13 Tips To Reduce Employee Turnover
Employee turnover is an expensive problem every business owner and manager has to deal with. Very few employees stay with one company for their entire careers. But hanging onto good employees doesn’t have to be difficult. If you consider the things that make you happy in your job—interesting challenges, opportunity for growth, a pleasant work environment and, oh yes, decent compensation—you should be able to figure out how to keep your employees happy and on board. Here are a baker’s dozen tips:
- Hire the best and avoid the rest. Cisco CEO John Chambers said, "A world-class engineer with five peers can out-produce 200 regular engineers." At Yahoo they would rather leave a position open than hire the wrong person. Instead of waiting for people to apply for jobs, top organizations spend time looking for high-caliber people whether they have a job opening or not. It only makes sense: the best people are the best people partially because they love what they do.
- Make training and development routine. Organizations that provide employees with development plans have lower turnover than those that don’t. Even if you don’t have a plan for each employee, you can offer lots of training opportunities, both to improve their skills and cross-train for new skills. It doesn’t have to be expensive.
- Create a career path. Employees that know where they’re going and how to get there are a lot less apt to take off into the unknown.
- Challenge people. Boredom is turnover’s best friend. And nothing is more boring than doing the same thing every day, with the same expectations. People love challenges, especially when they feel they can meet them. Give people the opportunity to say, “I did It.” or “we did it.” But,… (see Tip #5).
- Set attainable goals. Nothing is more debilitating or frustrating than feeling as if you’re expected to accomplish something you know to be impossible. Make sales and production goals achievable.
- Keep people busy. Even if you can’t challenge people all the time, don’t let boredom set in. And just assign busy work, either. Slow times are perfect times for cross training and other productive activities.
- Don’t milk people dry. Sure you need to keep production high, but don’t exceed the limit of what employees can be expected to maintain long term. It’s a false economy, leading to burnout, potential health problems and serious turnover
- Recognize success. It doesn’t have to be “Employee of the Month.” (In fact, sometimes prizes like that create more resentment than satisfaction.) A simple “good work” or “thanks” can make someone’s day. Make a habit of reinforcing good behaviors and performance and you will see more of them.
- Communicate. In nearly every employee satisfaction survey, lack of communication surfaces as complaint number one or two. It’s not enough to publish a monthly corporate newsletter or hold an occasional town hall meeting. Communication needs to happen all the time. Let employees know what the company is planning, where it’s headed, and how it’s doing. It’s their company, too.
- Build trust. No one wants to work for a company they can’t trust. Communication builds trust. Sincerity builds trust. Follow-through builds trust. And trusting your employees helps them trust you back. More trust in an organization leads to lower turnover.
- Make good managers better. Weed out bad ones. Employees work for the managers they report to. A bad or abusive manager can be a turnover virus.
- Provide flexibility. In today’s workplace, flexibility rules. A one-size-fits-all approach has long since lost its effectiveness. Workers will migrate to a company whose benefit packages and schedules help them meet the demands of their lives, whether they are single parents, adults who care for aging parents, older workers, younger workers, part-time workers, or telecommuters.
- Offer competitive pay and benefits. You don’t have to pay exorbitantly. Employees want good pay and raises for doing their jobs well, but extra bonuses such as flex hours, telecommuting, and casual dress codes go a long way toward attracting the right employees and will reduce employee turnover.