How to Effectively Reduce Employee Turnover

In a tight labor market, characterized by both low unemployment and increased mobility for workers, retention becomes the main method of building and maintaining a highly productive staff. If you can't keep your best employees, HR becomes little more than a treadmill engine.

And that's the best-case scenario. The worst-case scenario includes a steady decline in your team’s overall talent level, marked by near continuous recruitment, complete with all the annoyance and distraction that entails.

In short: You enter complete business purgatory.

With that in mind, you need to make retention a key priority. Tamping down turnover helps you maintain continuity and allows you to focus on longer-term growth initiatives.

Here are a few simple steps you can take to reduce employee turnover:

Tighten Qualifications

Some turnover problems stem from the simple mistake of hiring underqualified people. If you find you are letting people go early in their tenures because they can't fulfill the basic tasks of the position, you have probably set your qualification threshold too low. 

To reduce employee turnover, make sure you start with candidates well-positioned for success. Improve your ability to select the right people by tightening your qualification requirements. You can take this a step further by investing in more sophisticated techniques, like behavior-based testing and competency screening.

Improve Training and Onboarding

If you don't provide incoming employees with adequate training, their performance will seem subpar. It won't be their fault, but it will be difficult to discern what failures result from poor training and what failures stem from the employee's inherent liabilities. You'll end up unnecessarily throwing away otherwise promising employees.

Poor training can also drive employees to quit prematurely. If they don’t feel ready for their job or the tasks seem too difficult for them to perform, the stress might drive them to resign before truly realizing their potential.

Review your training procedures and see if they need updating. Encourage feedback from new employees to improve the process (and give them an opportunity to vent some frustration). Providing extensive training and encouraging your newcomers along the way can lead to a longer, more productive tenure.

Communication and Respect

By making employees feel like important members of the company family, you encourage the kind of connections that keep people tied to a position for a long time. The key to this process is communication.

Let workers know what's happening with the company. Share long-term strategies and indicate that each employee has a place in the expected success of the firm. People will feel invested in the future, and their career prospects are tied in with the prospects for the company.

The willingness to communicate is only one piece of the puzzle. How you communicate plays a role in retention as well. Frame all feedback in a constructive and supportive manner. Show respect. The simple act of making employees feel valued can avoid unnecessary departures.

Invest in Culture

People can overlook a lot of smaller issues if they feel comfortable in a position. If they wake up each morning energized and inspired, the workday represents an opportunity rather than a chore. Employees won’t feel tempted to look elsewhere, because they feel fulfilled by their current position.

That's the job of culture.

Invest resources in building a worthwhile culture. The expense may not seem worth it at times, but your increased retention will allow you to save on recruitment costs. The money used for culture building will eventually help fund the bottom line.

Keeping employees long term starts with having the right employees in the first place. A strong staffing firm, such as United Personnel, will make sure you have the kind of workers who can help you thrive well into the future.

Contact United Personnel today to find out more.