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Employee Turnover: Strategies to Retain Employees

Updated: Dec 7, 2022

Human resource managers and administrators should place a high priority on finding effective ways to keep their current staff members from leaving.

In addition to reducing expenses, bolstering company culture, and creating a more productive and content staff, increased retention can also improve morale among employees. Leaders and human resources professionals may benefit from reading up on strategies for keeping their best staff around.

This article will provide you with the background you need to understand the significance of employee retention, the techniques you can implement to keep your best workers, and some additional pointers as you work to strengthen your team.


These are the 7 most common causes of employee turnover.

It's no secret that bringing on new staff and investing in their education is an expensive venture. The cost of orienting and training a new employee is close to $2,000. If things don't work out, the situation becomes much more dire: approximately $11 billion is lost every year due to staff turnover.

However, why do people decide to leave their current employment? The following are, statistically, the most common explanations:

Toxic culture: Over thirty percent of respondents in a 2022 study of one thousand U.S. workers who left their jobs that year cited the company's poisonous culture as the main reason they decided to leave. Discrimination, hostile language, a lack of open lines of communication, and sexual harassment have no place in any workplace that values its workers and works to keep them.

Issues with management: Sixty percent of respondents in this 2021 study of over 2,000 workers across 15+ industries said that a poor manager was to blame for their intention to leave their jobs within the following year.

Lack of gratitude: People "drop out" when they don't feel respected. Sixty-five percent or more of workers say they would leave if they felt their efforts were being ignored.

Low pay: Over 60% of workers surveyed by the Pew Research Center said inadequate compensation was a major factor in their decision to leave their positions in 2021. As the cost of living continues to rise, workers are actively seeking better compensation and perks.

Experiencing burnout: When resources are scarce and the stakes are high, people are more likely to fail to strike a healthy work-life balance. They may depart to find less stressful employment elsewhere. Many members of Generation Z and the Millennial generation are leaving the workforce early due to burnout.

Lack of flexibility: In the year 2020, when the majority of the world moved online, many people discovered that they didn't need to be physically present at their workplace every day. Employees are more likely to resign than ever before because their employers don't offer enough remote work or scheduling options.

Lack of career advancement opportunities: Over 60% of working adults in the United States cited a lack of career advancement opportunities as the primary reason they left their job in a 2021 survey. People prefer to believe that there is room for advancement in their current field of work.

Related: 10 Warning Signs of Employee Burnout & How to Prevent It

Why it's crucial to retain employees?

A solid team: Consistent employee retention enables managers and supervisors to put their money where their people are, which ultimately leads to a more capable and motivated staff. Long-term employees are valuable to a company because they are willing to take on additional responsibility, advance their careers, and contribute to the firm's success.

Productivity gains: Instead of spending time recruiting and training new workers, managers and supervisors may concentrate on finding ways to make existing staff more productive. Employees who stay put have clarity about their goals and the means by which they can be attained. Given their established expertise and training, they are well-positioned for promotion.

Raised spirits: Strategies for keeping staff around work to boost morale by making workers more satisfied with their jobs. When workers are content in their jobs, they are more likely to contribute to the success of the organization and work toward its goals.

Saving money: Investing in an employee's professional growth is more cost-effective than having to replace them. Think about providing your present staff with a stipend to further their education, onsite training, conference opportunities, and/or promotions and/or additional bonuses and perks.

Related: 17 Effective Ways for Building Trust in the Workplace

How to retain an employee

An efficient employee retention plan is a necessary first step for retaining more high-performing workers internally:

Successful onboarding procedures

The first day of work is crucial for any new employee. It's important for new employees to feel welcomed, respected, and well-informed from the very beginning of their employment.

An efficient onboarding procedure could consist of a corporate overview presentation, an in-depth team introduction, a team lunch, and a meet-and-greet with the CEO.

The goal is to get the new worker fully integrated into the team as soon as possible so that they may start feeling like they belong there and are invested in their work.

Capitalize on their advantages.

Recognizing an employee's abilities and providing them with opportunities to shine is essential.

