With the job market continually shifting – it seems like it’s shifting faster and faster – you need to know how to reduce employee turnover so your company can be strong. Retaining employees is crucial for your business. You cannot grow if you are constantly re-hiring and re-training employees. More importantly, employees leaving is indicative of a problem. Why are they leaving? High turnover is a sign that you need to change your business or lose out entirely.
How to attract employees is hard enough, and you’ve attracted several to your business. Now your problem becomes how to retain your best employees. Sometimes it seems like retaining any employees is a problem!
Fortunately for you, we are here to help with problems in these areas. In this article, we will take a look at some hard statistics on why employees leave, go into some data on what they want from employers, and then discuss expert strategies you can use to reduce employee turnover and build your best business.
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Start with Knowledge
Want to know how to be an attractive employer to job hunters? The best information will give you the best results. You need to know why your employees might want to leave, as well as how to prevent it. This starts with open communication. Make sure that your employees feel comfortable talking to you, that they feel heard, and that you have developed unintrusive ways to collect feedback and information. Many companies use suggestion boxes, but you also need an effective, understanding management style that makes your employees feel valued and understood, and like you will work with them instead of just bossing them around. The more you know, the better your chances are of retaining employees. So, keep the lines of communication open and clean.
Also pay attention to cues. If you’ve lost employees, find out why. You can ask why they chose to leave, of course, but also look for any circumstantial changes that proceeded their departure. Did you change or implement a policy at work? Did you pass them over for promotion? What other factors might have influenced their decision to leave?
All of this can be gathered during a clear exit process. As much attention should be paid to your exit process as onboarding, since you can glean information as to why exactly the employee is leaving, anything that might prevent other employees leaving, and generally allow employees to leave on good terms with your company.
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Employee Turnover Rates Stats - Over Time and By Occupation
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has a statistic they call “separation rate,” which is a fancy way of saying, “how often employees walked out the door.” The US BLS has put that rate at 47.2%, representing a recent climb from 43.3%.
One look at this trend should be a cause for concern for any employer. To create your best business, your company must buck this trend – you need to know why employees leave and how to counteract, or better yet, prevent their leaving.
(number of total separations during the entire year as a percent of annual average employment)
Why Do Employees Leave?
So, what is it exactly that makes an employee quit? You must answer this question because you cannot possibly take any action to solve turnover otherwise. Without knowing your employees’ potential reasons for leaving, how can you correct any of them?
It goes without saying that employees want a good wage. This seems obvious, and we know it’s frustrating to hear. We understand that there are budgets to consider, profit margins to take into account, and whether you are reading this from the HR department, or from the office of an entrepreneur or business owner, we know that you might feel this option is off the table.
Still, the cost of living is going up, inflation creates financial crises for your employees, and they often feel that they have no choice but to seek employment within a certain salary range. This need for capital can be compounded by having a family or having taken on debt from a post-secondary educational institution to achieve a degree necessary for working in the first place.
So, ultimately, while we understand you might not want to hear this, it needs to be said that employees want good, fair, equal compensation.
Employees often cite dishonesty as a reason for leaving a company. People want to know they are working for somebody with integrity. Managers, executives, and the company’s business practices should be ethical and responsible. If they are not, employees will often seek employment elsewhere, even if they were being fairly compensated.
Increasingly, we hear about how employees are looking for a job where they can find work–life balance and make sure that they aren’t sacrificing too much in exchange for their job. While there is a debate to be had about the merits of hard work set against the merits of a home or personal life, what is not debatable is that flexibility and work–life balance are more desired by employees than ever.
Nowhere to Go
Nobody wants to be stuck in a dead-end job. Your employees don’t want to feel like they have no possibility of advancement in your company. This could be due to a lack of education and personal improvement opportunities or of ways to rise in the ranks of the company. If this is the case, high turnover will be the rule, rather than the exception, at your company, as employees will certainly want to better their conditions and expand their experience over time.
