How to Reduce Staff Turnover

Staff turnover can have a large impact on productivity and for some organizations this is a big issue. Of course, every business needs to hire more team members now and then. The real problem comes when it seems like you are constantly hiring and training new staff, only to see them leave within a year. Other team members have to take up the slack whilst the new recruit learns the ropes, or tasks get left in limbo. Either way this impacts your team’s ability to be productive.

How to Reduce Staff Turnover

Unfortunately, this is a trend that a many organizations and managers see, but –

  • Why does it happen?
  • What causes this higher turnover rate?
  • What drives the employees to want to leave after such a short period of time?

Surprisingly, it turns out that many managers tend to be unaware of the real reasons as the findings of a survey conducted in 2011 (by Kenexa) showed. The diagram shows the top five reasons why people quit their jobs, compared to the reasons 40% of managers gave.

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Whilst managers were partly right they had not comprehended the causes of employee dissatisfaction, which reflects in staff turnover within your team.

To retain and keep your team satisfied you need to look at ‘how able’ you are as their manager to address their top 5 reasons. You may not be able to keep the same people forever… but focusing your energy into three meaningful areas you will minimize the ‘churn factor’ within your team, department or division.

You need to redirect these individuals’ energies from finding another position into contributing and fully participating in the ‘team’. To quickly gauge your team’s level of satisfaction you can use our free Team Satisfaction template.

Regardless of the constraints you may face within your organization there are 3 ways you can actively try to reduce staff turnover.

1. Do you identify opportunities that will develop your people?

Everyone wants to be more professional, they need to believe they are headed somewhere in life, and have a purpose. Just sending people on courses is not enough, they need ‘real’ chances to develop new skills and enhance their abilities.

Finding such opportunities may be difficult in same teams, but it is imperative that you do your best to identify tasks or events that will achieve this. Take the time to know the potential each person on your team.

Then review your tasks, those of the team, its structure and opportunities within other teams that will provide the opportunity to develop them. It could be something as simple as altering who performs tasks within the team, so that new skills and expertise are acquired.

By providing your members with these things, you will reduce their desire to leave in order to fulfil this need.

2. Do you challenge your team?

Your employees need to know that you trust them, and you show them this by asking them to perform tasks or take part in event that challenge and expand them personally.

The best and easiest way to do this is to review what actions you can delegate to others, or you may chose to reassign responsibilities within the team. Many managers have an inbuilt dread of doing this as they fear failure or poor performance will reflect badly on them.

Have faith and confidence in your team, delegation is not abandonment, it is a precisely defined action. You still retain the ultimate responsibility and use careful monitoring and mentoring to ensure the task is successfully performed.

If you need to gain the knowledge on how to delegate the downloading a free copy of our Successful Delegation eBook will tell you the 10 rules you need to know to do this.

3. Communicate and listen to individuals

Through the way you communicate with your team, the words you use the tone and manner of your speech all illustrate how much you respect them. The individuals are a valuable resource and asset, so treat them as such.

Your successful performance relies on theirs, you need them to be engaged and satisfied to achieve this. Winning their trust through co-operation and participation will reward you with mutual respect.

A significant aspect of your communication must show your respect for them. They will see this in the way you encourage individuals to keep on trying, or acknowledge their commitment and efforts in accomplishing a task. A few simple words on your way to meetings, or when you get a coffee, are an excellent way to display this.

Your actions prove that they are truly valued by you and the organization. A consequence will be that they feel more content and productive and much less likely to leave because they feel ‘under-valued’.

Only by ‘actively’ listening to your team members will you create an atmosphere where communication can occur without fear of retribution. You will hear and acknowledge the advice you are given and helping you to resolve frustrating problems.

Too often managers are looking for solutions and don’t hear what those doing the job are trying to tell them. To learn more about how to develop your team download our free Team Development eBook.

By investing your time and efforts diligently in these ways to reduce staff turnover you will attain higher performance levels.

Key Points

  • Staff turnover can have a large impact on productivity and for some organizations this is a big issue.
  • The top 5 reasons given by staff were: Lack of professional development, inadequate compensation, boredom, poor work/life balance and stress.
  • To quickly gauge your team’s level of satisfaction you can use our free Team Satisfaction template.
  • With regard to professional development, sending people on courses is not enough, they need ‘real’ chances to develop new skills and enhance their abilities.
  • Delegating work in a controlled way can prevent people from becoming bored and can improve their level of satisfaction at work.
  • Listening sympathetically to individual concerns can give you an appreciation of how best to develop your team members.

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