If there are three words that should send shivers down every business leader’s spine, those three words are: high employee turnover. A workforce that is constantly riddled with available positions is bad for business; recruitment is one of the most expensive business practices, and a dearth of familiar faces will quickly drop your remaining employees’ morale. Worse, high turnover will slowly but surely impact the quality of your products and services, all but ensuring that your business fails.
To stop all these bad things from happening, you need to prevent your turnover rate from getting too high. That means you need to better understand why your employees are quitting — which you can read all about right here.
Imagine spending an entire weekend doing chores for your neighbor — mowing their lawn, scrubbing their toilets, patching their roof. Then, at the end of the weekend, your neighbor doesn’t give you so much as a passing “thanks.” You probably wouldn’t feel good about the hard work you put into those projects, and you might never want to do anything for your neighbor ever again. It turns out that 66% of employees say they would quit if they felt underappreciated in their role. Your workers are devoting not just a weekend but every weekday to your business, and if you aren’t appreciating them sufficiently, they will feel resentful and leave. Fortunately, it isn’t difficult to recognize their work with words and small gifts to keep them around. You can find employee recognition awards ideas here, and you should try to say “thanks” to every employee about once per week.
Related to recognition, respect is a vital component of employment. To have any hope of authority, you need to be respected by your staff — but on the flip side, your workers need proper respect, as well. A lack of mutual respect in the workplace leads to increased stress and conflicts, which can delay or completely derail projects. Ultimately, if an employee isn’t receiving the respect they believe they deserve, they will look elsewhere for work.
You and your workforce can demonstrate respect for one another in a multitude of ways. Most often, simple, everyday, respectful treatment is best. The Golden Rule should work in most situations: Treat others how you wish to be treated. You should strive to speak in a calm and understanding tone, say “please,” and, most importantly, listen to what your employees say. Practicing respectful behavior is the first step to developing true respect for those around you.
If your romantic partner were constantly monitoring your phone and computer activity, watching where you went and with whom and generally breathing down your neck, you would get fed up with their jealousy and lack of trust. The same is true of your workforce, who need some degree of autonomy to feel comfortable and effective at their jobs.
Entrepreneurs who start on their own tend to have the most trouble developing trust in their employees because they are accustomed to having fingers in every pie. As your company grows, you will need to delegate more and more, eventually losing touch completely with certain processes. The sooner you accept that autonomous employees are happier and more productive, the better.
Some workers are content to do the work they know and take home the regular paycheck — but most aren’t. Top talent especially is over-eager to advance in their career, often by any means necessary. Though promotions through their current employer is ideal, if they don’t see available avenues to expected career growth in their timeline, they won’t hesitate to look elsewhere for the opportunities they crave.
The straightforward solution to this problem is: promote from within. Any time you need to create or fill a management position, pull candidates from your existing workforce. However, if your business is still quite small, you might not be able to provide these opportunities. Instead, you can offer your best workers better responsibilities, small raises, perks like training or tuition support and more.
Unfortunately, perhaps the most regrettable reason that employees quit is your workplace culture. If the atmosphere is constantly tense, if the competition is too cutthroat or if you push your workers to create imbalances in their work and life, you will see higher turnover rates.
This is why it is important to make conscious choices with regards to your corporate culture, perhaps taking advantage of an experienced HR firm to guide you in developing a positive and beneficial environment for your workforce. Then, employees will feel compelled to stay thanks to the comfort and pleasure they gain from working for you.
Employee turnover rates can accelerate without you realizing, so it is imperative that you start tracking your turnover — and doing everything you can to reduce turnover — as soon as possible.