In 2022, the average employee turnover rate across all industries in the U.S. was 9.31%. Turnover was especially high in major cities, including San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Boston, and experts anticipate that turnover rates will continue rising throughout 2023, possibly increasing as much as 20%.
But whether turnover is voluntary or involuntary (such as layoffs), the impact is the same: low employee morale, reduced ROI, and a lower-quality product or service.
So, how can your company get ahead of these issues? Here are 11 strategies you can implement to reduce turnover as much as possible.
1) Do your due diligence during the hiring process
One of the smartest ways to avoid turnover and increase employee retention rates is to adopt this mindset from the very beginning. You need to ensure you’re hiring the right people – employees who will fit well with your organization’s culture. By carefully considering candidates in the hiring process, you’re more likely to make good choices that will reduce potential turnover down the road.
You can determine the best employees for your company by clearly defining your culture and then communicating it during the hiring process. Use content (such as the job description, your website, and company social media accounts) to express core values and characteristics that would help someone fit in. You may even consider inviting a non-managerial coworker to sit on the interview panel to help assess a candidate’s cultural fit. Who better to evaluate cultural fit than someone immersed in it every day?
2) Create a seamless and actionable onboarding plan
The onboarding program is a critical time for new employees. This make-or-break process determines how quickly they can get settled in at your organization – and how long they want to stay. In fact, employees who have effective onboarding feel 18x more committed to their new employer than employees with lackluster onboarding experiences.
Strategically craft an onboarding program designed to reduce turnover down the road. Conduct an audit of your current onboarding program, then make changes or create a new program from there. Keep the paperwork minimal and instead focus on face-to-face introductions and immersing employees in your company culture. Clearly define your expectations for new hires, and ask for feedback on the onboarding process so you can continue to tweak and improve.
3) Part ways with team members when necessary
Yes, your goal is to reduce organizational turnover. But sometimes, letting someone go is necessary to benefit the rest of the team.
You may need to consider firing an employee if they have a negative effect on morale. A team member who hurts productivity, regularly goes against company guidelines, or doesn’t change their behavior when asked can be a huge drain on employee morale.
Of course, you’ll want to do everything you can to keep the employee on board before making this decision. Depending on your organization’s protocols, this may include verbal discussions, performance improvement plans, or write-ups. However, if the issues don’t resolve even after taking all these measures, it’s time to move in a different direction.
By letting this type of employee go, you’ll indirectly improve turnover rates as your other employees feel more supported and comfortable in the workplace and more willing to stay.
4) Offer competitive salaries and benefit packages
A recent case study indicates that increased wages could lead to fewer employee turnovers (as well as better productivity and worker morale). When you think about it, this only makes sense: If employees are happy with the compensation and perks they’re receiving from you, they’re much less likely to be tempted somewhere else.
Of course, what’s considered ‘competitive’ varies based on a number of factors. As you determine competitive salaries for your organization, consider the following:
- Job title
- Experience level
- Location (the median salary in your geographical area and the cost of living)
- Job availability
We’ll discuss some of the most popular employee benefits for 2023 later in this article.
5) Show your team members they’re valued and appreciated
One of the biggest reasons people quit their jobs is because they don’t feel appreciated. For 79% of employees, this is the single biggest reason they left a position. And when it comes to the Great Resignation that has been spreading across the U.S., 57% of employees cited feeling disrespected at work as a major reason for quitting.
If your employees don’t feel like their hard work is recognized and valued, they’ll be more likely to leave. Who would want to stay at a place like that?
Prevent this problem by getting serious about employee appreciation. Choose from any of the following employee recognition ideas, or get creative and make up your own:
- Celebrate employee birthdays and anniversaries
- Publicly recognize people for a job well done
- Treat your team to happy hour, or cater lunch
- Provide extra holiday benefits
- Give awards to different departments or for different projects
- Promote peer recognition
- Share employee shout-outs on your company’s social media and internal platform
- Reach out to people who are sick or on maternity/bereavement leave
- Choose an Employee of the Month
- Celebrate non-work-related achievements.
6) Encourage a healthy work-life balance
Work-life balance is a popular buzzword in the workplace. But this is more than just an abstract concept – it has concrete benefits for your bottom line. One survey illustrates that a poor work-life balance leads to higher employee turnover, and a good work-life balance positively affects business operations and performance.
To help your team achieve a better balance, find out what they want, and do what you can to accommodate. This could look like:
- Allowing remote or hybrid work options
- Allowing and encouraging breaks during the workday
- Delegating tasks evenly
- Making time for volunteering or charity
- Providing more PTO
- Offering childcare options
- Focusing on mental health
- Having paid maternity/paternity leave or bereavement leave
- Helping employees achieve personal goals
- Not glorifying ‘hustle culture‘ or ‘the grind‘.
By implementing some of these ideas, you can create a culture that prioritizes employees as whole people, not just workers. And in turn, they’ll experience less burnout and be more motivated to stick around.
7) Create a team-oriented work culture
We all want to feel as if we’re part of something special – like we have somewhere to belong. Give your employees that sense of community by intentionally creating a team-oriented work culture.
