively with different types if reimbursement.
PG: 20 years? Where do you find that today? I have only seen something close to that in manufacturing jobs (people working at a plant where there is say some manufacturing R&D, some preclinical, maybe Tech ops) where there a few local options and people want to stay in that location (not geographically mobile) . Rare on the commerical and more D side of R&D - you can find it, but those are your 1 percenters. Certain countries you can find it too where there is only one employer in an area - and people don't want to move . But on my side of the industry, and the country I live in ..yeah...max 4 to 5 and out. US, where i"m from..can be worse (tenure wise).
Yes, our official goal is to have less than 5% volontary turnover of staff. Staff that changes position within the company including to other companies fully owned by the same parent company doesnt count towards the 5% limit and this typeof moves is actually encouraged.
A 5% turnover means that people need to stay for 20 years within the family of companies. As a note we are currently below that target in the department that I am responsible for.
That's pretty good goal, though as noted, when you look internally accross departments then you have your varying turn over. So if you have say a Commerical Marketing departement with 20 to 25 percent annual turn over accross say 40 FTE size department, and you have a say Industrial Operations with 400 people and 1 percent turn over - if you take the 5 percent as a whole then it does not show the whole picture right?
You can then question, what's going on in Commericial/Marketing and this is where HR Staff well....i'll soften my attack, but they do nothing other than invent a reason that is beyond the root cause. At worst, like in my last company - they (HR that is) increased the turn over rate goal 10 percent for talent (not really advertise that's being done) and 15 percent for non-talent (they called the latter non-wanted employees, just due to a poor translation from German to English, but they insulted people obviously) and they put a +/- 5 percent range on top of that. If that's not a poor HR response (backed by senior management), then I don't know what is. And poor i mean, not addressing root cause of turn over, in that case there was an major organizational issue at the site that powers at be didn't want to address. I only highlight to give forum a real world view of what happens out here.
Now in fairness, I had a wonderful experience at my last employer, but that was due to individual effort and of-course, my insertion into a political environ that was in favor of my development/experience - I played politics...corporate style. But I see few really doing anything about that 5 percent - many company's its higher these days. I ended up being one of them 20 to 20 percent in that commerical department that departed voluntarily (after I found my next job of course). Political environment was no longer in my favor (well that happens when your boss and their network in the company leaves, standard operating pattern these days, politiccal dynamics change about every 2 to 3 years).
And of course that number 5 percent does not reflect all departments, functions and groups. Its an average goal.
My two cents and keeping it real. Maybe a topic is, how to scientist survive politics? Being beyond reproach is one approach and the best. Still can get burned though. And Not-playing politics, equally as damaging.
DX, you are sure right about politics. I used to think that people could leave large companies and find a smaller, "no politics" organization but that isn't the case. Sometimes the company politics are WORSE in a smaller company, where the "original team" and the "new team" are at odds and so on. Basically, you can't escape it. So, if that's a given, than this means that you MUST learn to either play into it or have a strategy somehow to keep yourself out of it.
I believe that a 5% turnover rate is a very good goal, but that few organizations achieve that number; it's generally much higher, perhaps 10-12% in many companies. But again, this is very individualized and "averaging" it out doesn't really speak to the issues.
Dave Jensen, Founder and Moderator
Bio Careers Forum
I'll keep the conversation going -
I don't think a "no politics" organization exists. If it does, sign me up. You can find "less politics" organizations and environs but still politics. Even in medicne where the patient is at the center and you have a higher calling to ensure the best patient outcomes, outside the clinic or operating room, well politics at play for what ever agenda.
I've been in small and big companies - been through re-organizations, i'm a master of navigating change management situations and either one plays or one leaves. There is always a certainly level of elbow shoving and positioning if one wishes to survive (thrive) or don't play and put the resume out (quietly; and even that's a can be political as its a still a survival game until the next opportunity is identified). It all comes down to individual response which few actually talk about - and why we have a booming professional coach sector. (I know one very well - clients from corporate left and right looking for survial tactics).
I do think scientific training actually is a benefit here - actually - tremendous benefit. We ALL know perseverance. That's what's needed. We ALL have see the academic politics, and have survived and somecases thrived. Scicence training does mean many graduate students and post-doc have to suck it quite a bit right? Thick skin. So that's a plus because surving and navigating change management comes down to the individual response and alot of that is perserverance (what ever the game choice is).
