A high staff turnover rate can seem like an isolated issue, but failing to implement a proper talent management system is actually an insidious and expensive problem. According to some of the more conservative estimates, it can cost as much as three times an employee’s annual salary to replace staff members when they leave. And unfortunately, this is not a unique situation. Consider the average staff turnover rate within the first 45 days of employment; According to Forbes, up to 20% of employees leave a position before the two-month mark.
Now, of course there are industries and businesses with extremely high staff turnover rates which skew the numbers for others, but it’s still a huge risk that you are taking every time you hire an employee. That’s why it’s always the right time to consider strategies to implement to reduce your own turnover. Here are some simple yet effective tips for doing so:
It’s Not All About the Money, but …
Failing to reward your employees through the traditional forms of remuneration is not the basis of absolutely everything, but if you do not offer competitive rates, you are fighting a losing battle.
Money is not the main motivator for most employees, but being taken advantage of will lead very quickly to disgruntlement and, ultimately, departure. See what your competitors are offering, and make sure that you are offering a similar package. If you are not, there must be very good reasons why, and they must be effectively communicated. Make sure you’ve also weighed the cost of paying your employees more with the cost that comes with an increased staff turnover rate.
Work/Life Balance Really Matters
Perhaps even more valuable to employees these days than cold, hard numbers, are another kind of cold, hard numbers: those which signify how much time they spend at work in relation to how much time they spend outside of work.
Employees will actually work more effectively and with a great deal more morale if they feel that these numbers are not unfairly skewed in the favor of work. Yes, when the situation demands it, they will work longer hours if required, but in general, respect the boundaries between work and life, don’t be reluctant to grant days off when required and even offer them unexpectedly when you feel able to do it. Again, it’s usually cheaper to work on reducing high staff turnover rates rather than hiring and onboarding less experienced workers.
It’s About the Carrot as Much as the Stick
Employees need to feel valued, not just chastised when they have made a mistake. Many employees cite this imbalance as a reason why they feel under-appreciated at work, so do not make this error of judgment.
“Feedback is an essential tool for employees, but make sure it is positive as well as negative. Some bosses see feedback as an opportunity to criticize, and this fundamentally misses the point,” warns Ashleigh Charters, an HR manager at Academized.
When you see that your employees are doing good, tell them so. Make sure that you are focusing on all of your employees. Good feedback is one of the best incentives there is because people want to know that they are doing good.
Even when you feel like they have made a mistake, you can turn that negative comment into something positive. For instance, you can tell them that what they did was good but that it might be better or more effective if they just corrected something. This is probably one of the cheapest and easiest ways to reduce your business’ staff turnover rate.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate (and Listen)
Speaking of feedback, insufficient communication levels with employees will quickly lead to disillusionment. Keep employees in the loop about every conceivable detail, no matter how big or small (unless the situation requires a high level of discretion). Remember that growth can only occur in this type of communicative environment and that communication goes both ways.
Letting them know about things that are happening in the company can be a motivational factor. They will feel important and like they are doing things for more reasons, higher reasons than just because.
You can also listen to their ideas. Employees often have a better vision of what may help the company do better, even if it’s just a small segment. They may also know what can help them be more productive and efficient.
Keep an open-door policy in your office and listen to every need that your employees may have. You can even incentivize good ideas and tell them when you implement something that they have thought off. Employees are less likely to leave a good team when they feel that they are involved.
Workers want to be upskilled — that is a fact. Failing to do so will lead the employee to quickly realize that in order to get the required skills, they will need to go elsewhere. Make clear training and development plans for staff immediately upon their arrival, and never fail to review and update these plans.
Recognize which employees are ready for the transition. You will be able to recognize them by simply observing who is doing their best at their current job and who can take on more responsibilities. You can also find these employees by learning more about them and finding out if they have any passions or if they have any special skills that you may not know about.
These interests or special skills may align with your company’s needs so you can make use of that with proper training.
Provide training seminars and courses or special programs at a university for talented employees. This will let them know that you appreciate them and that you are willing to provide them new opportunities. Otherwise, you will be spending a comparable amount of resources training your employee’s replacement for the same amount of work you were receiving before.
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Offer Opportunities for Advancement
Employees need a career path. Hitting a ceiling is an immensely frustrating feeling, and most employees won’t stick around after that. You need to map out clearly and early where employees can go if they work hard and apply themselves in the right way. If you don’t, they will quickly recognize that their career path lies elsewhere.
Mentoring employees — both officially and unofficially — will also contribute to their sense of worth. Mentoring also, of course, has the added benefit of ingraining company culture in an effective way. Don’t make the mistake of failing to recognize the worth of a mentoring scheme.
You can mentor the employees that you see are making a big difference and standing out in the office, but you may also want to pay some attention to some of the more invisible employees that could have great skills.
Be a figure that resembles a professor and always take the chance to teach the whole team something. This may pull some shy people out of their shadow and reduce their staff turnover rate by addressing those who would leave due to lack of attention.
Make Work a Fun Environment
“Employers sometimes forget how much time staff spend in their place of work. If that is not a fun and happy place to be, of course they will leave,” warns Derek Smallwood, a hiring consultant at Paper Fellows.
There is little more to add to that.
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Hire the Right People
Most of the factors on this list will not be relevant if you fundamentally fail to recruit the right person for the role. If they are over-skilled, they won’t feel challenged, and if they are under-skilled, they will quickly feel overwhelmed. If they are simply the wrong personality to fit into your company culture, then no one will be happy. Put the right recruitment methods in place, ask the right questions, and your staff turnover rate will immediately improve.
Get everything right on this list and you are offering the full package. That’s what attracts and retains employees better than anything else. For more help with choosing the tools you can use to improve your staff retention, check out our comparison reports that list the top HR software, recruiting and talent management systems (TMS).