Employee Turnover. An issue as old as the first person to hire employees probably. Despite hundreds of years of innovation, unwanted employee turnover remains a big issue for organisations today. What better reason for us to write about 21 simple ways to reduce your turnover rate right away?
#1 Minimize Boredom
Even if your employees are madly in love with their jobs, at some point in their careers they will get (a little) bored. Some of them sooner than others, especially if they are being under-utilised, but they’ll all go through a phase of ennui eventually.
A good way to handle this is by making sure they always have something to do. You want some suggestions? Get them to pick a course they like which will improve not only their personal skills, but is beneficial for the company as well. Another good idea is to have them visit other departments within the organisation. Not only do they get to see what else is out there in terms of activities and jobs, it also allows them to get to know their colleagues better.
#2 Be Flexible
We’ve said it before, the time for 9 to 5 office jobs is over. Millennials might be known as ‘that difficult generation’ of workers, on this one we have to agree with them; flexibility is important. With most people checking their work emails 7 days a week, the idea of employees having to be in an office for a fixed period of time seems completely out of date.
The possibilities you have to add some flexibility to your office policy are endless. Depending on the type of business you’re in and your personal preferences, you can give everyone complete freedom to manage their own working hours, including the location they want to work from. Or, if that is a tad too much, you can start by offering your employees the option to choose one day a week on which they can work from home (or a local coffee bar). Of course there are many other options in-between both ends of the spectrum.
#3 Don’t Overstretch
Asking more than you should from your existing workforce can be tempting, especially in busy times. Doing so is a dangerous thing though, as it leads to burned out people and almost guaranteed turnover.
The remedy here is simple: don’t overtax. Granted, sometimes there is so much going on that you’ll need your employees to do some overtime, it happens. But make sure this doesn’t become a regular thing and have clear rules in place – that are lived by! – on what amount of ‘overtaxing’ is allowed and for how long.
#4 Offer Quirky Benefits
Dare to be different. If you can’t offer employees the best salary in the sector, give them something else. Unusual benefits can often compensate a lower than average pay check, so don’t underestimate them. But offering quirky benefits has other advantages too; it keeps existing employees happy for example. Are you wondering what exactly we’re talking about? Think of an unlimited number of holidays (like Netflix for example), ‘baby cash’ and game time for instance. Here you can find more cool job perks inspiration.
#5 Stay Pleasant
Sure, those high targets you have set for the year need to be reached. Therefore a productive and motivated team is vital. To keep them sharp though, try not to squeeze them like a lemon. Don’t put too much pressure on your employees because it won’t get you the results you’re after. Quite the opposite actually: people get stressed, burn out and eventually leave.
Instead, boost your employees by setting the company’s ambitious goals together with them. Make a game out of it if you like, or a new company tradition, just have some fun! You want to get them in that Apex-zone you know.
#6 Hire Wisely
Hiring the right people is one of the hardest things HR professionals have to do and yet it’s exactly this part of the process that can prevent a lot of unwanted turnover from happening.
Don’t overcomplicate things for yourself and use dedicated HR software tools in your selection process.
Our own preselection tool ‘TalentPitch’, predicts an applicant’s suitability for a certain role by analyzing hundreds of different measuring points. The testresults support you in your decision-making. Here you can read more about automating your selection process, or check the video below:
#7 Onboard with Care
Once a new hire is in, the job is not done, far from it. Many organisations however seem to forget this and completely overlook the onboarding part. Big mistake: the lack of a well-structured onboarding process is one of the main reasons employees often leave shortly after they’ve joined a new company. Onboarding is the honeymoon phase for new employees and therefore an ideal time for employers to drive engagement.
Thanks to HR software, it’s relatively simple to create an automated onboarding program that engages new employees and makes them feel welcome; it’s a good way for them to get familiar with the company culture, colleagues and rules so that they are fully prepared when they start working.
#8 Compensate Correctly
Salary might not be the number one reason for people to leave their job, it still is an important factor. You thus want to make sure your employees’ compensation is in line with the rest of the industry.
Try to collect data on current compensation packages across your field of expertise so you stay up to date. Have at least once a year a salary review, taking the latest market info into account. If you can’t beat the competition in terms of compensation, get creative with benefits, working hours or holidays.
#9 Show Commitment
Employment is a two-way street. If you want your employees to be committed to the company, then you’ll have to start by showing some of your own commitment to them.
A great example of this is Michelin. Instead of making people redundant when things got tough during the crisis of 2008, the company cut back on work hours. When the business began to pick up again, Michelin gave bonus checks to the employees impacted by the crisis measures to thank them for staying with the organisation.
A positive work environment is super important. Recognising and appreciating employees plays an essential role in that, but often organisations forget about this. Show your team you value them and recognise what their doing for the company.
