How to Fight the High Costs of Employee Turnover

Employee turnover is unfortunately an unavoidable situation for any business. Motivations can be professional or personal; a promising new opportunity or change in lifestyle can cause your loyal and valuable workers to move on, often unexpectedly. You may even be forced to let go of employees who are unproductive or simply unfit for the position and the company. Whatever the reason, you will occasionally face employee loss in business.

Aside from the sentimental loss of a good friend and coworker in the workplace, an uncomfortable period of adjustment, employee turnover pushes several unseen costs onto the shoulders of your business. The costs of recruitment, interviewing and training new employees, combined with the loss of productivity and increased work load, are bound to put a temporary financial strain on the company. This is something you will want to minimize as much as possible for the ultimate welfare of your business and employees.

To reduce employee turnover, it is necessary to first understand the motivations for employees leaving your company. Employees who feel they are not in a promising position will be likely to seek out better opportunities with higher pay, more interesting use of their skills, and prospects of climbing the ladder. In order to keep your employees stable, you will want to keep them happy, motivated, and optimistic. A slight pay increase or the opportunity for advancement within the company could be key in maintaining a stable work force.

Also, get to know your employees. Learn their strengths, weaknesses, interests and fields of expertise. Show them that they are appreciated. Any employee whose valuable skills are not being put to use is more likely to look for other opportunities. In order to be satisfying, work should be stimulating. Try to tailor your employees’ workloads in accordance with their interests and skills. The worker who is passionate about marketing and development, but stuck in customer service, is more likely to leave your team than the employee whose position reflects his or her skills and background. Adjusting your employees’ responsibilities could help keep them motivated and increase productivity as well.

Find out who in your company are the best performers. These will likely be your most productive and stable employees, whose skills and input will be a value to you in reducing turnover costs. Ask them what they find satisfying about their work, and why they stay with the company when others do not. Ask them what keeps them around, what might tempt them to leave, and what they would need to be more fulfilled and more productive in their positions. You will be surprised at what they can tell you.

Finally, take extra care in hiring. Don’t simply rely on media recruitment agencies, but conduct face to face interviews with potentially promising applicants. Look beyond work history to personality and temperament. Many are adept at picking up new skills and adapting to unusual lines of work, but it is very difficult and tiring to try to change one’s own demeanor to suit others. Look for applicants who will work well with your team. A friendly rookie may be more likely to stay with you than an overqualified go-getter.

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