How to Reduce Employee Turnover


If you want to have an effective hiring campaign, you have to think long term. When hiring new employees, it can be difficult to consider how they will benefit your organization for the long haul. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to make sure you pick the right employees who will stay with your company. The following are instructions on how to prevent quick employee turn-around.


1Don't hire out of desperation. Do not just hire an employee because you needed someone to fill the position yesterday. That is what temporary employees are for. If you are looking for someone to fill the position long term, it is best to take some time to do your research. Gather as much information as you can about a job applicant. Information you would need is contact information for personal and business references, a list of past and present employers, social security number, birth date and more. These items will help you complete reference checks and to perform background checks to find out about any past criminal activity. Call on a reference. You are never too busy for that.
2Offer skill testing. If you want to decrease employee turn-around, you can perform skill tests on your job applicants. You can either do this directly through your human resource department or you can contract this responsibility out to a job placement agency. This is one of the tools that will help you determine whether you have found the best fit for each position your company has open. Not only that, but it also cuts down on your new applicant recruitment costs. Every company has some form of testing or verification. Have a competition with it or an incentive.
3Profile For Temperament. Each job description should include a consideration of the social aspects of the job. Is the job task oriented or people oriented? Does the job require much interaction with the public? With other co-workers? Temperament profiles can predict which people are best suited for different types of work. Placing people with the right temperament for a particular job can go a long way toward creating stability.
4Pay competitive. If you've gone through the trouble of finding great candidates, you want to make sure you can persuade them to come on board and have them stay. Money is not the number one reason people come to a company or leave a company.
5Show appreciation. Many employees almost always know when they are doing a job wrong. However, these same employees very rarely ever hear from their employers when they are doing their job right. Encourage your employees by saying kind words to them, and telling how much of a good job they are doing. If you do that, they will be more likely to accept any words of advice on how to improve their work later on.
6Level the workload. Employees often leave companies because they feel overworked. It's frequently less expensive to hire an additional person, even part-time, than it is to replace a seasoned staff member. Often we complain about an individuals performance but no action is taken. That hurts existing employee morale as well.
7Hold regular review sessions. When employees are closely attached to their management team, they are more likely to feel involved. More involved employees tend to perform at a higher level and are more likely to achieve longer tenure. Talk to your employees. Keep them informed of new policies and procedures. Don't keep secrets. An informed and educated employee is much more effective.
8Do exit interviews. Labor laws suggest that we cannot hold a person from leaving. When an employee goes, he/she just has to go. It will be very beneficial to know the cause of why the employee chose to leave. Possible factors may be: a better job offer, pursuit for growth, poor colleague relationships, below average compensation, dislike for the nature of work, etc. Knowing what problems to address, and taking action on them, will eventually lessen turnover rates in the future.
  • Listen, listen, listen. Money is one of the least common reasons for turnover (lower pay scale positions are sometimes exceptions) so if you are experiencing a high turnover, throwing money at the problem will not make it go away (although it might hide the problem for a while). Debrief employees that quit and find out the "why" behind their decision. If you continue to allow the employees to leave without any efforts or actions to stop it, you effectively create a culture that becomes the norm in your business.
  • Offer employees the option of cross-training. Though there are many employees who only want to know their own job, many get bored and like the challenge of learning new skills. Having employees who know more than just their own job benefits both you and them. If you lose an employee, you have others who can step in and take their place. If a job position gets phased out, the employee can move to a new area with the skills they have acquired! Though many employees may not take you up on your offer to cross-train them, some will.
  • Employees who feel a sense of ownership of the organization are less likely to leave. Create a sense of ownership by giving responsibility to employees. Make their duties look like responsibility and not just another activity. Express appreciation regularly. Reward success especially jointly, making everyone feel they contributed to the joint success. Employees who feel appreciated and successful are less likely to leave.
  • Give awards and rewards for achievement. Awards can be items such as employees’ pins for good attendance or cash incentives for increased department productivity. You can also offer some form of extra pay as a reward, or free company merchandise. However, stay away from incentive programs that pit employees against one another, as the resulting competition can yield tension and bad faith.


While low employee turnover can be beneficial in some respects, a near-zero employee turnover is actually counterproductive. Turnover is good for filtering out stale company standards by bringing in workers with fresh, new ideas.