Turnover, generally speaking, is a negative phenomenon. Of course, there are times and situations when changes become necessary and it’s important to be able to recognize these cases as well. However, as a whole, turnover is a drain on your company’s resources.
Recruitment and training take time and money. If you lose an employee, you’ve essentially lost an investment. If you lose a really good employee… well, it’s difficult to measure the fallout from such an unfortunate event. You may look back years from now, wishing one specific member of your team had been inspired enough to stick with you.
Preventing these kinds of situations is more about attitude and culture than anything else, but here are a few actionable tips that will set you on the right path to creating a work environment and culture that makes employees want to stay:
Create an employee retention strategy
They say the first step to solving a problem is recognizing there is one. The same is true with employee retention. Formulate a strategy and revisit it periodically to understand what’s working in your organization specifically (each is different) and what’s not. For some, perks like opportunities to attend conferences might be a good option. For others, the chance to rotate into other positions temporarily could be more effective.
While you don’t want employee retention to take up all of your time and energy, your strategy should go beyond offering competitive salaries; everyone does that. Take the time to dig a little bit deeper and think about what would make your company a great place to work. Without any strategy at all, you’ll have no way of understanding what makes employees leave and how best to prevent it from happening in the future.
Speaking of what makes your company a great place to work, employer branding is one of the most effective methods of employee retention. That’s right, employer branding isn’t only beneficial in attracting new employees from the outside, it’s also instrumental in maintaining a satisfied workforce at all times.
How? In order to build a persona for your company as a great workplace, you actually have to turn it into a great workplace. One of the most important things to keep in mind is to make sure the values of your company are reflected in the day-to-day lives and activities of your employees. The more they feel this level of integrity within your organization, the better they will feel about working there.
Your current employees become your most valuable ambassadors in employer branding, telling those around them what a great work environment they get to enjoy. In fact, if you have a high turnover rate, you either aren’t engaged in employer branding at all, or you’re just doing it wrong.
A large part of successful and meaningful human interaction and relationships in general is proper communication. For employers, that means forging an open and friendly channel of communication with employees. It can be hard to find the balance between intimate friendship between employer and employee and cold distance and authority, and every organization is different, but when in doubt, it’s best to err on the side of openness and honesty.
This means not being afraid to be direct with employees. Hold personal meetings with each periodically and discuss how they feel about their job and the company. Make it clear from the start that such a conversation isn’t a trap of any kind. Put them at ease and try to get their honest opinions. This could provide you with valuable insights while increasing their personal bond to you and the company.
Match company growth with personal growth
But employees don’t just need to know that you value their presence, they also want to derive some value for themselves beyond a paycheck. Especially for in-demand professions and positions, a paycheck alone is unlikely to keep employees around for long, and these are precisely the positions where you don’t want to see high turnover rates.
That means providing them with an opportunity for personal growth as the company grows. Most will sit through a period of difficulty for the business (at least for a time), but if the company is growing and none of that growth trickles down to their own personal experience, that’s a recipe for frustration. Offer promotion opportunities, seminars and be flexible with vacation time so they can take time to pursue other interests outside of work.
There is no smoking gun to avoid turnover entirely; the personal experiences and needs of employees and the unique characteristics of each company are too varied to come up with a one-size-fits-all solution, but by making a concerted effort and following the principles of openness, you’re sure to gain a loyal team to build off of.
We’re committed to leaving organizations and their people in a truly better place –
more changeable, more engaged and better equipped for creating a better future.