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FROM THE EDITOR


“SILVER WINGS SHINING IN THE SUNLIGHT. ROARING ENGINES HEADED SOMEWHERE IN FLIGHT. THEY’RE TAKING YOU AWAY. LEAVING ME LONELY. SILVER WINGS SLOWLY FADING OUT OF SIGHT.” MERLE HAGGARD


SILVER WINGS


Merle Haggard sings about watching someone fl ying away on a plane and leaving him lonely in his song “Silver Wings.” Likewise, companies that have high turnover rates might feel lonely until replacements are hired and trained.


In this month’s cover story, Mark Cote discusses a Duncan Aviation program called Silver Wings. It recognizes employees who have been with the company for 25 years or more. Every 18 months, Duncan hosts a reception to induct new members into the program. The company currently has 2,200 employees and around 350 of those employees are Silver Wings recipients. In other words, more than 15 percent of Duncan Aviation employees have been there for 25 years or more. That type of longevity means less turnover.


EDITORIAL DIRECTOR


JOE ESCOBAR jescobar@DOMmagazine.com 920.747.0195


The cost of turnover is high. According to the article “There Are Signifi cant Business Costs to Replacing Employees” from americanprogress.org, “Implementing workplace policies that benefi t workers and help boost employee retention is not simply a nice thing for businesses to do for their employees. Maintaining a stable workforce by reducing employee turnover through better benefi ts and fl exible workplace policies makes good business sense, as it can result in signifi cant cost savings for the employer. “Indeed, it is costly to replace workers because of the productivity losses when someone leaves a job, the costs of hiring and training a new employee, and the slower productivity until the new employee gets up to speed in their new job,” the article continues. “Our analysis reviews 30 case studies in 11 research papers published between 1992 and 2007 that provide estimates of the cost of turnover, fi nding that businesses spend about one-fi fth of an employee’s annual


salary to replace that worker.” These expenses come from hiring expenses and the decreased productivity as the new employees get up to speed. Sure, the transition is easier if you hire an experienced mechanic who has worked on the aircraft the job requires. However, fi nding experienced mechanics appears to be getting harder. That one-fi fth salary cost can easily go up if a company ends up hiring someone from out of the area and needs to pay moving expenses.


Although rewards for employee tenure like Duncan’s Silver Wings program are nice to have, they’re not the reason employees stay. Giving someone a clock with the company logo for his or her fi ve-year anniversary is a nice gesture, but it does squat to prevent turnover. Toxic work cultures or horrible bosses will ensure most employees won’t even make it to their one-year anniversaries. However, when a company creates a positive work environment that engages employees, the employees are happy. When employees are paid fairly and have good benefi ts, they are happy. Happy and engaged workers don’t tend to look elsewhere for jobs. They look within the company for advancement opportunities. Mark Cote is an example of someone who got a job at a company and ended up staying — not because of some award opportunity down the road, but because he works for a company that values its employees and gives them opportunities to learn, encourages their feedback, and off ers advancement opportunities for hard-working employees. If your company asks if it can aff ord


increased benefi ts, job fl exibility or increased pay for employees, it would be better off asking if it can aff ord not to.


Thanks for reading, and we appreciate your feedback! – Joe


4 DOMmagazine.com | mar 2018


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