To avoid the negative reinforcement that comes from focusing on fixing deficiencies or remaining silent, it's best to play to those strengths instead.

By playing to an employee's skillset, managers may boost productivity, morale, and engagement.

Collaborate with a mentor.

The process of assigning a mentor to a new employee can begin during the orientation phase. It's a nice gesture that shows new hires you care about them and want them to feel comfortable reaching out for support.

New hires aren't the only ones who could benefit from a mentor. Mentoring is beneficial for both parties involved, as the mentee gains insight and the mentor gains a supportive partner.

Respect the efforts of your staff.

Despite how obvious it may be, it's crucial to reward the efforts of your staff. When employees are appreciated for their efforts, they become invested in the success of the organization.

In addition to monetary bonuses, high-performing staff could be honored with a party, public recognition at a business meeting or presentation, or a lunch with the firm's CEO.

Related: Vision Statement: What is it Why is it Absolutely Important?

Accept the culture of working from home

You should join the growing number of companies that value remote workers if you haven't already. Employees are more likely to be productive and content with their jobs when given the option to work remotely, whether that's part-time or full-time.

They may stay with you despite life circumstances (such as a spouse moving for a career) or competing possibilities by reducing the tension between their personal and professional lives.

Recruit only A-listers

The process of retaining employees begins with the hiring phase. Selecting "A-players" (the top candidates) up front is crucial.

A-players have the right mix of experience, talent, and character; they are responsible adults who see the importance of working together and are eager to join forces with those who share their passion and enthusiasm.

A-players may quit if they are managing or delegating work to people they believe aren't performing to their own standards, therefore it's important to invest in hiring high talent across the board even if it's costly in the short term.

Motivate a healthy work-life balance

When workers have enough time and energy for both their professional and personal lives, they have achieved a healthy work-life balance. In recent years, this feature has gained considerable significance among the workforce. By allowing workers more control over when and how they get their job done, you may help them strike a better work-life balance.

You might let workers come in late to make up time if they need to depart early for an appointment. Allow workers to telecommute if at all practicable.

The option to work from home once in a while can be helpful for employees in a number of situations, including those who are sick but able to work and those who have a lengthy commute.

Facilitating a healthy work-life balance demonstrates concern for employees' happiness and health. If people believe their manager values them, they are more likely to remain with the organization.

Related: 5 Tips on How to Prevent Burnout with the "Quiet Quitter" Tactics

Create outstanding leaders.

We've all heard some version of the old adage, "Employees don't leave their jobs, they leave their supervisors." Even if the saying isn't always accurate, it does highlight how much of an issue poor management can be in terms of keeping good employees.

Every manager needs coaching and communication skills training. Managers play a crucial role in addressing staff concerns since they act as a bridge between the executive suite and lower-level workers. Top performers should be encouraged by management through individual and team coaching.

Create realistic goals for the future.

Employees are less likely to be satisfied with their jobs when they lack clarity over their responsibilities or when the goals themselves are continuously shifting.

It's crucial to communicate the scope of work and the timeframe within which it must be completed. In this approach, workers may prevent stress, organize their workload, prioritize their responsibilities, and raise any complaints they may have in a timely manner.

Related: What Makes a Great Manager?

Foster a climate where mistakes are celebrated

It's ironic that most businesses struggle with innovation because they don't have a culture of learning from mistakes. Taking risks and ensuring staff has nothing to fear from a negative result are both necessary if you want to keep highly creative, bright people.

People are more inclined to stick around on your team and provide valuable ideas when they believe they have the freedom to try new things and grow professionally.

Build a culture based on shared values

Building a corporate culture on humanistic principles such as trust, transparency, and happiness might help keep employees from leaving; these ideals should be integrated into day-to-day activities, not just envisioned by management.

Whole Foods, for instance, shook up the hierarchical grocery store paradigm by encouraging bottom-up, consensus-based decision making at the store and team levels.

The company has a market-leading employee retention rate because workers are given opportunities to contribute to higher-level decision-making processes and are encouraged to "be their own person" by dressing casually and displaying visible body modifications such as tattoos, piercings, and hair dye.

