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How to Reduce Employee Turnover

Haley Crum
by Haley Crum on July 12, 2020

A company’s high retention rate is often a sign of collective employee satisfaction, but there’s a big problem in today’s job market – companies don’t retain employees like they used to. The turnover rate in the United States has slowly trended upward year-over-year since 2014, and it costs companies big bucks.

Organizations that need to replace employees are repeatedly paying costs associated with hiring, onboarding, training, learning and development. Plus, they have to account for lost productivity when roles remain open – all of it amounting to 33% of a worker’s annual salary.

Despite the trends of turnover and a generation with a job-hopping reputation, reducing employee turnover within your organization takes a robust retention strategy that comes down to a simple thought: make your employees feel valued. Take a look at these useful tips to reduce employee turnover rates and boost retention.

1. Hire the Right People

Before you can ensure an employee is satisfied in a role, you need to find the right employee for the role. Avoiding common hiring missteps will help you find the right candidate for the job, which is the first step toward keeping them around for the long haul.

Set clear expectations. An employee that comes into a new role should not experience any curveballs. Be careful not to put a prospective employee in a position to be blindsided by the job or the organization. Take time to clearly explain what the role consists of and your expectations for it. The quickest way to damage a relationship with a new employee is by delivering a position that is different from what was promised in the interview.

Cultural fit. While interviewing candidates, be upfront about the culture of the organization – is it built on collaboration and creativity? Maybe there’s a rigid hierarchy within the corporation? A company’s culture impacts the behavior of employees, so however your organization operates, be clear and truthful about it. While interviewing, do your part to evaluate the cultural fit of the candidate, as well.   

Proven experience. Cultural fit aside, hiring the right person comes down to their qualifications. Connect with their references for insights. Ask the candidate interview questions that test their knowledge and experience. You may also consider assigning a pre-employment assessment test to help determine your candidate’s suitability to the role.  

Work with a staffing agency. Hiring and sourcing top talent is often a tedious and expensive process. Staffing agencies, equipped with industry knowledge and specialized professionals, can help you hire the right people that will stick. After all, a firm’s success is attributed not only to the number of candidates they place but to how long they stay. Consider hiring a staffing agency and let the experts help you prevent turnover.

2. Prioritize Employee Happiness

Long gone are the days when workers were compelled to stick with stale careers and downright job dissatisfaction. Employees want to be engaged at work, and they want to feel appreciated. Even more so, employees want to feel fulfilled outside of work, and as the shift progresses from work-centered life to work-life balance, employees are likely to stick with a company that sees the value in flexibility.

Competitive pay. No matter how much workers love what they do, if it doesn’t pay the bills, it’s hard to stick around. Even more so, if compensation isn’t adequate, or doesn’t meet industry standards, you may find your employees feeling resentful and undervalued. Employees of different generations across the board agree: money is a primary factor that would motivate them to leave a job. If you want to retain your employees, make sure they’re paid what they deserve.

Boost the benefits. Companies are using a variety of benefits to gain a competitive edge. From comprehensive benefits packages and perks like work from home programs and “take what you need” PTO policies, companies are finding creative ways to keep their employees happy. At the end of the day, employees want to feel like their employer cares, and offering benefits that help their overall quality of life is a way to do just that.

3. Promote Career Growth Opportunities

When an employee finds their career is stagnating, they often start looking to move. Employees who are actively learning and see growth potential at work are more likely to feel satisfied with what they do. Employees that feel fulfilled are likely to develop a sense of loyalty and motivation to grow with the company.   

Foster learning. Employees are more likely to stay with a job where the work environment promotes learning and education. In fact, 94% of employees say they would stay at a company longer if it invested in helping them learn. Without learning and growth, employees stagnate. Employees perceive education as an added value to the work and time they’re putting in for the company. Even more so, when an employer is willing to invest in their workforce, employees feel like their employer cares.

Clear career path. Employees are likely to stick around if they know they have an opportunity for career advancement. If there’s no hierarchy or clear promotional program, envisioning long-term growth might be muddled. If an employee doesn’t see the possibility of career growth, why would they be motivated to stay? Ensure your company has an organizational ladder in place, with clear requirements for advancement.

Reducing high employee turnover requires a strategic approach and effort made throughout the employment life cycle. Employers should do their best from the get-go to make sure their hires are equipped for their roles and continue to offer plenty of ways for employees to get engaged at work.

In the end, employees want to feel valued. Those that are appreciated are apt to do more and show higher loyalty than those that don’t.

Haley Crum
Haley Crum

Haley is the Co-President of FrankCrum and President of FrankCrum Staffing. Haley earned her law degree from Stetson University College of Law and serves as in-house counsel. She is a member of the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) Board of Directors, as well as a member of the Florida Association of Professional Employer Organizations (FAPEO) and the American Staffing Association (ASA). In her free time, Haley enjoys parenting, cooking, golf, humor, and the active pursuit of her journey in Christ.

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