Talent Management

10 Tips For Reducing Employee Turnover

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Many people agree turnover is a growing issue, particularly as hiring picks up.

But what are most organizations doing about it, aside from implementing some short-term solutions when they discover it’s a problem?

Reducing employee turnover actually starts with the hiring process — but there are important management aspects to consider as well. Here’s what several experts had to say about the issue:

During the hiring process

  • Use video interviews and social media to hire for fit. Employee turnover is a big, and expensive, problem for many companies. To reduce turnover, it’s important to look for candidates who will fit into the company culture with ease. Using video interviews and social media interaction, you can judge cultural fit more quickly now than ever before. A highly skilled candidate is great, but to avoid turnover you’ll also need a candidate who will love working for your company long-term. – Josh Tolan, Spark Hire
  • Look at all aspects of candidates. Although this sounds simple, the fact is, many employers don’t look at all aspects of a candidate, such as how they’d fit in with a team or if their values align with the company’s. When you evaluate all aspects of a candidate, you’ll chose the right employees. In turn, this will reduce turnover because, in conjunction with performing well, employees will want to be there. – Alan Carniol, Interview Success Formula
  • Make cultural fit top experience when hiring. Increasing employee retention will mean improving hiring efforts. Employers should focus their efforts on acquiring candidates who are not just skilled for the position, but are also a strong cultural fit for the company. Behavior-based screening and interviewing will help to make best long-term hires. – Nathan Parcells, InternMatch

Retaining current employees

  • Invest in your staff. This does not just refer to compensation, which is vital to retaining top talent, but also spending the time to mentor, train and advance your staff. The reason that most people quit is out of frustration with the status quo, and lack of future development. The trick is to communicate with your staff from the onset and set clear goals that you review with them at least twice a year. Then create an environment where new ideas are encouraged, good work is rewarded and people are allowed to stretch themselves to take on new roles and responsibilities. – Lynn Dixon, Hourly.com
  • People management and balance reduces turnovers. It’s about people management. It’s about managing their expectations, their motivations, their problems, and even their joys. Instead of asking “how hard will you work for our company”, ask people what they will do to balance their work/home life. Balanced, contented employees will be productive, successful, and loyal. – Clara Lippert Glenn,The Oxford Princeton Programme
  • Collect input on how the company should be run. Ask your employees what they think! Everyone is a knowledge worker today, and everyone should have input in how their part of the organization can or should be run. Let the command and control hierarchical decision-making die a fast death. – Shirley Engelmeier, InclusionINC
  • Provide regular feedback. Engage in weekly feedback sessions. Employees are hungry for feedback that makes them better. Setting up weekly keep-doing, start-doing, stop-doing sessions is fast and effective at making the the employee feel valued and heard. — David James Singh, Kira Talent
  • Identify and offer unusual employee benefits. For many companies, standard employees benefit programs are not always given the fanfare that they deserve. But by offering programs that might be a bit out of the ordinary — such as pet insurance, Health Savings Accounts, Job-Sharing Days, etc. — an employee’s appreciation and attachment to a company may grow. – Jason Pinto, CBG Benefits
  • Create meaningful employee experiences. Philips undertook extensive research in 2012 to understand the motivators and insights behind what today’s graduates and professionals want from their careers. The findings confirm that employees want more than a paycheck from their job. Engagement levels rise when employees feel empowered to apply what matters to them to everything they work on and with an employer whose mission aligns to their personal values. Encourage people to apply what makes them great as people to the outcomes they are driving and they’ll want to get out of bed in the morning to contribute to their employers’ success. – Russell Schramm, Philips
  • Open the lines of communication. Ask your employees what they want. Take what they say and implement it. Not every suggestion will be viable, but it’s important for them to know you value you them individually, that their voices are heard. Open communication can also give you advanced warning if someone is unhappy and thinking about leaving so that you can address the issue. – Bethany Perkins, Software Advice

What do you think? What else can employers do to reduce turnover and retain top employees?

Heather R. Huhman is the founder and president of Come Recommended , a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for organizations with products that target job seekers and/or employers. Contact her at heather@comerecommended.com .
  • Gregory Sparzo

    Heather, ALL the tactics you mentioned will FAIL if the new hires’ manager is rigid, untruthful, manipulative, idea-stealing, idea-dismissing, is a poor listener, seeks to take credit for his team’s ideas and generally acts like a jerk. Far more common than one would hope or imagine.

    • Heather R. Huhman

      As someone who has been on the receiving end of many of the situations you’re describing, you’re of course absolutely right! All best business practices have to start at the top and trickle down. Thanks for reading!

  • Gitali Mohan

    I agree with all the aspects mentioned above but what if the culture of the organisation lacks competition among the employers.There are some areas where labor is very cheap & all the employees work only for the sake of money and are happy even if their career graph is stagnant. i have seen most of the employees are content in getting meager salary. Innovation, freedom etc does not count in their priorities. Even a slightest increase in salary offering by some other company will prompt them to change.
    This might also happen when the company is struggling with finances and is not able to spend much in the employees.

