If you have employees, sooner or later you have to consider the fluctuation of the employees. It is a natural part of owning a business, people will come and go for various reasons. Things you cannot control (a spouse is transferred from the state or the employee is hired by a company that pays 1-1 / 2 times their earnings with your company). The trick in reducing employee turnover is to focus on things that you can control.
Improve corporate culture
One of the best ways to reduce employee turnover is to create an environment where people want to work. Often it is small things like remembering to say thank you, empower people to make decisions, give them the flexibility to set their own hours and even occasionally work from home. Look for individual training and personal development opportunities for your team members.
Be picky about who you hire
Take your time, even if it feels like forever, to find people who have the right skills and attitude to promote your culture. The downside of this is to address toxic people directly. You know the guy, similar to Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh, but not so endearing. Everything is always bad and never your fault. They seem to live on making a little trouble.
A few years ago, I actually asked one of my problem employees if they really wanted the job. My directness surprised her and I was able to explain how her energy brought down the rest of the team. Once she knew how she was perceived by others, she made changes in her behavior that had a positive impact on the culture.
But sometimes they can’t change, so you have to. It may seem counterintuitive to let someone go, or to encourage them to move to another department if you are having trouble retaining employees, but their negative energy can certainly contribute to employee retention. The longer they stay nearby, the more people will drive them off.
Take responsibility for your team’s satisfaction
Ask open questions and listen to the answers in exit interviews. Meet with small groups of employees and create a wish list with changes they would like to see. Be sure to set realistic expectations. Every time I did this, I was surprised at how many simple and easy-to-implement suggestions came up. Seeing how your suggestions become reality creates trust in you as a manager. You also have time to make some of the bigger changes.
Create a structured onboarding process. Starting a new job is cumbersome and uncomfortable. Help employees begin a structured process on the right footing to review the procedures and familiarize themselves with all team members.
Employee turnover will happen
This is especially true if you hire many new graduates. So be proactive. Have conversations with team members about their career goals inside and outside the company. The more open and supportive you are, the more likely you will be warned in advance when you are ready to continue.
Many of you remember Peter Wolfgram. For almost seven years he was sitting on the web design site at Roundpeg. I knew that he had reached the end of his time with us and raised the issue with him. We talked about his interviews and he even had a potential employer call me for a reference while he was still with us. The open exchange worked for both of us. He felt comfortable spending time looking for a job, even though he continued to put his heart and soul into the work he did for Roundpeg and our customers. We were able to talk about the qualifications and skills we would need for a candidate to replace him, and he helped document many of his routine tasks so that Britt could easily slip into the role.
Even if you don’t have a vacancy, make sure your job descriptions are up to date and always collect resumes. Things can change quickly and the better prepared you are, the less stressful the hiring process will be. Take your time, find the right people, train them properly and you are well on the way to reducing employee turnover.
If you liked this blog post, you can find more information on this topic in my interview at JoyPowered Podcast
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