No matter what industry you’re in, turnover is a problem you can’t ignore. If you’re lucky, it’s relatively low compared to industry standards, but if it’s not, it’s time to do something. Because turnover is, in fact, something you can prevent if you’re proactive.
First, Assess the Situation
There’s a reason people are quitting your company. They might not all leave for the same reasons, but if you do some sniffing, you can probably find a few root causes. Maybe one manager is pretty harsh on his staff and they’re running for greener grass. Or maybe other companies are paying more than you are. Whatever the cause, identifying it is the place to start. There are even tools available on the web to assess staff happiness.
Now let’s look at a few tricks to reduce your turnover numbers and keep employees engaged, happy, and in place.
1. Give Them Props
Everyone likes being recognized for a job well done, but 76% of employees say they aren’t satisfied with the amount of recognition they’re getting from their employers. And around that same number say they’d work harder if they were recognized more.
It doesn’t take much to notice an employee doing a good job and giving him a pat on the back. And it doesn’t have to be major accomplishments. Bringing up a good point in a business meeting, finding a time-saving shortcut, or referring a new hire to you are attention-worthy as well.
2. Engage Them Better
Everyone talks about employee engagement, but for many companies, it remains a nebulous concept. You don’t need to invest in Beer Thursdays or a foosball table to engage your staff. Instead, listen to their input, act on their ideas, and help them feel like an important part of your company.
After all, you’re a small business, and you provide more opportunity for an employee to feel like his contributions matter than he’d get at a giant corporation. Just make sure you’re treating each employee like a valued member of the team.
3. Reward Them
Certainly, if your sales team hits its quarterly goal, you can reward them with a fancy dinner, but there are other ways to reward staff without spending much — if any — money. Give them extra days off if they achieve their goals, provide them with schedule flexibility, or let them name your next product. Get creative in your rewards and keep them on their toes. I know a company president who, during a particularly stressful project, brought in a masseuse and gave his entire staff massages. You can bet that was an appreciated treat.
4. Keep Your Promises
Employees who don’t feel they can trust their employers are usually among the first to hit the Help Wanted ads. Consider whether you’ve delivered on promises to your staff. Maybe an employee came to you and asked for a promotion, and you brushed him off, telling him you’d “do your best.” (often managerspeak for “never.”)
It’s important that you deliver to your staff, and when you can’t, it’s important to maintain clear communication. If you can’t get a couch in the breakroom, tell them why not. If you’re working on getting new office chairs, update everyone on the status. That way they know you’re working for them.