8 Actionable Tips to Reduce Employee Turnover

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2021 was the year of The Great Resignation. Over 4 million Americans left their job last year, leaving many businesses either closing their doors or searching desperately for employees to fill positions. The pandemic was due, in large part, to this ‘extraordinary exodus,’ as it is also being called, and business owners are left wondering, what active steps can we take to keep good employees?

  1. Offer Superior Flexibility. One of the ways businesses can strive for greater employee retention is by offering superior flexibility in hours, where employees can choose to work, and the ability to ‘turn off’ attention requirements outside of work hours. Now, more than ever before, employees are seeing the benefits of a work/life balance, and are striving for it. Businesses that allow adjusted work hours, and the ability to work from home while still also modifying response expectations will be seen as progressive and agreeable.

 

  1. Employee Rewards & Recognition. While everyone is getting a paycheck, when you spend half of your waking day at work, it’s nice to be recognized for a job well done. Those who receive recognition for a special achievement or a job that exceeded expectations are more likely to feel appreciated and stay with the company.  There are a number of ways to achieve this:
  • Providing breakfast, lunch or snacks
  • Encouraging professional development
  • Opportunities for advancement
  • Gift cards for milestones and/or important achievements
  • Personalized notes

  1. Be Respectful. Regardless of the job or career path an employee has chosen, everyone deserves respect. Workers are more likely to leave a company if they continually feel disrespected, so be sure to create an air of respect by letting employees make creative choices, not micromanaging, and listening to their thoughts and ideas.

  2. Hire Appropriately. The employee/employer relationship can be just as fragile as any other type of relationship, and needs to be carefully thought out before pulling the trigger on hiring. Take extra care and time with the pre-hire process so you can be as confident as possible that the (on average $7,000) it takes to hire a new employee won’t be wasted.

  3. Opportunities for Growth. When a business provides a clear cut pathway to professional growth, they will be more aligned with what most employees are looking for today. Nobody wants to be stuck in a dead end job, and being transparent about the direction for financial and professional growth will lower employee turnover rates.

  4. Offer Exceptional Benefits. Compensation is just part of the package for employees. Now that employees are willing to take a hit on salary in exchange for being happier, businesses must offer competitive benefits to stay attractive. This means a package that includes paid leave, health care, as well as stock options, flexible work arrangements, development opportunities, and the ability to work remotely.

  5. Keep Employees Happy. Cultivating a culture of respect, creativity, and transparency isn’t done at the drop of a hat. It takes time to work toward it, but if your aim is to increase employee retention, than that is what’s necessary to do. So, how do you keep employees happy?
  • Prioritize the work/life balance by being as flexible as possible when it comes to the employee’s outside commitments.
  • Address employee burnout by bringing in speakers to talk about stress management.
  • Spearhead employee disagreements immediately, and listen unequivocally to both sides.
  • Measure progress by quality and efforts put into projects and overall productivity as opposed to time physically spent in office.
  • Allow a safe space for employees to air grievances.
  • Create a path for career mobility.

  1. Encourage Breaks. In the past, working hard, and even working too hard, was seen as a direct path to climb the corporate ladder. While it does take hard work, dedication, and effort, good managers will encourage their employees to take frequent breaks. It might seem to employees (and to managers) to be counterproductive, but frequent breaks during stressful days allow workers to focus more, feel refreshed, and actually be more productive.
  • Remind them to take a lunch break if they are working through it.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Go to the break room for a snack.
  • Get a coffee.
  • Talk with a colleague.
  • Take a stretch break while stepping out of the office.

Keep in mind that how aesthetically pleasing an office is plays a huge role in whether employees want to be there or not. Bring the outdoors in with lush green plants in the office space, windows that allow ample daylight, comfortable office furniture, ample sized desks, and enough ability for customization so employees feel it is truly their space.

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