Establish this ‘we’ mentality by helping your employees understand what your company stands for. Be consistent in the way you carry out these core values and goals. Encourage your team to brainstorm, collaborate, and communicate well, including employee recognition (like the above ideas).
8) Pay close attention to employee engagement and make adjustments if necessary
Employee engagement is a metric that measures how committed your employees are to your organization, your goals, and the work they’re doing. Engaged workers are more likely to stick around: in high-turnover organizations, highly engaged business units achieve an 18% difference in turnover. The work done by engaged employees will be of higher quality, too!
Measure engagement by first defining the outcomes you’re looking for (less turnover and higher retention, for example). Then analyze engagement in individuals, in different teams, and across your entire organization.
Improve engagement by cultivating strong company values, providing helpful feedback, and communicating well via an employee experience app. For more ideas on improving employee engagement, check out our helpful resource: Employee Engagement – The Ultimate Guide.
9) Provide plenty of growth opportunities
Lack of recognition or a salary that’s too low are common reasons employees leave their jobs. But feeling ‘stuck’ is a popular complaint, too. Research from the Pew Research Center shows that a lack of career advancement opportunities is a major reason why people left their jobs in 2021. If team members cannot grow to their full potential, you can’t expect them to stay.
Make it easier for employees to enjoy upward mobility within your organization, with the opportunity to expand into a new, higher-level role once they’ve reached certain milestones. Provide professional training and development to help employees become more well-rounded. Mentorship and feedback also help employees grow. Whatever career development opportunities you can offer are key to supporting your employees and their growth.
10) Perform bi-annual performance reviews
If you don’t already, implement performance reviews into your workplace calendar, giving each employee comprehensive feedback on their work throughout the year.
A performance review should evaluate employee performance (including specific feedback on strengths and weaknesses) and set relevant goals for the future. Give constructive criticism with actionable ideas for improvement, and try your best to communicate in a way that makes sense to each individual employee. Encourage employees to share their own self-evaluations and to feel safe asking questions or making suggestions.
11) Constantly adjust and improve workplace benefits
Better benefits = better retention. To see less turnover, find out what benefits are most important to your employees, and incorporate those benefits into salary packages where you can.
The benefits that employees value most in 2023 are:
- Employer-covered healthcare
- Life insurance
- Pension and retirement plans
- Mandatory paid time off
- Mental health assistance
Popular fringe benefits include flexible hours, work-provided equipment, home office stipend, virtual team bonding activities, and internet assistance.
Be willing to change and adjust your benefits offerings over time depending on what your employees prefer.
The 3 main reasons why employees leave (+ tips for avoiding)
The three most common reasons for quitting a job include feeling disrespected, toxic work culture, and poor compensation/benefit packages. Below, we’ll dive deeper into these reasons and explore potential solutions.
Employees feeling disrespected
If employees don’t feel they’re getting the respect they deserve from their boss or coworkers, they’re more likely to seek out a different career path. In fact, a lack of appreciation and recognition is one of the biggest contributors to a high turnover rate.
You can reduce employee turnover by reminding your workers that they are valued, seen, and appreciated. Implement strategies like employee shout-outs, gifts, and celebrations to communicate that you value their skill set and what they do for your organization.
Workvivo makes employee recognition easy with engagement-oriented features like shout-outs, inclusive communication, and the ability to link company goals and values to content you share.
Toxic work cultures
A growing number of employees are leaving their jobs because of toxic work cultures. A toxic work environment fosters negative emotions or initiatives such as manipulation, competition, yelling, bullying, and drama. This hurts employee productivity and mental health and causes many employees to search for a new job in a healthier environment.
If you’re concerned your company culture is becoming toxic, take steps to fix it right away. Create a safer, gentler workplace focusing on gratitude, clear communication, and respect among all departments and teams.
For some companies, this might look like a three-strike policy with consequences of increasing severity for anybody who crosses the line. The right employees will be on board, willingly supporting and helping their colleagues without succumbing to drama or cruelty.
It’s also important to act preemptively: don’t sit back and assume your company culture is doing fine on its own. Actively engage with employees to gather feedback on their work environment regularly.
Poor compensation and benefit packages
Employees want to feel that their work is valued – and to live well in all areas of their life, not just their careers. This is where a compensation and benefits package comes in. A salary that isn’t high enough for the scope of work or benefits that are not expansive enough commonly cause employees to look elsewhere for a new gig.
One of the best retention strategies you can try is to offer a more comprehensive package and be willing to tailor it where needed. Understand the median salary for certain positions and which employee benefits are most popular. If you’re unsure, survey employees to see where you might need to improve. (Workvivo’s pulse surveys offer an easy way to get instant feedback.)
Revamp your organization’s work culture with Workvivo
Turnover is a very real problem that can block your company from reaching its goals. However, you can reduce turnover rates in your organization by improving your employee experience – including aspects like engagement, communication, and employee appreciation.
If your company culture needs some revamping, Workvivo can help. Our employee engagement platform provides the tools you need to give your employees a positive and fulfilling experience. Request a Workvivo demo today.