How to Decrease Employee Turnover


One of the most common complaints from business owners is a lack of employee loyalty. The turnover rate is too damn high.

The data suggests they’re right.

A study from the Work Institute estimated that 42 million — one in four, employees — left their jobs in 2018. Yet, the same study suggests that nearly 77% of turnover could be prevented by employers. Why such a dissonance?

Why do employees leave?

There are a number of reasons for a high employee turnover rate. But there are two prominent reasons that stand out:

Limited or unclear career advancement opportunities.

No one wants to stay at a dead end job. If employers don’t encourage professional development or provide an employee success program are at risk of losing talent.

Employees, especially the best employees, need to see a path to success and growth. Otherwise, they’ll move on.

Employees are burnt out and seek a work-life balance.

It’s a cycle that repeats itself within companies. Individuals leave because they are burnt out. More work falls to the remaining employees. New employees are hired and the cycle continues.

According to a Gallup survey, 23% of workers say they feel burned out at work often or always. (Another 44% said they felt that way at least some of the time.) It’s got to the point where even the World Health Organization has classified burnout as a workplace hazard.

What is job dissatisfaction?

A global study notes that 79% of individuals who quit their job state they feel underappreciated. This feeling of being overlooked, unheard, or ignored transitions into frustration and resentment. The employee disengages and their work suffers. In their minds, they’ve already quit. This is when they begin searching for other jobs, interviewing, and quitting.

What is job-hopping?

A report from staffing agency Robert Half stated that around 64 percent of employees believed job-hopping was a beneficial career practice. Employees tend to stay at an organization for a year or so, begin searching for a new job, provide a two-week notice, and then jump ship.

Another study has shown the successful economy and growing job marketplace allow a large percentage of employees to make career moves when current employers are not meeting their expectations and needs.

An estimated that 42 million — one in four, employees — left their jobs in 2018.

Detecting Job Satisfaction Early

Disengaged employees will often appear withdrawn or apathetic. You may notice they are absent more frequently, are lacking in participation, or are generally apathetic to their work.

An insightful employer should be able to detect this early and make adjustments.

Create an open dialogue to determine the root cause of the issue. Is it pay, hours worked, engagement levels, a cultural fit, or something else? Uncover the issue and speak respectfully about their concerns.

Determine the next steps for both parties: what do both the employer and employee need from each other to keep the relationship stable? Will more pay be satisfactory? Flexible hours? Personal development or a performance plan? Learn each other's needs and create a strategy to move forward.

Employ the strategy, create check-in points, and touch base regularly.

Alternatively, set up a plan for respectfully transitioning the employee out of the role and hiring a replacement.

The “Mindful Transition” Theory

If at the end of the day, there isn’t a fit at the workplace, employers could benefit from Robert Glazer's mindful transition theory.

Rather than the traditional “two-week notice,” employers maintain an open and positive relationship with the employee about their future career plans — even if that means they are considering leaving the company. This way the employer isn't blindsided. And the employee transitions out of the workplace and into a more suited environment.

By maintaining a dialogue, you can navigate dissatisfaction from the beginning of a hire and curb employee turnover. The result is a team that is engaged, supported and valued. This saves the employer time, money, and effort.

This article is intended only for informational purposes. It is not a substitute for legal consultation. While we attempt to keep the information covered timely and accurate, laws and regulations are subject to change.

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