Preventing Employee Turnover

Turnover happens, and some key employees are going to leave, whether for more money, a better work-life balance, new challenges, or another reason. And when hiring is on the uptick, quit rates typically follow suit, as recent Labor Department statistics point out.

What is the cost of not preventing employee turnover?

Trying to attach an actual monetary figure might make you wish you’d hung onto your advanced algebra notebooks.

Some resources walk employers through the process of breaking things down according to the type of position, then factoring in average salaries and benefits.

  • Based on SHRM’s model, the total direct costs of losing one registered nurse is around 16% of an average nurse’s salary. Direct costs include things like hiring temporary help, recruiting, and onboarding a new hire.
  • When you factor in lost productivity, which includes how long the position was open, and the number of workdays until a new hire becomes proficient at their job, the percentage jumps to more than 54% of the nurse’s annual salary.

From this perspective, employee turnover can be expensive. And then there are costs that you simply cannot quantify.  

Many of today’s most sought after job seekers happen to be key performers in other companies. Those passive job seekers know that in a candidate-driven job market, the deck is stacked in their favor. And they have more tools to search for jobs than ever, such as job sites they can access on their smartphones, or a company’s social media profile that opens doors into their culture and employer brand.

When key employees leave, it can send a number of ripples through your organization that cut beyond costs.

  • When you lose an employee who was on a management track, it can be like having to fill two positions at once—the one they vacated, and the one you’d been guiding them toward.
  • Many key performers possess foundational insight into the company’s culture and vision. They may have been mentors, or the type of walking encyclopedia that other employees turned to for information that went beyond the employee handbook.
  • If there’s acrimony involved in an employee’s departure, this can put your employer brand at risk. This is especially true when job sites make it easy for employees to post negative feedback about previous jobs.

When you add up direct and indirect costs, along with things that aren’t as easy to quantify, it seems like the only choice a company has is to avoid losing employees in the first place. But is that even possible?

Retention starts with making the right hire, then builds around the way you support employees on their career journeys. Our recent Spotlight, “Improve Employee Retention,” sheds light on ways that companies and organizations can keep their focus on retaining key employees, especially in this competitive hiring environment.

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 The first step to keeping key employees is to identify the ones you absolutely don’t want to lose.

Perhaps they are top sales performers, knowledge experts with leadership potential, or people who champions the company and coworkers at every turn.

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3 Tips for Preventing Turnover by Keeping Employees Engaged

1. Challenge them.

The promise of challenging opportunities and exciting projects can be major drivers when it comes to attracting and recruiting new hires. But what if the promise gets lost once an employee has been with your company for a year or more?

  • While quarterly sit-downs, and annual reviews help managers and employees take a broad view of their work, more consistent meetings can help employees continue to see the way forward. Bi-weekly, or monthly check-ins can help you and your employees dive into day-to-day details, and discuss projects that employees find challenging and rewarding.

2. Support them.

Once an employee has been with your company for a few years, they don’t want to look up and find that their path ends in a dead end. Key employees will often leave if they feel like they’re not fully utilizing their skills, or if they can’t see the way forward.

  • Managers can partner with HR to support learning opportunities that can help tenured employees enhance their skills. In some companies, this includes reimbursing tuition when employees take classes that align with their work.

3. Involve them.

Employee surveys can help you get a sense of what’s on your workers’ minds. But if you don’t take action on their feedback, employees may become disengaged. While sweeping changes might not be feasible, look for ways to include them in the process of bringing things to fruition.

When your workplace continues to challenge, support, and involve key employees, this can help encourage them to turn off their job alerts, and focus on the jobs they have—as well as the careers they want. What’s more, engaged employees can become stewards of your employer brand, thereby bringing your recruitment and retention strategies into sync. When talented job seekers see employees posting positive comments about your company, this can be the first step to setting up a job alert for your company’s next opening.

myStaffingPro provides tools that supports HR professionals and hiring managers throughout the entire hiring workflow, requisition to retention. With myStaffingPro, you can refer back to notes, feedback and insight gathered while you were recruiting your new hire, and use this information to support their career path. Contact a representative today, and find out how we can help you get the most out of the entire hiring process.

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