On average, an employer will experience an 18% turnover in its workforce each year. Turnover is a fact of life for all organizations. A certain portion of your employees will inevitably relocate, change careers, or pursue other opportunities. Every instance of turnover costs money, though, as you are forced to spend time interviewing, hiring, and training a replacement for the departed employee. It’s in the best interest of your organization to reduce turnover and boost retention — and luckily, there are plenty of effective strategies that can help you do just that.

Retention Starts With Recruiting

Achieving a higher retention rate starts at the beginning of the recruitment process. If you want employees to stay, you need to hire staff who are invested in your business — and this can only be done by seeking out the right candidates. Recruitment efforts should focus on candidates who display qualities such as enthusiasm and commitment. When you recruit suitable candidates, you boost your retention prospects.

Identify Candidates Who’ll Stay the Course

How do you know which candidates are the right candidates? Shouldn’t it be enough if an applicant has the right degree, experience, and attitude? When you’re hiring with the specific intent of reducing turnover rate, no. You need to go further and identify the candidates who are most likely to stick with your organization. To do this, seek out candidates who display a specific enthusiasm for your company’s work — not just a general competence.

Provide Ongoing Education and Clear Paths to Advancement

One of the most common reasons for preventable employee departure is a lack of professional development and advancement opportunities. Nobody wants to work in the same position for five years with no new responsibilities or learning opportunities. The best employees will naturally want to grow, learn, or advance within your organization — so let them. Establish clear benchmarks with your staff that indicate their expected advancements based on performance accomplishments. For those that don’t want to advance, but still want to learn new skills, make an effort to find what they enjoy and offer learning opportunities that will challenge them. This will motivate employees to perform, but more importantly, it will encourage them to stay.

Stick With Remote Work Options

The major move to remote work environments has been met with praise and criticism, but one thing is clear — employees love it — and contrary to popular belief, it’s actually good for productivity, not bad. This is a win-win for employers and employees alike. A happy employee is far less likely to depart their position and working from home is a key component of many employees’ satisfaction with their job. Offering remote work options is likely to benefit retention rates.

Be Competitive With Compensation Packages

When it comes down to it, everybody is at work to make a living, and if you can’t compete with other companies, you’ll have a hard time keeping committed staff members. If you want to retain top-quality employees, one of the most effective ways is to ensure that your offers are competitive. Compensation that is considered fair and competitive by employees disincentivizes departures and attracts top talent.

Engage Your Workers

Employees perceive too many business owners and managers as inaccessible — and, yes, this can contribute to avoidably high turnover rates. Our research has shown that manager ratings increased during the past couple of years, with manager availability being a major factor in these improvements. If you rarely talk to your staff and routinely delegate tasks to others, it can create a distant and unengaged environment. If you want to keep quality employees on staff, it’s essential to engage with them and let them know how valued they are.

Provide More Positive Feedback

While you’re engaging with your staff, you should take the time to provide them with some feedback. Coaching and critiquing are certainly important parts of the job, but providing positive guidance is just as important — especially when it comes to retention. Employees are far more likely to stick around in an environment where they feel appreciated, and positive feedback accomplishes that. Make a note when your employees succeed and go above and beyond in their positions.

Foster Respect in the Workplace

Unfortunately, workplaces can become toxic and stressful if employee interactions aren’t respectful. However, the good news is that a respectful environment starts with you. You set the tone for your organization, and when you set an example of respect, your employees are likely to follow. Fostering this type of environment is key to minimizing employee stress and preventing turnover caused by inappropriate workplace behavior.

Encourage Your Employees to Give You Feedback

If you expect your employees to listen to your feedback, you need to be open to their feedback, too. Employees often leave otherwise fulfilling positions because management and ownership are unwilling to hear the feedback they offer. You should make it clear to your staff that you have an open-door policy for such conversations and encourage employees to bring any kind of feedback to you — good or bad.

Challenge Your Employees in a Balanced Way

The best employees aren’t looking for an easy, autopilot job. They’re looking for a position that challenges them to sharpen their skills. You can provide this by giving your employees opportunities to learn new ideas, apply their skills in new ways, and try out new job duties. Employees who enjoy a challenge will be invested in your mission and their positions. Be sure that all of your challenges are balanced and purposeful with the end goal of growing your employees’ abilities.

Promote Retention and Boost Your Bottom Line

Turnover is a significant threat to your organization’s bottom line and overall longevity, but it doesn’t have to be. You can promote retention and protect your organization by employing the strategies outlined above. If you’re looking for additional guidance, Work Institute can help. We help companies attract top talent, reduce turnover, and foster productive corporate culture. Our solutions rely on proven data and research. Let us help your organization thrive. For more information or to schedule a consultation, you can call us at (615) 777-6400 or reach out to us online.

Image Source: Vitalii Vodolazskyi / Shutterstock