Event Business Turnover Is A Nightmare
One of the most challenging parts of the events business is turnover. It doesn't matter if you're an event venue, exhibition or trade show, conference, theater or event planner. Event business turnover not only threatens how these businesses operate, it will often affect the bottom line in very specific ways.
We like to say that the event business is run by the people who bring people together. But, what happens when these event business people are left shorthanded, or worse, left with new employees that don't even understand how the business even works?
The truth is that event businesses are often understaffed and often deal with turnover at alarming rates. Maybe this is due to the stress that these industries are known for, or perhaps it's just that few people are cut out for these types of businesses. Nevertheless, this all makes finding and onboarding the right people all the more difficult.
No two event business are uniformly alike, and teaching a new hire how all the craziness of the events industry works in a short period of time is basically impossible. So, should event leaders simply throw their hands up in the air and declare this all a lost cause? Of course not! Event professionals are known to be unshakable. Let me share a few simple ways that top event businesses are mitigating these event business turnover risks, and successfully dealing with a revolving door of helping hands and new staff.
Tips for managing event business turnover
While every event business is different, almost all must do these four things.
- Sell something
- Bill something
- Book/schedule something
- Assist in managing changes
It doesn't matter if you're a venue, show, expo or other type of event business, most event businesses have these 4 things in common (and most likely a lot more). However, it's the way each of these things is done that is vastly different; even between businesses that are exactly alike. This is the reason why training new staff is so difficult and why a high turnover rate is such an issue for these businesses.
Training staff on all the processes and unique quirks of your event business takes a lot of time. Typically, the more event professionals have a chance to think about all the processes the more they realize how complex teaching someone else how to do it can be. So how can we make it easier?
Automate business processes
We've talked about this at length before, but automating as many of your business processes as possible will greatly reduce the amount of training your new staff will require; as you will only have to show them a couple of singular processes instead of potentially hundreds of tiny one-off practices. Many event businesses rely on disconnected systems and spreadsheets — making processes long and unnecessarily multi-tiered. Eliminating as many of these types of procedures as possible will save event professionals a lot of stress, and make training staff significantly easier.
The best way to begin implementing automated business processes is to deploy some type of singular system. The more you can prevent users from working in offline documents and personal processes, the greater chances of your business operating in a streamlined fashion that an outsider could easily come in and understand.
Many event professionals think that their business processes could never be automated, but the truth is that almost all event businesses can automate practices much better than they are doing today. If this is something you'd like to learn more about I'd recommend talking to one of our BPO specialists. They've helped a lot of event businesses with these types of projects recently.
Focus on system adoption
One of the fun things to ask event professionals is how things are supposed to work, and how they actually work. The greater the difference between their two answers, the the tougher it will be to train new staff. Imagine for a second, you're a new employee and have to learn two completely different ways of doing things. The way things are designed to work, and the way the current staff actually executes it.
Adopting systems and processes are critical to smooth operations, but they are fundamental to maintaining stability through major event business turnover. You can usually understand how well a current system is being adopted by asking several staff members how something is done. If you get several different answers, the system is in flux. This means someone is operating outside of best practices.
This is a self-repeating process. If there is poor adoption and new staff is hired, they will in-turn take to these poor principles and the process will repeat itself like a virus. There is only one way to prevent and stop this. Implement a strong emphasis on system adoption. Provide comprehensive training to leaders, and ensure executive support and top-down utilization of these practices.
Providing these supposedly overwhelmed new staff members with more responsibility almost seems counterintuitive, right? The truth is that the event business is stressful. It is part of the reason why event business turnover rates are so high. One of the reasons why this occurs is because event professionals are often overwhelmed. By sharing knowledge and responsibilities around only specific portions of each staff members tasks, event businesses can ensure that they are never left high and dry if a critical team member bolts.
Think of it this way, if Suzy has 100 different job functions and never shares that knowledge, she will leave a massive hole when shes exits. Then, the business will have to scramble to fill her position. If Suzy shares 25% of what she does with 4 different individuals (no matter if they are directly connected to the job or not), they will be able to provide a better framework to the business and the staff member who will be hired to take her place. This technique may have even more far-reaching effects than simple succession planning as well.
Often event professionals feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of being the only one that can execute certain businesses processes properly. This stress leads them to avoiding time off and can also mean working longer hours. This kind of lifestyle takes its toll. By sharing some of these responsibilities with others, businesses can mitigate some of these high stress risks.
The event business turnover wrap-up
It's critical for event businesses to manage turnover to prevent major issues with operations. The solutions for mitigating event business turnover risk also serve many other benefits. Automating process and adopting a singular system can increase efficiency and often directly affect revenue and sales performance as well. By relieving event professional stress, many organizations can go a long way towards improving how their event business responds to turnover.
Learn more about how Ungerboeck Software can help.
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