Countermeasures and Incentives to Stay
How do you stop employees from walking out? What are the best countermeasures you can take for each of these problems? You need to know the top job satisfaction factors, as well as ways to directly counter any problems employees have. Read on to see our proposals for each problem.
We talked about how employees want to be fairly compensated for their work. This is true, and you should make sure to offer competitive wages for your industry. However, just as important is how you distribute those wages.
Employees want to feel they are being fairly treated, so you should be prepared to show them average salaries for persons in their position. You should also be able to confidently state that your payroll is fair and based on merit and accomplishments. Double-check that your company is offering equal compensation – regardless of race, gender, sex, or any other identity factors.
A Culture of Integrity
To avoid questions about your company’s ethics from employees, the answer is straightforward: make sure your business practices are clean. We don’t want to insinuate they are not, of course.
If you are not the CEO of your business – if you work in HR or are in middle management, for example – this might be partially out of your control. Nevertheless, take stock of your business and departmental practices. If you flag anything that is questionable, either correct it immediately or start communicating with upper management about the problem.
Having and enforcing impeccable ethics will mean that employees never want to leave for that reason. However, be wary of what might be a perception problem. Even the appearance of unethical behavior or practices might cause employees to quit. This is one of the most difficult aspects of creating a culture of integrity at your business: if employees don’t have a procedure for confronting or reporting ethical issues, they will feel insecure, and they may leave without conveying the real reason.
To combat this, we recommend a lot of transparency – as much as possible – so your employees are very clear about how the company operates. Clear policies are a must. For example, do your employees feel like they could file a complaint about their managers without facing “whistleblower” repercussions? Do they feel like they can speak freely, ask questions, and get honest answers?
Listening to employees, treating them as valuable, and making sure they feel heard is important. You need policies and procedures to protect your employees and to let them see how seriously you take integrity.
Creating Work–Life Balance for Your Employees
Work–life balance is one of the most critical factors in reducing employee turnover, as it is integral to employee satisfaction.
Flexibility is crucial; whenever possible, allow your employees to engage in self-directed work and modify or control their own schedule. For example, allowing an employee to start work ten minutes late, leave briefly in the afternoon, and do some of their work from home might allow that person to drop off and pick up their kids at school.
In addition to giving your employee the option to fit your job into their life and establish some work–life balance, this approach shows that you trust your employees.
Flexibility in scheduling might see much happier, more productive employees. Some people work better in the morning, others at night. If your work can accommodate these shifts, let employees pick their own hours or at least have some wiggle room to decide their schedule and breaks.
If you can’t offer as much flexibility due to the nature of your work, ask yourself if there are other ways you can help meet your employees’ work–life balance goals. Is it possible to offer daycare or other child support? This could be a “make-or-break” for a lot of employees who would otherwise have to choose between working for you and finding a job that lets them care for their children.
Work–life balance also means setting boundaries for yourself. It can be tempting to call an employee on their cell phone or contact them via their personal social media – particularly as deadlines loom and pressure mounts. Nevertheless, to an employee, this might be a barrier you should not cross. They want to keep their personal life separate, and they need down-time. Trust them to finish tasks, don’t intrude on their personal lives, and show them the courtesy and respect to value their boundaries. If an employee feels like they are never at peace, they will never feel refreshed. The longer they work in such an unappreciative setting, the more likely it is that they will build up resentment toward you or the company and start to consider other opportunities.
Courses, Self-improvement, and Advancement
Career assistance can take a variety of forms, and education and personal growth opportunities are one of the best and most interesting perks you can offer employees. Continuing education is a very advantageous prospect for both your business and your employees. It gives your business a workforce that is better prepared and more knowledgeable than those of rival companies, and it gives employees the skills and knowledge they need to get ahead and succeed.
An employee with an MBA, for example, will understand how to run a business and be more capable of growing your business, thus improving their productivity. Yet they will also understand your own position in the company better and can contribute to leadership.
Improvement and advancement packages can also be offered to the children of employees. Education benefits families greatly, so imagine being able to provide educational assistance and resources to the families of the people who run your business.
We Can Help!