  • Chris Smith

    All really good points! With regards to retention, I would only add the importance of clearly setting expectations. My experience is that most employees want to play by the rules but it is critical to convey not just the rules but also to share the vision for the business.

  • Bridget Hardy

    There are several reasons for high staff turnover rate, some of which may not necessarily have to do with the organization; opportunities for studies, career advancement, etc may present themselves and the organisation may not be in a position to compete. I would like to add/reiterate the importance of the following:

    1. Set clear goals and standards from the outset. This not only include job related goals and standards but also that of the organizational culture. Once established from the outset there is less room for misunderstanding, discontent and conflict.Happy campers make a happy camp!

    2. Leaders must be willing to empower their employees and not stunt their growth due to their own incompetence and lack of confidence. The fear of the employee “taking my job” often results in conflict and mistrust among managers and employees and is not conducive to employee development and organizational growth. So the employees ( and maybe even the manager) move on.

    3. Leaders must be willing to listen, give timely and constructive feedback, and take prudent and timely decision. Leaders who display these traits will earn the respect and from employees which are essential in grounding a solid employer/employee relationship.

    These traits/practices will also cement in the employees minds the positive culture to be fostered in the organization.

    A lot rests on the leadership of the organisation!

  • http://www.assessmentcompany.com John Beck

    While all of the comments at some point have an impact on
    employee turnover; one of the best ways to reduce employee is to match the
    applicants Occupational DNA to the job and the company. We’ve all seen it on
    CSI, when William Petersen playing “Gil Grissom” nabs the bad guys using DNA.

    But what really is DNA? It started around 1984, in England, when Alec Jeffreys,
    discovered, each human has unique DNA. DNA is found in white blood cells, which
    are in blood, skin, saliva, semen, and hair follicles. When the National
    Research Council said in a 1992 that DNA testing was a reliable method to
    identification of people, the technology rapidly entered our mainstream system.
    Fragments of human DNA are unique to the individual.

    These fragments are called polymorphic because they vary in shape from person
    to person. DNA profiling is the process of separating an individual’s unique,
    polymorphic, fragments from the common ones.

    DNA profiling as we know it is being used worldwide.

    Occupational DNA – Could it work?

    What if a similar process could be applied to the study of understanding people
    and how they will perform on the job? What if it was possible to identify an
    Occupational DNA of sorts for a particular job, in a particular company,
    geographically and under a certain management style or any combination of?

    Next, what if you were able to then extract the Occupational DNA of an
    individual and conduct a match to an Occupational DNA Profile or Performance
    Model of a job?

    What would happen next would be simply amazing. Employees would fit the job,
    production would increase, stress would be dimensioned, and turnover would
    virtually fade away. Think it’s all just a pipe-dream or something out of an
    episode of CSI? Well the fact is many of America’s Most Productive Companies
    have been doing it for years.

    I know this to be true because I personally have conducted thousands of
    Occupational DNA studies for hundreds of companies in just about every industry
    imaginable, and guess what? It works!

    There are three methods used in creating a company’s unique Occupational DNA
    job profile. Here are the methods.

    Method 1 – Concurrent Performance Model

    In Method 1 collect objective criteria, on a group of Top Performing Employees
    currently doing the same job. The top performing employees are assessed based
    on mental abilities, behavioral traits, and occupational interest. This data is
    processed resulting in a unique top performer Occupational DNA profile.

    Method 2 – Performance Model Matrix

    Using 26 years of research and the inclusion of 117,000 working individuals, I
    have access to over 1,200 validated Performance Models. This is an ideal method
    when a new position is created or top performers are not present. Next I survey
    management to gain insight to the position and customize the standard
    Performance Model to the company’s needs.

    Method 3 – Performance Model Analysis

    In this method I conduct an analysis with just one to multiple managers
    weighing in their opinions and views regarding a specific position. The result
    is a unique Occupational DNA Job Profile.

    Twenty Performance Indicators, revolving around thinking, reasoning, behavioral
    traits and interest covering the total person are used in this process. Eight
    different reports can be generated for clients, which include: Performance
    Model Comparison, Interview Guides, Strategic Workforce Planning (Succession
    Reports), Candidate Matching, Individual Profile, Comparison Summary, Summary
    Graph and a Individual Graph.

    Occupational DNA can be used for Employee selection and placement, promotion
    fit, and succession planning Coaching, Developing Peak Job Performance Models,
    and Job Description Development.

    Occupational DNA can be identified for any job, in any company, geographically,
    under a certain management style, or any combination of. When you are able to
    extract the Occupational DNA of an individual and conduct a match to an
    Occupational DNA Profile or Performance Model of a job, something amazing happens.
    Employees fit the job, production increases, stress is dimensioned, and
    turnover is reduced.