One of the biggest factors to company success and survival is the company’s ability to retain key employees. Without team-members who stick around for the long haul, many organizations struggle to stay afloat because of associated costs of turnover, as well as sparse opportunities to promote people internally. How can you reduce employee turnover? Below are three strategies for HR professionals and business leaders to improve employee turnover and retain key employees:
This guide will walk you through how to select and retain key team members and reduce your employee turnover issues by learning from your failures and successes. The first key in reducing employee turnover involves taking steps to make sure your hiring process is effective.1: Know how to hire the right people3: Develop your managers3: Analyze your employee turnover problem, and learn from it
Key 1: Know How to Hire the Right People
Retaining employees is pointless unless you hire people who you actually want to stick around, and who are likely to do so. Every organization is different, so there is no singular strategy for finding the right candidate, but there are some best practices for making sure your hiring process is doing what it’s supposed to do. The four steps to hiring winning talent are:
1: Define what you’re looking for
2: Plan for effective interviews
3: Conduct successful interviews
4: Make personnel selections
Define What You're Looking for
Developing a well-thought-out vision for who you want to hire can help you down the winding path of finding that ideal candidate. Although things like required skillset and relevant experience obviously matter when it comes to hiring criteria, it’s important to develop more nuanced specifications for who you want on your team. Personal attributes that align with the organization’s mission, vision, and values are something any business leader can look for in a prospective hire, and are important to keep in mind when developing a candidate profile. Assessing the duties of the position, coming up with a hypothetical “dream candidate” and drafting a detailed list of ideal attributes is a great place to start.
Plan for Effective Interviews
Although every job interview is different, maintaining a level of consistency can go a long way in making sure you get the full picture in terms of who’s the best fit. Coming up with questions that you’ll ask every candidate makes comparisons far easier than free-form style interviewing, and can help deter confirmation bias that tends to rear its ugly head in the interview room. In addition to a structured set of questions, asking specific, personalized questions to dig deeper into the candidate’s qualifications can also be useful. This gives you the opportunity to evaluate individual traits of the interviewee.
Conduct Successful Interviews
With proper planning, the interview process should be simple and straightforward. Make sure your candidate feels comfortable and do everything in your power to avoid making them nervous or anxious during the interview. Letting candidates know what to expect during the interview process, and eliminating distractions are two simple ways to ensure this, and can pay huge dividends in terms of getting the most out of each interview.
Make Personnel Selections
There are a few factors that come in to play when selecting the right person for the job. These are all things to consider when making your decision:
- They meet all required qualifications and have the correct skillset
- You can easily imagine them getting along with other employees in their department
- They exemplify the organization’s core principles and values
If someone you hire feels that they don’t mesh with the organizational culture, don’t expect them to have longevity with the company. People who feel like they belong are more likely to want to come to work every day, and will help decrease your employee turnover. Above all else, choose carefully and take your time.
Key 2: Develop Your Managers
The number one reason people leave their job is because of their direct superior. Keeping your employees happy is impossible without first developing your managers. Having engaged, driven team members who feel appreciated is crucial to the success of an organization, and making sure your managers have the skills needed to accomplish that can ensure improved retention. Since 70% of employee engagement is determined by manager quality, businesses who enable theirs to possess the following skills can see a dramatic drop in employee turnover
- The ability to support change
- Conflict resolution
- Complaint management
- Effective discipline
- The ability to enact performance goals and standards
- Good communication
- The ability to coach and give quality feedback
Since 60% of managers fail within their first year and 58% never even receive management training, it’s important that yours sharpen their abilities through practice exercises, regular review of key concepts, and consistent skills reinforcement. Giving your managers the opportunity to refine their abilities through deep practice can also give you a huge leg-up in making sure they get the most out of whatever training you end up implementing.
The use of deep practice allows managers to constantly train on the edge of their abilities by challenging them to work outside of their comfort zone, study their mistakes and successes, and change their behavior based on their strengths and weaknesses. Simply reviewing overarching concepts and theories can be helpful, but can often lead to stagnation in the rate at which your managers are improving their skills.
Key 3: Analyze Your Employee Turnover Problem, and Learn From it
The final step in improving retention is to simply take a step back. What are some common threads that you see in those who leave the company? Do they tend to be unhappy with quality of management? Are team member conflicts common? Are people being outwardly appreciated for what they contribute to the organization?
In addition to sniffing out reasons people leave, determining why people stay at the organization is equally important. What consistent traits do you see in those who have longevity of employment?
How does management treat those who you’ve retained for a long time? Can you take steps to make sure everyone’s treated that way?
Asking these important questions, along with studying retention data and tracking metrics can help you get the bigger picture in terms of why exactly you’re having a retention issue, and can curb employee turnover tremendously. There’s a reason successful sports teams review tape of previous games; without the willingness to learn from yourself, there is no such thing as improvement.
Creating a Culture of Retention
There is no magic bullet for improving employee turnover; each workplace is different, and some level of employee turnover is unavoidable. Fortunately, business leaders who are able to overcome common issues that lead to disengaged employees (lack of commitment to the goals and objectives of the company, underappreciation, workplace conflicts, etc.) and follow the above key concepts can help make sure they are hiring the right people, instilling confidence in their organization, and retaining their most important asset. Since losing an employee can cost up to 150% of their yearly salary, high employee turnover can take a heavy toll on a business, not to mention the skills, knowledge, and connections that are also lost when someone leaves. Vital Learning offers solutions related to every aspect of improving employee retention, so don’t hesitate to talk to us about how we can help fix your employee turnover problem.