Three Ways to Reduce High Staff Turnover

BY Kathy Crosett
Featured image for “Three Ways to Reduce High Staff Turnover”

There’s no shortage of employee exits these days. For example, our research indicates the typical sales department experienced a 44% turnover rate in the past year. Other professions have a much higher rate, accord to Award​.co data. Leisure and hospitality businesses face a nearly 85% turnover rate, and construction business owners deal with close to a 57% turnover rate. It’s hard enough to hire employees these days. The last thing you want to do is lose an employee before they complete their probationary period. You can reduce high staff turnover by following three simple steps:

  • Set Expectations
  • Facilitate Workplace Connections
  • Solicit Feedback

Set Expectations to Reduce High Staff Turnover

Few people enjoy the hiring process. You have to spend time crafting a job description, reviewing candidates and deciding which ones to interview. This work usually takes place on top of your regular work responsibilities. And you’re probably short-​staffed as you try to replace the person who left.

It’s tempting to hire the first person who interviews for your job and seems interested. In the short term, your life would be easier. Before you make that offer, take time to be sure the candidate is a good fit for you and your organization. A complete psychometric assessment will give you insight into a person’s motivations and work behavior.

With that information, you can manage the expectations of the person who will fill your open position. As noted in this Indeed​.com post, “creating clear expectations for the role before they’re hired can help an employee be productive from the start.” Expectation management should include letting the employee know where they will work, when they will work, and how soon they might be considered for a promotion.

Facilitate Workplace Connections and Team Bonding

There are few things more awkward than being the new employee at work. This is especially true if your newbie is joining a team comprised of many long-​employed co-​workers. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your hiring process is over when your employee shows up on day one. Your responsibilities have shifted into a new phrase.

If your team works offsite several days a week, it can be difficult for your new employee to understand the company culture and to connect with co-​workers. You can ease the onboarding process by assigning a team member to guide the new hire through the first few weeks of work.

After taking the new employee out to lunch on their first day, most organizations leave them to make their own way. A better option might be to ask members from other departments to enjoy lunch or coffee with the new hire. The more people they meet in the organization, the better the chances are that they will encounter someone who enjoys the same hobbies or volunteering for similar causes. Team members who have close bonds at work will be less likely to leave the organization for greener pastures.

Solicit Feedback and Implement Change

After investing time and energy into training a new hire and introducing them to likeminded co-​workers, you’ll sometimes find that your efforts have fallen short. And when you ask the departing employee if they’ll consider staying, you’re met with a “hard no.”

Gallup analysts suggest that companies can improve employee engagement and reduce high staff turnover by soliciting feedback, especially during times of high stress and disruption.

Their suggested employee questions include the following:

  • Does your team inspire you to do your best work?”
  • Does your team help you successfully complete your work?”

The answers to these questions can help a manager pinpoint trouble spots in the department.

Some organizations send out daily surveys. In large companies, employees may feel comfortable honestly responding to anonymous surveys. But at times, receiving a daily survey question may feel a bit too perfunctory. After all, if nothing visibly changes as a result of the feedback they give, employees will wonder why they should bother responding. If you choose to use surveys, be sure to let employees know what you've learned from their input and the changes you plan to make.

Our research shows that 27% of sales professionals leave an organization because they don’t think anyone in the organization care about them. This is an easy problem to fix. But it requires commitment from the direct manager and company leaders. Make the investment to monitor new employee progress and attitude, and you’ll be able to reduce high staff turnover.

Photo by Energic on Pexels