There are several options here, the ‘manual’ one and the ‘automated’ one. The former means you send out a congratulatory email at the successful end of a project, or a monthly memo outlining the achievements of your team. The latter involves the use of engagement software that is designed to reward employees and show their progress.
#11 Cross Train
This one kills several birds with one stone. Staff trained for various roles is more skilled, of higher value to the organisation and less likely to leave. It’s also a good way to battle employee boredom and a fine succession strategy in case an employee does decide to leave. Do we need to say more?
#12 Give Feedback
Very important if you’re hiring millennials, but a crucial factor for employee happiness in any case. Employees want to know how they’re doing, what’s going well, where do they need to improve etc. People need decent feedback, something they can work with.
It’s difficult to overdo it in this case. Monthly feedback sessions are a good start, get each and every one of your staff members to sit together with their manager for about half an hour. More feedback moments are always a plus, if your team desires so of course, just try not to have less than one a month.
#13 Fire Prudently
Few things are worse for a work environment than an employee who doesn’t fit in your company culture. You can try all you want, but a mismatch will cause problems eventually. Even if you have the best preselection process and onboarding program in the world, mistakes – however rare – may happen. The best thing you can do in this scenario is to cut the employee loose. Not a pleasant thing to do for sure, but the right decision for the good of the company.
#14 Give Purpose
Although a recent study by LinkedIn shows that Millennials attach less importance to a job being purpose-driven than was previously assumed, for many (other) people it’s essential to do work that matters.
If you think your employees need ways other than their day-to-day activities to express purpose, then give them some options. A good example are paid charity days on which people can work for an organisation of their choosing.
#15 Stimulate Personal Growth
Have a plan, that’s basically where it comes down to here. Create a career path for every one of your employees so they know exactly where they’re going. Don’t make it too easy for them, challenges can be a good thing, but make sure it’s clear how they get where they want to be.
One way of doing this is by cross training your employees or by getting them to do a course, as mentioned earlier. The regular feedback sessions we spoke about are a very good idea as well. In any case, you want your people to know that they can always come to you with questions regarding their career.
#16 Ask for Input
Now here’s a wild suggestion for you. What about asking your employees what they think of certain matters concerning the company? After all, they’re the ones shedding blood, sweat and tears for the success of the organisation, so the least you can do is consult them on the topic, right? Absolutely. Asking staff members for input gives them a feeling of being appreciated which in turn leads to an increase in employee happiness. We rest our case.
Many things can be said about employee engagement and its importance for a healthy company. Too much for us to even start scratching the surface in this post. What we can say though, is that employee engagement is a highly important factor in retaining your people. It is something that should be a top priority on your list and it’s something that needs continuous work.
Most of the things we have mentioned earlier lead to an increased engagement. Think of the onboarding process, the outlining of a personal career path and a rewards system for example.
#18 Communication is Key
Far too often still, the communication within an organisation is limited to a monthly newsletter and a quarterly town hall. This is why, when asked, many unsatisfied employees complain about a lack of communication.
Communication needs to be embedded in every part of your company, it needs to be a constant, natural thing. Which form of communication you want to use is entirely up to you, preferably you choose many different ones, as long as you make sure you employ them extensively.
#19 Encourage Innovation
Wanting to be innovative is a good thing. Encouraging your people to come up with new, cutting-edge ways of getting the business one step ahead of the competition is even better. It will motivate them and keep them excited about the work they’re doing.
To stimulate innovation within your organisation and generate new ideas you can organise a hackathon for example. If you’re having a slightly bigger budget you could even think of setting up an internal incubator.
#20 Foster Team Spirit
It’s just as important to set team goals (and rewards!) as it is to set goals for every individual employee. Having collective objectives boosts the team spirit and fuels collaboration between colleagues. Make a competition out of it and give a reward when the goals you have set are reached.
Think of customer satisfaction for example. You can set a target for the entire company saying you want to be the number 1 in terms of customer satisfaction across your industry. Every department has to play its part for this to happen. If you make it to number one, reward all your employees.
#21 Make Employee Happiness Top Priority
Save the best for last as they say. First of all, let us be clear here, employee happiness should be your absolute number one priority. Why didn’t we start with it then? Because all of the things we’ve mentioned in this post – and many more for that matter – contribute to employee happiness. As floaty as it may sound, whether or not your people are happy in their jobs is a key contributor to job satisfaction and absenteeism among other things. Happy employees are proven to be more productive, more engaged and indeed, less likely to leave a company. So our final advice is very simple really: Keep them happy!
There we have it: 21 ways to reduce employee turnover. You can either cherry pick the ones you think are easy for you to implement, or you can try and integrate all of them. No need to tell you which option we think is best…