You’re not alone if you’ve been surprised by employees who’ve walked into your office to let you know they’ve “found another opportunity.” That news is even more difficult to hear when it’s an employee who’s been a key player on your team whom you thought was in it for the long haul.
Unfortunately, employee turnover is higher than it’s been in 10 years, costing U.S. companies $160 billion a year and posing a serious threat to many organizations’ bottom lines. If you’re experiencing higher than normal turnover, seek answers and resolve the following questions during every touchpoint of an employee’s relationship with your company.
Tight labor markets and aggressive recruiters only add to the challenge of keeping good talent, so make sure you’re set up to compete. In addition to the basics of benefits, skills and experience, let candidates know about your culture to help them determine if they are the “right fit” before they even fill out an application. This foundational work will help encourage your ideal candidates to apply in the first place.
The interview process is nerve-wracking for both the interviewer and candidates. It can be difficult to get a sense of a person’s true work ethic, skills and whether he or she will seamlessly integrate with the team. Be sure to make the experience as comfortable as possible and ask questions that dig deeper to explore what motivates them, their personal interests, what they value in an employer, etc. Be careful, however, to not ask questions that are off limits. Once you make your hiring decision, make sure your onboarding process is thorough, welcoming and engaging to set the right impression from day one.
Every leader wants to believe his or her company has an engaged workforce, but research indicates that more than 11% of organizations have toxic cultures. The good news is that the vast majority don’t fall into that category. Every organization, no matter how healthy, still has room for improvement. Involve employees in decisions, seek their input on important matters, listen, show no tolerance for bullying or disrespect, and be sure to engage younger generations who are mission-minded and desire inclusive atmospheres. Most importantly, set the example.
While culture is clearly important, employees need to feel confident they can care for themselves and their families when it comes to health coverage and retirement savings. Be sure to benchmark your retirement package against similar industries, and help employees feel a sense of ownership in their healthcare decisions to help drive down claims and premiums to minimize out-of-pocket expenses.
Periodically research what other organizations in your industry and area are offering their employees to make sure your compensation remains competitive. Most employees aren’t necessarily looking for top dollar; they just want to know they’re being treated fairly and that their salary is in line with others in their field.
Providing opportunities for employees to advance in your company is a crucial aspect of retention. In general, people want to be challenged to excel and, just as importantly, equipped with the tools, knowledge, mentoring and educational opportunities to do so.
Studies show that when your employees are happy at work, they’re more productive, have fewer sick days, are more engaged and invested in a company’s success and experience less stress overall. Find the balance between work and play and you’ll experience improved retention and, most likely, an improved bottom line.
Because of advances in technology and remote access, many organizations are offering more flexible work environments, work-from-home options, adjusted hours and more. This type of environment is shown to reduce turnover, and research shows that productivity rises when employers can accommodate employees’ desires to balance life and work responsibilities.
The traditional approach of evaluating employee performance once or twice a year is no longer acceptable in today’s work environments. Continual feedback is necessary to keep employees engaged and productive. Consider scheduling informal one-on-ones at least quarterly to keep a pulse on worker satisfaction and seek to understand any challenges they face in their roles or with the company. Keep an open door policy that encourages honest feedback, and continue to reward and encourage good performance and a team-player attitude.
It’s surprising how many managers don’t conduct exit interviews when an employer and employee part ways. Though potentially awkward, former employees are often more than willing to openly share their feedback about your company to benefit the colleagues they’re leaving behind. While it can be difficult to hear, their perspectives could prove invaluable. Be willing to listen and act upon any necessary consistent themes or red flags that arise out of those conversations.
Becoming a best-in-class employer requires time and dedication to ensure your people are cared for, that they have the best benefits possible within your budget, and that they’re engaged in the work they do. Consistency is key, which is difficult for many employers with limited HR staff, so consider working with an HR services provider to support your HR functions for the long term and to ensure your initiatives are sustainable.
Chances are, if your company is experiencing high turnover, it’s not just one thing that’s the problem. Consider getting an outside perspective to evaluate each area of your operations, including employee engagement, hiring processes, compliance, onboarding, benefits and more. Contact McClone for a complimentary HR Gap Analysis to help you gain a better understanding of where your company stands.