Seven Steps to Reduce Staff Turnover

Reduce Staff Turnover

High staff turnover can damage productivity in any organisation though there are several steps every company can take to reduce staff turnover. Here’s great{with}talent‘s list.

How to Reduce Staff Turnover

Organisations incur considerable costs when staff turnover becomes too high; when employees with key skills and talent leave or when newcomers leave early, representing an investment cost with no dividend.

All of these problems will be exacerbated within a more ‘candidate-driven’ market. This means a job market characterised by historically low levels of unemployment, job vacancies across the board on the rise and many organisations reportedly suffering from skills shortages. This is exactly the market situation we find ourselves in today.

Seven Steps to Reduce Staff Turnover

1. Understand What Employee Commitment Actually Is

Effective staff retention strategies require an understanding of employee commitment.The most basic point is that staff commitment (or not) is the result of an interaction between the individual and their workplace.

It requires an understanding of what makes the individual tick, together with an assessment of the extent to which the organisation has accommodated these

Terms such as ‘culture-fit’, ‘value-match’, ‘expectations gap’ and ‘the psychological contract’ all have as their cornerstone the idea of an interaction between individual need and environmental.

Learn The Twelve Factors of Employee Commitment.

2. Accurate Diagnosis

Use this understanding to accurately diagnose the issues surrounding employee commitment and staff turnover within your organisation.

What do your employees feel is most important to them to maintain their commitment to you as an employer? How do these factors vary across different demographics (e.g. age, gender, education level) or organisational variables (e.g. department, job type, level of performance)? And how good are you at satisfying these different priority sets?

Anonymous data collection techniques can provide you with this valuable diagnostic data across large numbers of employees.

Find out about Employee Engagement Surveys.

3. Choose and Design Appropriate Interventions

Firstly, identify ‘quick wins’ on the basis of the data you have collected. These will include simple things that should be cost effective and easy to implement.

Secondly, identify those issues where you know from your diagnosis that this will improve staff retention and consider whether or not you will be able to improve the situation.

Basically there are two ways to effect change: (1) alter something to do with the working environment or job, or (2) change something to do with your employees.

For example, if the problem is boredom due to a lack of interest or variety due to the intrinsic nature of the job, it may be wise to think about adapting your recruitment process to identify individuals who actually prefer following rules and like the certainty of knowing what each working day will bring. However, it may also be possible to adapt the job to afford more interest and variety, perhaps by a job rotation policy or using vertical job-loading principles (e.g. removing some controls and increasing accountability).

The important thing is to understand that there is no cure-all panacea; rather it is essential each organisation researches and understands their people, culture and working constraints before arriving at a sensible employee retention strategy.

4. Don’t Ignore What You Are Doing Well

If you carry out stage (2) correctly, you will also understand the key strengths of your organisation in terms of keeping employees committed.

Don’t let these slip, emphasise them for internal morale-building and external recruitment. This will allow you to portray an honest yet competitive image of
your organisation and what you can offer employees – a crucial step for meeting expectations and building trust.

5. Monitor the Situation Continuously

Collecting data on an ongoing basis will allow you to monitor for two critical things. Firstly, whether the steps you have put in place had the desired effect.

Secondly, whether any other issues crept into the picture. Again, this depends on collecting anonymous and accurate information by asking your employees (e.g. new starter questionnaires, employee and exit surveys).

Read Be Honest with Potential Employees.

6. Allocate Responsibility for Employee Retention

Within the vast majority of organisations, responsibility for staff retention tends to slip through the cracks. Just as there are HR teams and individuals responsible for recruitment, performance management and training, make sure that retention is similarly accounted for.

Functionally this responsibility should include tracking employee turnover patterns, monitoring spikes and shifts and using data to inform staff retention strategies.

Evidently employee retention does not exist in a bubble, and has clear links with other aspects of HR strategy which need to be taken into account.

7. And Finally, Invest in a Staff Retention Budget!

Despite the obvious monetary gains from maintaining a committed and motivated workforce (reduced replacement costs,enhanced performance), most HR approaches remain one-sided.

Relatively massive budgets are put aside for the attraction, recruitment, and selection processes, whereas employee development and staff retention strategies generally receive a fraction of the attention.

In some instances this has resulted in paradoxical situations where massive recruitment infrastructures exist primarily to replace exiting employees, when
a far more sensible strategy would be to invest across the employee life-cycle, avoiding the ‘porous bucket’ situation.

Contact great{with}talent and find out more about their TalentEngage employee engagement surveys.


(Main image from Search Office Space)

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