Employee turnover rate is the most intense challenge faced by companies worldwide. Retiring boomers, zealous millennials and the current streak of entrepreneurship has drastically changed the working landscape. According to the latest statistics, turnover rates for all industries hover around 13%–and those rates are far higher in the service sector, where the average is 30%. This is an alarming number, especially since millennials form a huge part of the current workplace; but, they are also job-hoppers looking for the perfect working place.
The problem, however, does not lie with employees, but with companies that are not willing to accept the reality of the situation and shy away from making positive changes. In previous decades, people would readily spend years at a workplace with limited benefits, but today, even the most lucrative benefits cannot keep talented employees for long. Why? Because more than benefits, it’s the company culture, leadership strength and job satisfaction that employees crave. Note that a toxic work environment, a management with no vision, and a job role with no growth are some of the major causes of high employee turnover. So, as a company that genuinely wants to reduce its employee turnover rate, what is it that you need to be doing? Here is some practical advice.
Hire for Attitude, Not for Skills
A common mistake hiring managers make is to scan people for their skills, rather than their attitude. This leads to hiring the wrong people, who disturb the harmony of the company. Remember, skills can always be taught or trained for, but attitude is a person’s very nature. A highly skilled individual with an arrogant attitude will not suit a company that values team coordination and mutual support. Or a person with punctuality issues cannot be part of an organization that demands a fixed time schedule. In the long run, these trivial points can lead to a conflict that is harmful for the company. This is especially important for startups, where the highest employee turnover rates are experienced simply because the right people were not hired for the job.
Avoid Hiring One Person to Do the Job of Three
Employee turnover happens when the job role is redundant, unclear or unjust. Asking one person to do the job of three is an example of being unjust, and though it is exciting for a new-comer, it eventually leads to a burnout that causes them to just get up and leave. For example, companies think that just because a social media expert deals with social media, then they should also handle copywriting and graphic designing, too. This is a severe job overlap where the candidate is expected to perform the routine tasks of social media management and is also supposed to create graphical concepts or write selling copy. In situations like this, the employee can become so flustered and confused about his actual skills that he may end up leaving the company quickly. As a company, you may be tempted to get more done with less, but that is precisely what is causing your employees severe stress, provoking them to leave.
Develop a Work-Life Balance Company Culture
After-hours calls? Late nights? Weekend work? All of this is harming the productivity and the very health of your employees. Hard work is good, but smart work is better. Gone are the days where people will gladly to stay late in the office to prove their worth. Today’s generation wants their own personal time and their personal space to do things they love. Force them to give more than what they can, and you will have frequent burnouts, stress ailments, depression and lots of other mental and physical problems that will ruin the very fabric of your company. We should understand that life has become so drastically rapid and stressful that the last thing people want to do is spend more than 8 hours at their workplace. On the other hand, companies that promote a healthy lifestyle and a good work-life balance become heaven for those who don’t want to have a regular job to fall back on. Not to mention, they will also talk positively about the company and recommend equally talented employees to work. If you encourage a company culture that promotes work-life balance, you will have a higher employee retention rate versus a high employee turnover rate.
Provide Regular Trainings and Encourage People to Learn More
Every quarter, assign a personal development goal to your employees. Encourage them to learn a new skill or a new method for executing their work, and reward them with incentives like bonuses or appreciation awards. Once they acquire the skill, enable them to provide training to others. There are dozens of expert platforms to learn from, and as a company, you need to facilitate that learning. Create Lynda.com accounts for your employees and encourage them to take part in online education, especially since time constraints will prevent many from taking actual classes. This will motivate them to be learners and performers, ready to take themselves and their company to new heights. It is also during this time that you as a boss or manager can decide which of your employees are truly dedicated to enhancing their skill sets and developing their career paths. When a company helps its employee acquire an education or a new learning, it is showing that it cares; when companies care, employees never leave.
Caring for Your Employees is Caring for your Company
Sometimes, bosses, leaders and managers forget that employees need to be cared for and are not mere working machines. They need to be given due respect, trust and flexibility to perform at their best. They need support from their managers and from their peers to feel safe and happy in a workplace. Do not let office politics thrive in your company. Take a stand against sexual harassment. Create consequences for nepotism and favoritism. Provide your employees with basic benefits, such as medical and life insurance, paid vacations, flexible working options and a whole lot more. When you as a leader enforce high professional ethics, you will have employees who will want to do more for the company, because they know you care. Many companies make the mistake of treating employees (both young and old) as mere puppets or machines that have to give their best, 40+ hours a week, every single day. They cut back or simply don’t provide essential benefits, and they develop a non-caring attitude towards their employees. Uber did the same recently, and it lost most of its staff before the resignation of its CTO. Don’t be like Uber.
Develop Strong Leadership
Employees today thrive under a strong leadership. They loathe micromanaging managers and give respect only if they believe it is earned. Your age, your experience, and your strengths don’t matter to them if they don’t see a strong leader in you. In fact, most young people leave because they are not heard or understood and their visions are never taken seriously. This is why millennials would rather become entrepreneurs and run their own gig than endure stressful management. With strong and effective leadership, you may be able to retain your best talents up to five years. But with a weak and unsupportive management, you are driving employees out sooner, and also ruining your reputation. Understand that today’s working generation is not afraid of venting on social media, as it is a tool that has given them a voice to stand against what they believe to be authoritative and unjust.
Millennials and baby-boomers alike want a stable job and an environment where they can grow. Above benefits and a high salary range, company culture is what matters to most people. Employees want to be trusted, to be heard and to be part of a process where they know their contribution makes a difference. They want to be appreciated for the work they do, and they are quite eager to elevate the status of their workplaces. But all of this comes to a standstill when their employer develops a negative, critical and destructive company culture that results in unnecessary conflicts and issues that eat up valuable time. Imagine the loss of a company that has choking office politics or bad managers encouraged by a lack of leadership. It is necessary for companies to realize the worth of their employees and reach out to them, reducing their fears and building their confidence. It may take a whole lot of work, but once it is practiced with a vision and dedication, it can lead to a new world filled with new possibilities. Employee turnover rate is a crucial issue at the moment, and requires the utmost attention from HR services and company policy makers. It’s high time companies give value to their human resources and ensure that people who work efficiently and with dedication are well-rewarded.