Management • Productivity • Business Tips • 39 minutes

The High Cost of Turnover: Retaining a Better Workforce

November 8, 2022

Episode Overview

Consider this: On average, it costs a minimum of $50,000 every time a field employee position turns over.

That figure is even higher when you replace an experienced employee with someone who has little or no experience, says Phillip Mize, CFO of Happy Hiller Plumbing, HVAC, & Electrical Services

Mize is a proponent of building and retaining an excellent workforce. He says that can be expensive–but it’s worth it, especially to the bottom line.

“A lot of the cost is hidden and difficult to measure, including callbacks that are created by inexperienced personnel and the impact on your brand in the marketplace,” Mize says.

He’s talked to many employers who hire under pressure and desperation.

“When they do so, they make mistakes,” Mize says. “They don't check references. They don't thoroughly vet the candidates. Therefore, expectations are not clearly understood from both sides, which inevitably leads to termination.”

Building a team is hard and it's time-consuming, he says. 

“You must be a constant recruiter and you must have something to sell,” Mize says. “The one constant I see is that employees want to work for someone who is genuinely interested in their development and prosperity, which makes the management structure of your organization critical.”

He insists that teams must be built from the top down: “If you don't have the right management infrastructure in place, you are destined for failure.”

One modern workplace learning lesson for Mize was that employees like to have a schedule they can depend on so they can plan a proper work-life balance. 

“In many situations, I’ve found it's more important than money to employee candidates,” he says. “Today's workers, I believe, want shorter commutes and the opportunity to work in the communities they live in.”

Phillip Mize recently joined ServiceTitan’s Jackie Aubel as part of Season 7 of the “Toolbox for the Trades” podcast, which included Mize’s thoughts on: 

  • The high cost of employee turnover.

  • How Walmart recruits for technicians.

  • Connecting to the U.S. Army for finding future employees.

  • Managers understanding employee needs.

  • How Total Tech helps with rapid growth.

To hear more stories from the trades, subscribe to Toolbox for the Trades on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, our website, or anywhere you get podcasts.

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Toolbox for the Trades is a podcast where top service professionals share the tips, tricks, and tactics they use to succeed in their industry. Hosted by Jackie Aubel, this podcast is brought to you by ServiceTitan—the leading home and commercial field service software.

Episodes will feature stories and strategies to help contractors grow and scale their service business.

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