Capitol Correspondence - 03.03.20

Big Picture: Research Finds Avoiding Job Duplication Reduces Turnover

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With the Direct Support Professional (DSP) recruitment and retention crisis reaching a 51 percent average yearly turnover rate, our members might find new research from the Harvard University Growth Lab of interest.

As shared by ASAE, of which ANCOR is a member:

Employee turnover is an issue that plagues associations and other nonprofits. While there are many suggestions for reducing it—everything from workplace wellness to digital onboarding—most of those solutions are aimed at the individual worker.

However, new research from the Harvard University Growth Lab suggests the real answer lies in a holistic view of the workplace and all of its employees. In ‘The Value of Complementary Co-Workers,’ published in Science Advances, Growth Lab Research Director Frank Neffke, Ph.D.,  found that the value of workers isn’t dependent on their individual skills, but rather on how their skills complement those they work with. When employees were teamed with those who complemented their skills, creating what Neffke called ‘coworker synergy,’ they stayed longer at their organizations. […]

Employees who have the same skills as their coworkers—’substitutable’ skills, in researcher lingo—have ‘higher switching rates and a lower likelihood of reaching long tenures.’

Neffke’s research has implications for both employers and employees. For employers, the message is clear: figure out the mix of employees you need and hire those with complementary skills.”