Improving Staff Retention & Turnover

August 24, 2019

A businessman with employees in his hands
Amber Mayer

Reasons for Staff Turnover

Lack of developmental opportunities & quality of the work environment

Research shows around 70% of all employees are disengaged. Employee engagement efforts, along with retention, should start on day one. Having engaged employees promotes talent and fosters loyalty that can improve company performance. Get your employees involved in initiatives andcapture their enthusiasm that they may have for furthering company success. Encourage learning and provide opportunities for employees to increase their skills and develop into other roles if its available. This leads to the second half in this section, poor quality of the work environment. You may think providing in office perks will engage employees more, but what is the work environment like? Do your employees feel safe? Are securities put in place to protect your employees in case of a high-risk situation? On the flip side, is there open communication between employees and managers? Is there empowerment for employees to speak up when something isn’t working? Or are they discouraged from doing so? Let your employees know that you care, really listen to their goals to develop their talents and skills, and provide a safe environment when they are at work.

Lack of trust between employees & management

Employees want to feel valued and respected. If you have an organization at your company that is seeing high turnover, it’s possible there is a lack of trust between managers and employees. Employees want to know that their work is meaningful, and their ideas are heard. Try a program of open dialogue or feedback and listen to the ideas that come to the table. Acknowledge where improvements can be made and focus on how the employee’s skill sets and work accomplishments will help the organization reach their goals. If your employees are still not engaged, look at your managers, are they engaged?

Role not clarified during recruiting

During the recruiting process, it is easy for companies to tell their own story and leave out crucial details about the role they are interviewing for. This time should be looked at as an opportunity for the employee to learn what is truly involved in the role, what makes the company distinctive, and how they can help the company reach their mission. Be transparent about what the day to day looks like, and how you plan the role to develop. Don’t oversell and overpromise if it isn’t going to happen. If the employee is onboarded, and the day to day work is not what was clearly communicated, there is a higher chance of the employee terminating, and the need for the company to replace that role.

Why is this so important for you?

Costs of High Staff Turnover

Cost of new hires costs more than ever – When an employee leaves a company, and you are facing to replace them, it can cost as high as 50% -60 % of their annual salary. For example, an employee with a $45,000 salary, could easily cost up to $22,000 to replace. When you sit down and calculate those numbers along with turnover, it makes reality hit. This drives up the importance of investing in employee’s skills, improving manager performance, and engaging employees in the areas that play to their strengths. You will not only develop the employee, you will retain top performers and save money otherwise lost in turnover
costs.

Loss of reputation in the Market

If you are losing employees due to poor management, don’t believe that it won’t spread. In today’s market employees are looking online to gain feedback about a protentional employer. Employees want to know what it is really like to work for an organization, and employees who leave that are disgruntled are more likely to go online and leave a negative review of the reasons why. If you have employees leaving, conduct exit interviews, and put that information into action. Encourage ownership from employees to come to management with ideas to improve processes and quality. Don’t force your employees to leave fake reviews, potential candidates can sniff this out and pass on opportunities if they get the hint that is the culture. Be aware of your online presence, and make genuine efforts to remedy it.

What can you do about it?

Listen to the employees

When employees are giving feedback, do you listen? There is the adage to bring it from the top down, but what about taking it from the bottom up? When employees are willing to give feedback, it shows they believe in the company’s vision and mission, and want to see improvement. If you listen to this feedback, you will gain insight that you would otherwise be missing. If you show you are willing to listen, and accept the feedback, you will gain the loyalty of employees and decrease company turnover.

Make a plan

To develop an effective retention plan, you need to first understand why employees are leaving. Are there trends in certain organizations or managers? Do your managers need extra coaching to improve staff productivity and engagement? Be willing to make changes that won’t have a payoff immediately, but in the long term could save tens of thousands of dollars. You need to consider both the cost and benefit associated with turnover in your organization to make a true difference that will show your company is here to stay.

Implement Effectively

When you are ready to take the next step and implement these things, do it effectively. Communicate and be honest with your intentions to improve the culture, and ask for feedback. Celebrate the small wins, and reward employees who go above and beyond. By doing this you will likely gain higher retention rates, and decrease your turnover percentage. The money saved doing this will help the organization as a whole.

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