High employee turnover is a costly problem for businesses. Not only does the actual process of losing staff and then finding, hiring and training replacements cost money but it decreases productivity.
Long term staff are better for a business as they are fully trained, have developed working relationships with clients and other staff and most importantly – know what they are doing. Hiring new staff can be risky as no matter how well you vet applicants, bad employees do slip through the net. This can be damaging to productivity and the trust of clients. You also don’t want staff leaving and taking possible trade secrets or clients with them!
Despite all of this many companies do have high employee turn over so here are 5 Top Tips for reducing it.
- Think before you hire
- Create a pleasant working environment
- Balance workloads
- Reward employees
- Conduct exit interviews
Are you listening to your staff? Here are some Active Listening Tips to help you!
Think before you hire
The number one reason for losing employees is because businesses haven’t taken enough care when hiring them. Fully vet every applicant with multiple interviews and make sure they fit into your business. Make sure you follow up references and scour their work history. If they haven’t lasted very long at any other companies why would they stick around at yours?
Find out why they left their previous position and make sure you can offer what they want from a job. If an employee left a previous job because of salary, working hours or workload make sure you can address those issues yourself or it won’t be long before they leave your business too.
Create a pleasant working environment
Nobody wants to work in a cold, unwelcoming workplace so allow your employees some freedom so that they feel comfortable at work. Simple and cheap solutions can provide your employees with a pleasant atmosphere that they enjoy working in. Comfortable seating and temperature are a good start – without these basics employees can become restless and unproductive.
Free tea and coffee is an incentive to keep employees happy – but make sure they can drink at their desks so that there aren’t frequent tea breaks.
Do provide a break area for employees to enjoy their lunch. Nobody wants to eat at their desk and but at the same time most can’t afford to eat lunch in a cafe every day. A lunch room provides an area for staff to have breaks away from their work without feeling like they have to leave the office. Break rooms are also good for employee relationships as it gives them a chance to talk about non-work related subjects.
Consider allowing staff to personalise their immediate workspace. Subtle allowances such as these give employees the impression they belong at a company and aren’t easily replaced.
If implementing these tips it is important to get the comfort/work place balance right. An over relaxed employee is an unproductive employee. It is still a work place and not home.
Many employees leave jobs due to problems with their workload. This can go two ways – if you challenge staff too much and demand more work that they can provide they will become disillusioned with the job, stressed and feel unappreciated for what they are doing. Leaving staff with too much work often means they’re working more hours than they’re paid for leaving you with overworked, disgruntled staff. Despite working longer hours, overworked staff are actually less productive as they aren’t functioning at 100%.
In the other direction, employees with a small, unchallenging workload will become bored in their jobs and look elsewhere for challenges. It is important to schedule regular feedback to make sure staff have a balanced workload that is both motivating but not impossible.
For more tips on motivating employees see Top Ten Tips for Motivating Your Team.
Everybody wants to be appreciated for the work they put in. The obvious way to show this is through high salaries but that’s not the only option. Competitive salaries are necessary for keeping staff but performance-related bonuses are also important.
Performance based rewards make employees feel valued and encourages them to perform. If an employee receives an immediate reward for working hard they are likely to work hard all the time.
Performance bonuses also have the added incentive of only benefiting the best employees – the ones you want to keep. A staff member will leave if they feel they’re putting in more effort than another employee on the same salary as they will feel unappreciated. This will also encourage the unmotivated staff to compete with those receiving rewards.
The rewards don’t necessarily have to be monetary – employee of the month is a long standing tradition of showing staff their value without emptying the pockets.
Conduct Exit Interviews
Although it is too late to stop the employee leaving, an exit interview allows you to find out why they are so that you can make changes to stop future employees leaving. Examples of questions you could ask (as well as the obvious ones) are:
- How long have they been looking to leave?
- Do they feel the organisation could have offered them the position they require?
- How often were their performance and workload reviews? Did they find them useful?
- What improvements could be made to the organisation to increase employee satisfaction?
Everything should be done to ensure employee satisfaction without compromising productivity. Create a comfortable working environment with the emphasis on working. Use feedback from employees to consider changes they feel are necessary while ensuring they realise that hard work produces rewards. Motivation is key – happy, busy workers stay.
Have you got any tips to add to this list? How have you managed employee turnover in the past?
- How To Best Motivate Your Employees
- Employee Incentives to Motivate Staff
- 4 Tested Ways To Increase Employee Productivity
- The Manager’s Role in Performance Appraisals
- How to Deal with Poor Performance