And yes you raise the issue of new team vs. what we call "legacy' teams - root of that is the new team political agenda as I have seen many times is to raise their profile by victumizing or denegrating legacy teams - I have been part of that on the receiving end (being legacy) and being new. Having been legacy and now over the past year in a new team with political clout - I refuse to desparage the work of legacy teams - many have left but few still around, I take the approach to learn what was done. CAn't say the same for others who are more vocal about denegrating legacy teams as part of their agenda. No CEO now turned celebrity book writer on organzational behavior ever talks about that. Nor does any so called Harvard acadmic PhD expert who never worked in a company and delivered anything in a cross-functional team, yet claims to know... ever talks about that too.
And yes, that type of change, new teams coming on board, re-orgs, mergers, - and this is the normal these days in industry (expect change every 6 to 12 months, consider yourself lucky if no change in 18 months - and if one is there, well...watch it, tides can and will change very soon is my best recommendation). Remember i'm 8 managers in 3.5 years, do the math. In my current company, 2 line managers 1.5 years.
So 5 percent turn over....hmm...as noted, interesting to see if that's even acheivable these days and how that's calcuated (can be a very very very artificial number by our esteemed HR personnel).
But, save for our now grandfather's generation, not sure it its gotten worse, change i think has been the constant, if not just more accelerated, more frequent, so more intensity but no worse no better. Same stuff, different day...different re-org, merger, team. Ho hum. Yawn. Send in the clowns.
I think that we are doing our turnover calculations in a relevant way. The number of people that left during the last quarter multiplied with 4 divided by the number of people working in the department/Company.
Some of the large very well known software companies that I have seen some information are significantly over 10% in their annual turnover. Decreasing the turnover just a Little has a large impact on Resources/time needed for recruitments, training and of course keeps competence in the Company so the impact also from relatively small improvements are significant.
As for politics I have seen some statistics that shows that the top growing companies above a certain turnover in the US are now reorganizing a lot more frequent than they did only 10 years ago. My guess is that this at least makes politics more visible alhtough I think that it is always present in any organization. You need to find a way of not getting caught up in it and focus on your deliveries while also not being completely blind to what is happening around you.
Getting to a turn-over can be very difficult. If you take a big pharma outfit - its a big Global company with many "legal entities" and "sites" and "country affiliate" - each with their own turn-over. Can vary so much. Even at the same site you can have varied turn-over within function. If there was a way to accurately sum all that up and have transparent reporting, my best guess estimate is that you'd have that 8 to 10 percent FTE turn-over but again finger in the air, best guess estimate.
The quesiton is what's the cost of that turn over, the answer is that most don't know. Any study you see is based on estimate. We don't measure cost of turn over directly or even indirect, its very hard to do. In corporations today remember there are redudency mechanisms - i.e. take down to me, if I leave my team tomorrow, my current team mates would split the work among themselves, re-prioritize, and deliver on the crictical items - maybe one might see a few budget line items not spent, which is then given back to finance at the end of the year. Nobody links that give back for example to lost productivity.
There is one exception: Sales. Lose sales force, and that hurts. I've had a front row seat to seeing a "country affiliates" sales force collapse - 80 percent out, either quit or sick, sales basically collapsed. There was a reason for this I can't fully disclose but it happened, and basically you had over-worked reps facing high pressure among massively declining sales linked to a external non-controllable reason. It happens. This was in a top 10 country, so it definately hurt the company financially, took HR being deployed to the country to live there for a few months to actualy "re-boot" the country affiliate, took a good year to "re-recruite" and more years to get close to where they were before.
So in that case, turn-over if you want to call it that...palpable and resultind in re-direction of HR focus, staff etc. That's NOT the case for most other roles.
Anyways, the turnover, just by looking at my network is high - with nearly everyone I know switching company's every 3 to 4 years - that's gotta be impacting.
But consider today, corporate environments does not care about individual employees, so that's the response really.
And PG states a great point - gotta deliver..but read the hand-writing on the wall! The cheese can move very fast and PG also noted in another thread the importance of that dialog on reward/development and engagement. At the heart, for this forum, science..and being a part of that...is a key driver for us.