Establish reliability by delegating more work.

When you give workers more to do, you boost their sense of purpose and loyalty to the company, both of which contribute to their longevity there.

The well-known digital agency Big Spaceship provides some interesting viewpoints. Workers at Big Spaceship are expected to act independently as specialists in their fields.

This encourages employees to take charge of their job and grow as individuals, which in turn improves teamwork and makes a positive impact on the bottom line.

Convene bonding exercises for the group.

There is no shortage of poorly executed team building exercises, but there is little doubt that they may help new and veteran employees work together more effectively by breaking down boundaries.

Team members that work well together as a unit are more likely to feel a strong emotional connection to their jobs, and this in turn improves team performance and satisfaction.

Bar or restaurant visits, group cooking classes, karaoke, escape rooms, and community service projects like gardening and volunteer work are all great examples of simple team-building activities.

Promotions and small rewards should be given out regularly.

Regular wage raises and promotions are a great way to show appreciation for hard work year after year. Top performers want opportunities to advance in their careers, and they will remain loyal to your company if they feel they can do so while working for you.

Involve workers in the decision-making process

By giving workers a voice in crucial business decisions, employers can demonstrate their respect for and confidence in their workers' abilities. Making decisions in private, on the other hand, alienates management from staff and makes them wonder why they bother working for the company.

Retaining top talent requires establishing a transparent and responsible decision-making structure.

Spend money on education and growth

A major motivator for employee turnover is dissatisfaction with professional development opportunities.

According to the 2018 Workplace Development Report from LinkedIn Learning, if an employer made an investment in their employees' careers, 93% of those workers would remain with the company for longer.

That's why it's crucial to allocate resources annually and map out a strategic plan for staff education and growth. You might also put money into mentorship programs in which star workers receive individualized guidance from upper management in order to improve their abilities and pave the way for career growth within the company.

Communicate your principles and goals to your staff

Employees often labor in isolation, with no awareness of the company's larger strategic goals. You need to be able to articulate your goals and why you're doing what you're doing, and your principles should reflect a social conscience and a desire to do good in the world.

Communicating the company's long-term goals and encouraging staff participation in their achievement gives everyone involved a sense of purpose. Improved productivity and teamwork are further benefits.

Provide comfort and safety

Workers are more likely to remain employed if they have a sense of stability in their jobs. Part of this is creating a workplace where people feel safe and valued.

This could be in the shape of a compassionate fund to help employees in times of need, or it could be in the form of extensive parental and maternal leave.

Instead of just doing exit interviews, you might also ask employees why they chose to work for your firm, what keeps them there, what they would alter, and what would make them stay longer (thus the name "stay interviews").

Recommended Book: Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek

Honor holidays and festivals

Employees will feel appreciated if their birthdays and work anniversaries are recognized, even if just in a little way.

In the event that a large festival is taking place in town, and especially if it is in the area where your business is located, you should encourage your staff to take some time off to attend.

It's crucial that workers (especially those from different cultural backgrounds) are able to spend time with their loved ones during holidays and other significant occasions.

Provide supplementary advantages

Providing health insurance is a critical retention strategy, but other benefits such as life insurance and a 401(k) are also valuable.

In addition to these necessities, employees should be offered other advantages, such as paid time off without restriction, financial aid for further education, and even luxury items like gym memberships and spa gift certificates.

Improve Workplace Technology

An organization's lack of investment in new hardware and software is a double-edged sword: it slows down production, and it sends a message that it doesn't care about staying competitive or helping you perform your best work with as little distraction as possible.

Putting money on cutting-edge hardware and software demonstrates a dedication to the future and a concern for the well-being of your business and its employees.

Allow for some leeway in your work schedule

You shouldn't force your employees to work on a 9-to-5 schedule if their job doesn't necessitate it. Reduce absenteeism and tardiness while boosting morale and employee loyalty by adopting a more flexible work schedule.

You can show that you care about your employees' work-life balance by allowing them to start work early or late to avoid rush hour commutes or by allowing them to work from home when other life obligations arise (such as taking care of a sick child).

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