15 ways to reduce staff turnover and increase employee retention

September 10, 2021

Reducing staff turnover and increasing employee retention is an important focus area for every HR team. Employee turnover is a significant issue for many businesses, as it can cost companies thousands or even millions of dollars to replace staff and train new employees.

The cost of replacing an individual employee range from one-half to two times the employee's annual salary. A significant number, to say the least.

There are no quick fixes, and of course, there are many reasons employees leave their jobs. However, working proactively with job satisfaction and employee engagement pays off. Investing in the employee experience, and thereby reducing employee turnover, is sometimes the single most efficient thing a company can do to increase productivity and revenue.

This blog post will discuss 15 things every business should consider doing to increase retention and lower their costs.

Offer flexibility and the possibility to work from home

Employers who allow workers to work from home instead of commuting and give their staff flexible timetables tend to have more satisfied employees and boast lower absenteeism levels. As work pressure increases, flexible working hours allow employees to learn new skills and better manage their time. It also enables them to work at times of day when they are most productive.

Measure employee engagement with pulse surveys

By regularly measuring employee engagement, you will get actionable insights about the state of your organisation. By analyzing the results for different segments in your company and using benchmarks to set goals and evaluate progress, you can track your HR initiatives to ensure they're yielding positive results. Giving managers access to accurate employee feedback about the climate at your company will help them take an active part in improving your culture. Modern employee engagement tools allow you to work proactively in a modern and data-driven way. 

Take action on employee feedback

The importance of making sure everyone knows how much their opinions matter cannot be stressed enough. Employees who don't believe any action will be taken based on their feedback are actually 7 times more likely to be disengaged at work. This is understandable, as few things are more discouraging than not to feel seen and heard.

And yet, this is often precisely what happens when companies fail to work proactively with employee engagement. To fully leverage the power and potential of engagement surveys, the focus needs to be equally on gathering the data and acting on the results.

Create a high level of psychological safety

Creating psychological safety starts with understanding the psychological needs of your employees. When employees are psychologically safe, they feel affirmed, encouraged to speak up, and have greater psychological wellbeing. You can create psychological safety by giving team members autonomy over their own tasks, allowing them to work together cooperatively, being non-judgmental in response to suggestions or feedback, and not imposing rules that inhibit self-expression.

Provide benefits that your employees appreciate

It's usually not the ping-pong table or free fruit baskets that will be a deal-breaker for your employees. But things like health insurance, pension, and the number of vacation weeks are things that have a very tangible impact on your employees' lives. Other benefits that can help attract and retain talent include prolonged parental leave, fertility treatment support, bereavement leave, counseling services, gym memberships, transportation reimbursement, flexible schedules, adoption assistance, personal expense accounts for things like cell phone use, and professional dues.

Offer opportunities for growth and development

Training opportunities where staff can develop new skills and evolve careerwise within the company are essential factors for employee retention. Employees who feel like they have no chance to grow will eventually look for better prospects even if they love their current environment. At some point in time, this could mean that they approach the job market looking for more promising opportunities elsewhere.

Prioritise feedback and regular 1:1s with all employees

Always provide formal feedback on how someone's job performance has been. And do it regularly. This is important in any job role, especially the more senior ones where how you are doing your job will impact many people's lives and how they carry out their parts. Employees need to know where they're excelling at and what needs improving upon. But 1:1s also encourage open communication between employers and employees. This, in turn, results in employees feeling more respected by management, an essential part of the employee retention puzzle. 

Communicate clearly around company goals and strategy

Make sure everyone knows what projects are coming up and how each person can contribute. Doing this right creates excitement within a team about upcoming opportunities. Doing it wrong will instead create stress and a sense of overwhelm and lack of control. Employees can't hit goals without knowing what they are and where they're set. Every part of an organization needs to know, so everyone can contribute to achieving company results. When you communicate clearly about where you want the company to go, it provides direction and motivation.

Promote from within whenever possible

Promoting people is a great way of recognizing their accomplishments and getting them to stay around longer. When someone has worked hard or shown dedication, reward them with new challenges and responsibilities and let them know that their efforts are appreciated. This is the best way to retain top talent.

Promoting from within offers employees a chance to learn new skills and advance their careers. Plus, they won't have to relocate if another company offers them an exciting job opportunity—they can move up internally to take on more responsibility. Also, promoting from within keeps employees engaged in their jobs and often leads to higher morale, which can help improve productivity.

Have fun at work and celebrate wins together

Create a culture that your employees love and are excited about being part of. That means making sure the company has clear values that everyone lives by, having fun together, and celebrating wins – big and small. A feeling of camaraderie between staff members helps with retention and makes for a happy, healthy workplace.

Enable career growth within your organization

Communicating new opportunities regularly, so they don't go unnoticed (and aren't entirely unexpected) is essential in increasing staff retention. When people know they can have an exciting career path within your organisation, it increases the incentive to stay around and perform better. Feeling stuck doing more or less of the same thing year after year without any advancement possibilities will make most people less interested in staying.

Perform thorough exit interviews

Nobody wants to feel like they are replaceable, and a great way of showing an employee their skills and contributions are truly valued is by performing a thorough exit interview. Make sure you communicate with all employees who leave the company about why they left and ask for suggestions on how to improve. You can then use this personal feedback to help develop better processes for future hires.

Offer safe channels for anonymous employee feedback

Anonymous employee feedback is a way to allow employees of a company to provide anonymous input on their experiences at work. Providing safe channels where employees can share their thoughts without fear of judgment or retribution is crucial, and the best way is to do it through regular pulse surveys.

Provide a whistleblowing report channel

To create a culture of transparency, all employees should have easy access to an anonymous whistleblowing channel. While there are many benefits to whistleblowing, the act itself is extremely difficult for most people. It requires courage and conviction, as well as knowledge about how your company addresses whistleblowing reports. Without this information, potential whistleblowers may never step forward - which can be dangerous for all parties involved.

Continuously monitor and improve the employee experience

Use employee surveys to monitor how your employees feel during each part of their employment. There is an entire "employee experience journey" that you should be monitoring: from the very first interview, through onboarding, through the employment, and to offboarding. Use targeted surveys to track how each touchpoint is experienced, and analyze the results. This will inform you of what you may need to change to reduce staff turnover. 

How Eletive can help

Many factors contribute to employee retention. Here, we've covered just a sample of what you can do as an employer or manager to create a work environment and company culture that people enjoy coming into every day. We hope this blog post has given you some new ideas on reducing staff turnover, lowering your costs, and improving the quality of life for employees in your workplace. To learn more about any of these topics, please feel free to reach out anytime!