Employee turnover is an inevitable part of doing business. Whether staff members leave to find new work or are asked to leave due to performance issues, business leaders need to carefully manage these situations to keep morale high and avoid negative fallout.
It’s the responsibility of upper management to address any issues or concerns that may come up as a result of employee turnover, as well as cultivate a working environment and company culture that keeps employee attrition rates low.
Follow these best practices to keep your best staff members in the fold and avoid the often high cost of replacing productive workers.
As noted, some amount of employee attrition is normal, with some industries experiencing higher turnover rates than others. According to analysis conducted by LinkedIn, the technology sector had the highest turnover rate (13.2%) in 2017, barely edging out the retail and consumer product industry (13.0%). The average employee turnover rate across all industries was 10.7%.
When addressing employee attrition, it’s important to look at the root cause and identify any trends. For example, while tech companies and retailers may have similar turnover rates, employees typically leave each of the organizations for vastly different reasons.
LinkedIn analysts noted that while UX designers, data analysts, and software engineers all reported high turnover rates, those are all roles that are in extremely high demand right now. People in those professions most likely aren’t being let go nor are unhappy with their work, but instead are leaving for better career opportunities or higher salaries.
On the other hand, retail salespeople who also reported high turnover rates are often in low-paying, fungible positions, and attrition can be driven by seasonal demand. Many retailers build the cost of employee attrition into their business plans because such scenarios are so frequent.
Compare your business’s turnover rate with other members of your industry to get a good sense of how typical your attrition trends are. If they seem higher than average, that’s a clear sign that you may need to revise your employee retention strategy.
While there are certain general employee turnover trends that affect entire industries, particular factors will vary from company to company. It’s important that upper management actively works to unearth these causes and address them.
Conducting exit interviews with departing staff members is an invaluable way to gather information about employee satisfaction and where your business is coming up short. Employees who are leaving the organization may be more willing to share negative feedback and give an honest appraisal of leadership performance.
The insights gained from exit interviews can help you amend workloads, professional growth programs and flexible working policies to keep employees engaged and address different types of turnover.
There’s a lot that impacts employee satisfaction and, as a result, retention rates. These can include salary, benefits, daily commute, personnel, etc. Some of these items are out of your control – for example, you can’t up and move an office location to accommodate shorter commute times. You may be able to influence other factors, but only to a certain degree. If the budget just isn’t there to significantly raise salaries, your hands are tied.
That being said, there are other ways upper management can boost morale and improve employee retention rates. Your company culture can have a profound impact on staff turnover and your employees’ response to someone leaving the company. If everyone in the organization shares the same values and outlook, it’s easier to move on when a beloved staff member chooses to leave the company.
Establishing a supportive organizational culture that actively rewards and shows appreciation for high performers helps reduce employee turnover. An August 2019 TINYpulse survey revealed that employees who felt they were not being sufficiently recognized at work were twice as likely to look for a new job. Furthermore, they were 34% more likely to leave their organization within the next year.
Making staff members feel valued and validated can be as simple as giving praise for a job well done and handing out additional perks to individuals who consistently do great work.
For instance, allowing employees who are consistently productive to work from home a set number of days each week rewards their good performance while also showing that upper management has faith in them to work without direct oversight.
It also helps address some of those factors listed above that are seemingly out of your control. A long commute can be alleviated with a few work-from-home days, and a modest salary is more enticing when employees don’t have to pay for daycare services or daily transportation.
One of the struggles that modern businesses cope with is keeping increasingly disparate employees engaged. The downside to telecommuting and remote working opportunities is that those staff members may feel alienated since they can’t interact in-person with co-workers who go into the office every day.
It’s a major challenge maintaining an inviting and supportive company culture when a large percentage of staff members work remotely, but unified communications solutions can help.
Web conferencing tools offer ways for employees to collaborate, even when they are separated by hundreds or thousands of miles. For instance, staff members can use video conferencing software to hold face-to-face meetings regardless of where participants are located.
Upper management can hold training sessions, performance reviews, and team meetings to make remote workers feel like they are right there, sitting in the room. Cisco Webex supports a wide variety of devices and formats, so employees can stay looped in on the latest office developments and participate in collaborative discussions from their laptop, smartphone or tablet, among other platforms.
Employee turnover may be an unfortunate reality of doing business, but there are always steps you can take to minimize its frequency and impact.