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8 Ways to Prevent Employee Turnover

Allie Kelly

In business, high employee turnover rates are a significant cost and inconvenience every organization wants to avoid. From time spent on attracting, recruiting, and onboarding new employees, to lost knowledge, reduced productivity, and general disruption, high turnover can be a huge drain on any company. While there will always be employee turnover in any business, making sure that a few periodic resignations don’t give way to a mass exodus is easier than you think.

Here are nine ways to keep employee turnover in your organization at a healthy minimum:

1. Reassess workloads

Examine your employees’ workloads to determine if you’re piling too much on them. People who are overworked suffer from stress and burnout, become disillusioned, and soon start looking around for other opportunities. While a bit of extra work from time to time is inevitable, if it becomes a habit and isn’t compensated for, your employees may soon jump ship.

2. Offer responsibility and advancement

The opportunity for advancement is one of the most important factors driving many employees’ work life. Offer a clear path for career progression and opportunities to obtain additional training. Employees who take on extra responsibilities successfully should be acknowledged for their achievements and, when appropriate, rewarded with promotions. Ultimately, employees who are entrusted with responsibility tend to work harder, be more loyal, and stay with your business for longer.

3. Promote from within

If you can promote someone internally rather than hiring an outsider, your organization will likely reap more benefits in the long run. When hardworking, qualified employees are promoted from within, it shows staff that you value their impact and ultimately reduces employee turnover.

4. Check in with employees on a regular basis

Communication is vital in the workplace. You need to check in with your staff regularly, not just at annual review time or in passing when you both happen to be in the kitchen. Regular review sessions in which you discuss how they are progressing and address any concerns they have will work wonders. Employees need to know that there is open, two-way communication, that they are being listened to, and that their views matter.

5. Retrain managers with high turnover

Sometimes, high employee turnover has very little to do with the company, the workplace, or the culture. Instead, a manager may be the culprit. If a particular manager has a high staff turnover, you need to figure out why. It could be that they need re-training or additional support – or that they just aren’t suited to a managerial role. Examine whether the problem can be fixed or if they are better off working as an individual contributor elsewhere in the organization. Issues with direct managers are one of the top reasons for employee turnover, so if they’re not getting it right, you need to address it.

6. Consider alternative roles for unhappy employees

Sometimes great employees don’t perform well because they simply aren’t in a role that actually suits them. Maybe their personality or skill set isn’t a good fit for the job they’re doing or they just don’t feel excited about the work. Whatever the case, rather than lose a talented professional, consider whether there’s another role in the company they could excel at instead.

7. Recognize excellent performance

Celebrating success and recognizing excellent performance is one of the easiest ways to keep your employees motivated and engaged. Whether that’s buying them pizza for lunch after a good month, giving out cash bonuses, or simply acknowledging their good work in person, everyone wants to feel appreciated. Saying thank you keeps people on board.

8. Conduct exit interviews

If you don’t know why your employees are leaving, then it’s pretty hard to fix the problem. Exit interviews are a chance to collect intel. While some people will be candid in exit interviews, others may be more circumspect. However, this is your last chance to find out whether there are things you need to improve, so take advantage of it. You might uncover some very useful information.

9. Stay focused

Managing staff retention and preventing high turnover is really about being as fair as you can be to all of your employees. They are your best asset and you want to make sure you don’t overlook issues that are forcing them out the door. Retention is a year-round job, so align your strategies with some of these tips to maintain a loyal and long-term workforce. 

Allie Kelly

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