This is the where BeMo can really help you, in guiding employees or their families and finding them opportunities.
A great company benefits package includes BeMo’s services. We would partner with your business, offering a group rate, which would then apply to employees and their families. If you have an employee whose child wants to be a doctor, a nurse, or a lawyer, or who simply wants to attend a top college, we can help. Many spouses are faced with supporting their significant other through medical school, and we could offer our services to them, such as medical school application help, deadlines and medical school application timelines, how to study in medical school, medical school personal statement editing or essay review services, medical school interview preparation, and more.
All of this is exponential: the sooner employees have access to these opportunities, the brighter their futures, and the longer they can enjoy them. They know that, whether this applies to themselves, to their spouses, or to their children, the benefits come every year. Education today means a better career tomorrow.
For your employee, in addition to more career opportunities in general, an advanced degree opens up advancement in your company. More skills turn into more job satisfaction, personal accomplishment, confidence, and raises and promotions.
For your employee’s children, this means a bright future as a lawyer or a doctor, or in any advanced field or profession they choose. If they have access to our services sooner, they can press their advantage right away.
For an employee supporting their significant other during medical school, this takes the pressure off and lets them enjoy their life and their marriage more. Even without any other benefits, you will see that lack of stress paid back into your business.
Most importantly, an employee who can get all of this through your company is far less likely to seek gainful employment elsewhere because a unique educational package won’t be something they can just turn around and get from any job.
Finally, we will reiterate that this doesn’t just benefit your employees or prevent them from quitting, it also benefits your business directly. You will have a more educated, less-stressed, more grateful workforce, and that will improve job satisfaction and job performance. With a more skilled, knowledgeable workforce, your business will reap tremendous rewards. Assistance like ours is an innovative employee perk part of non-traditional employee benefits packages that will set your business apart and retain employees above and beyond other companies.
No matter what your business is or how you operate, you should take some time to evaluate your practices and how you can better engage with your employees. There is always room for improvement. This might come in the form of better communication, improved pay scales, or a bonus package that gives employees access to a better future for themselves and their families.
Education and training opportunities lead to major bonuses for your business and for your employees. We can help you with that.
However you decide to improve your business, you can now do so with excellent information, professional-grade assistance, and the best expert advice on how to reduce employee turnover.
1. How do I ensure that my employees feel like I am open to talking with them?
Body language and tone help a lot. You want to be non-judgmental and let them know that they can say anything. There should never be repercussions for any constructive criticism, or whenever they are expressing something that they perceive as an issue. Work together with them, and they will feel heard.
2. What is the most effective way to keep employees?
There is no “silver bullet” here, but brighter futures really help. Provide opportunity for advancement, for employees and their families, and include education packages to help.
3. Why provide benefits for families?
One’s family is a major concern for most people. If you lift some of that burden, that’s huge.
4. Can I prevent all turnover?
No. Sometimes people need to leave due to a move, special circumstances, or because it’s the right thing for them. Make sure people leave on great terms. They might return someday, but more importantly, if you can’t be gracious when losing an employee, other employees will worry that you won’t be kind in other areas of business as well.
5. What’s the best way to handle a complaint?
Quickly. You also want to make 100% certain that the complainant feels the problem is dealt with. This might take time. Don’t rush, do it right, and make sure your communication lines are open; communication is key to running any business.
6. What if I can’t afford to increase salaries?
That’s where benefits packages – like education – come in handy. It’s a cost-effective way of improving employee benefits.
7. What if my business can’t be flexible with hours or remote work?
Employees do understand this. Again, it’s about transparency and knowledge. If they know how your business needs to be run, and if they understand why you can’t allow certain flexibility, they won’t resent that. Furthermore, they will recognize that some jobs – construction work, health care, or site-specific jobs – cannot be flexible in many ways.
8. Is some turnover due to employees demanding too much?
Maybe, and some people do get disgruntled for unreasonable reasons, but you should assume they’re not. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Most turnover comes from frustration, not selfishness, and again, communication is going to be key.
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