Employee turnover can cost an organization a lot of money—one study indicates the average cost is approximately $15,000 per employee.
That’s why HR professionals should be vigilant about finding ways to guard against high turnover rates. Although management also plays a role in boosting employee retention, HR specialists should be particularly focused on addressing this key issue.
The following are some of the more effective ways to do so:
Start with Smart Recruitment
Certain employees are more likely to stay with a company than others. Additionally, certain employees are more likely to perform reliably. This is a major reason why addressing employee turnover often begins with the hiring process. If you can identify applicants who have the right traits, you can hire people who will stay in their roles for longer periods of time.
Sometimes, candidates will give you clues. Check their resume—do they job-hop from position to position, never staying long? This can indicate that they’ll soon move on from your organization, too. However, it could also indicate that the candidate is motivated, ambitious, and in search of a challenge. During the interview, ask the candidate why they left each position and what attracted them to the one after.
The interview is also the time to assess the candidate’s attitude, which in many cases can be even more important for retention than aptitude or experience. Do they seem excited about the position? Would their personality clash with others on their team? Do they mesh well with your organization’s culture?
In addition, take a good look at the employees in your organization who have stayed with the company longer than the average worker. This will take some time, but the benefits may be significant in the long run. Once you’ve conducted this research, you can identify which traits impact whether an applicant would be the type of employee who is likely to stick around as well. This can help you get a sense of the traits you should look for to reduce turnover.
Set Expectations and Offer Support
Employees often leave companies when they realize they’re not a good fit for a job. Thus, it’s critical to set clear expectations from the start. This means sitting down and writing a clear job description that lists the specific duties, responsibilities, and expectations of a specific role. Using the job description, you can then write a job listing to advertise the open position. The more specific the description and listing, the more likely you are to attract qualified applicants. This boosts your odds of keeping them for long periods of time.
Once an employee is hired, you should make sure they understand what is expected of them and how their role fits into the organization. A comprehensive onboarding or training program is key here, as well as simple politeness from day one—for example, make sure the manager (or other HR personnel) shows the new employee around the office and introduces them to their new co-workers.
In addition, ensure that your organization has a process for regularly evaluating a new employee’s performance, apart from any general review processes for all employees. You should also provide resources to help new employees make improvements when necessary. When employees know what is expected of them—and know that they’ll have support and guidance if they miss the mark at first—they’ll feel more confident in their abilities to succeed.
Proactively Research Compensation and Benefits
In many instances, employees leave companies because they know they can get better compensation and benefits from other employers. Regularly researching average compensation rates in your industry should be a major priority if you’re an HR specialist. You’ll be more likely to hold onto your best employees if you’re paying them appropriately and offering the kinds of benefits they should expect.
Don’t Overburden Employees
It’s important for HR professionals to be included when executives or managers plan on growing the business. For instance, a manager may be actively pursuing new clients without adding more staff to the relevant department. If they are successful in attracting new clients but fail to staff adequately, employees may feel overburdened. This will almost certainly impact their performance. If the workload becomes too substantial, or if they feel they are not being compensated fairly, employees may decide to look elsewhere for new opportunities.
By involving HR during periods of growth, management can more effectively determine how to staff key departments. This can help organizations avoid driving away the employees they do have, and prevent over- or understaffing.
Offer Greater Flexibility
Sometimes, flexibility can be just as important to employees as compensation; many consider it a type of benefit. For instance, the emergence of digital technology has allowed many employers to give their employees the option to work from home. Additionally, more businesses are experimenting with offering flexible hours. This can boost engagement by allowing for a greater degree of work-life balance.
HR professionals can’t ignore these trends. Surveys indicate that, for instance, more and more people are working from home at least some of the time. This clearly indicates that more organizations are offering this option. Businesses that don’t keep up with such changes may lose employees to organizations that provide greater flexibility.
Again, while management is absolutely responsible for helping to reduce turnover, HR professionals should not neglect this responsibility either. Across all industries and fields, an organization is only as strong as its employees. You need to keep your best talent satisfied to keep growing and thriving. These tips will help you do so.