Having a high level of employee turnover is harmful to a business, both mentally and financially.
When an employee leaves, the cost of hiring someone new is substantial.
This is both actual costs such as the recruitment and hiring process, and also the productivity and time costs as you dedicate your time to onboarding a new employee and training them. A well-liked, great employee leaving the business is also damaging to team morale and can leave other employees thinking whether they should follow suit.
In this post, we are going to talk through seven ways you can reduce employee turnover and improve employee retention rates - keep reading to find out what they are.
1. Hire the right people
Sometimes it can be hard to tell from one interview whether someone is the perfect fit for a position and your business. Interviewees are often nervous, and their true personality doesn't shine through.
However, it is critical that you try and decipher whether the candidate will enjoy the work and the workplace culture so you reduce the risk of them quitting early into the job.
This can be done by holding more than one interview so the interviewee is less nervous the second time around, or by getting them to complete a personality test as part of the interview process so you can see whether they are a good fit.
Be clear about what the job will entail and your expectations of a person in this position. This way there is no surprises for the new employee and they'll be less likely to quit.
2. Recognise employees’ achievements
If you don’t recognise and reward your employees’ achievements and successes, they have no motivation to repeat them.
Gamification is an easy strategy to implement that engages and rewards your employees. Gamification can be applied virtually by creating a leader board and awarding badges, or by giving real rewards like an extra day off or a bottle of wine if employees reach a target or goal.
If you’re a start-up or a small business who can’t afford to give monetary rewards or time off, a sincere thank you or even an appreciative email can also go a long way too.
When an employee feels respected and noticed, they will be more likely to stay at your business and you'll have less employee turnover.
3. Get employees' feedback
An exit interview is a great way to find out what caused an employee to quit in the hope of being able to make some improvements.
But why wait until an exit interview to find out what could be improved in your business?
It's a good idea to conduct interviews with your current members of staff to find out what's on their mind and what they think could be changed. It might seem like an unnecessary process if you believe your employees are happy, but it's best to be on the safe side and identify problems early on before your best employee decides to quit.
An anonymous survey is another good way to get feedback from employees, without them having to worry about repercussions if they say something negative. You could set this up yourself, or use software like Peakon to do it for you.
4. Give employees the right metrics and KPIs
If your employees are given achievable and realistic KPIs, they will be much more motivated to reach them.
As with other areas of work, the key to setting metrics is to keep them challenging but not impossible.
It is also important that employees know the KPIs they are working towards, and are aware of their progress. This is why Plecto is such a great tool as it keeps employees on track and also engaged in their work.
It's really important to get your KPIs sorted as if an employee feels uninformed or overwhelmed by their goals, they are going to be more inclined to leave the job.
5. Provide challenging and exciting work
As we mentioned above, employees will work better when they feel challenged by their work.
This doesn't mean challenging in the sense that it's impossible or too difficult, just work that gets them excited to solve and figure out the best solution.
If an employee is bored with their work, they are likely to begin looking elsewhere for another job that motivates and challenges them.
6. Create a positive culture and environment
Workplace culture and environment are really important. The psychological benefits of working in a pleasant environment are substantial and can really affect employees’ attitude.
Fostering a culture that promotes openness and honesty is a great way to ensure a psychologically positive atmosphere, but the physical aspects of your environment also need to be taken into consideration.
Be sure to have areas where employees can take time out from work and places where they can brainstorm or work in teams. For more tips about creating a productive office space, have a read of our recent blog post.
7. Assess your management skills
In our recent blog post, we spoke about the detrimental effects bad management can have on employee engagement.
The famous saying is that 'employees don't quit jobs, they quit managers'. Whilst this isn't always the case, it is definitely something you should bear in mind.
Take time to have an honest conversation with yourself to identify areas in which you could improve and take actionable steps to bettering yourself. No manager is perfect, but you should strive to be the best you possibly can for your employees' well-being and happiness.
Heed our advice above and conduct interviews or anonymous surveys with your employees. Ask questions about management (be sure to make clear to your employees that answers are anonymous) and take note of what employees have to say.
By improving your management style and technique you will have a better chance at retaining great employees and reducing turnover.