Guest Post – 10 ways to reduce employee turnover

This blog post is brought to you by Dell Dorn of Dorn Companies.

Across many industries, there is one issue that most companies struggle with: Employee turnover. When as many as 33% of new hires quit within their first 6 months at a job, high employee retention is a goal many companies don’t know how to achieve. There are many factors that come into play and can cause an employee to leave a company. The trick is to know how to solve these issues and make employees want to stay with your company for the long haul. Follow these tips to reduce employee turnover and improve your retention.


1. Hire the right people

This may seem obvious, but it is worth pointing out: During the hiring process, be sure your company is gaining the right people for the job. The first step is to make sure the job description is accurate and thorough; you need to know whom exactly you are looking for and what exactly he or she will be doing, and this needs to be defined clearly for both you and potential new hires. Having this figured out before scouting for new employees will save you plenty of time and frustration.


2. Give fair compensation and benefits

Needless to say, the vast majority of employees do care about the compensation and benefits they receive. Make sure that each employee earns their due amount; you can check to see how much a certain position earns on average in different cities and countries, and this can help you ensure that your wages are fair or competitive. In addition to good pay, employees also value good benefits, including insurance, retirement packages, vacation time and paid leave, and family- or health-related perks. Each year, review what pay and benefits you offer to make sure they have grown accordingly. Otherwise, employees may leave your company for a more competitively packaged job elsewhere.


3. Offer career growth and a clear path to advancement

Decades ago, it was common for employees to work in the same company for most of their adult lives. Workers naturally advanced within a company, climbing from the bottom to an upper level position. Nowadays, this practice is not quite as widespread as it once was: Many companies hire new people to fill senior positions, and employees are therefore not as loyal to their workplace. You can improve employee retention by making it clear that your workers have a path to advancement. Advance careers with internal promotions instead of seeking new hires, and make sure employees are aware of the career growth they can expect within your company.


4. Recognize and reward good employees

Frequently, employers will find themselves spending more time with workers that need extra help in understanding a new task than with those that already do it well. However, it is important to acknowledge those employees that do good work. A little recognition will go a long way in making an employee feel valued and fulfilled in their career. You can go the extra mile and reward good employees as well, thus creating an even stronger bond between them and the company.


5. Provide regular feedback

Employees like to know how they are doing and how they can improve, and you can help by giving regular feedback. Most companies will do an annual review, though half of all employees find them inaccurate and even a waste of time. You can work to improve yearly reviews, or you may want to increase their frequency. Perhaps you can find time to meet with your employees quarterly, monthly, or even weekly to look at what is coming up in the schedule, how the industry has evolved, and how they are doing within the company.


6. Be flexible

As we move further into the 21st century, it is becoming clearer than ever how employee expectations have changed. Many employees now greatly value flexibility, and your company will do well to provide it whenever possible. If you need employees to work late on a Friday night, perhaps that can be offset with a late start the next week. Depending on the type of work your company or an employee does, perhaps some workers can telecommute on occasion. There are many ways you can offer flexibility for employees, and this will result in workers that are more satisfied with the job they have.


7. Give guidance without micromanaging

Part of being a good leader is giving employees the tools, training, and direction they need to work on their own. Employees can’t read minds, but you can let them know how to prioritize the tasks on their to-do lists. Simply letting them know how to prioritize can make a huge difference in the efficiency of the company. Allowing employees enough autonomy that you’re not micromanaging their every move is key: Give them just enough guidance that they can get their work done while you focus on yours.

Employee Turnover cartoon


8. Prioritize employee happiness and health

One of the biggest trends in recent years is a focus on employee happiness and health. Employees who are happy in their jobs consistently perform better than those who are not; beyond providing good pay and benefits, a healthy work environment is vital. Try to create a culture of health in your company – to start, you can offer wellness programs, encourage healthy activity, and help reduce stress. These small steps can go a long way to making employees feel happy, cared for, and ultimately content in their workplace.


9. Watch out for MSDs

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) can be a big factor in employee turnover. MSDs can include carpal tunnel, tendonitis, strains, or injuries; new hires in the first 90 days are the most likely to incur injuries or sore muscles, though even seasoned employees can suffer. MSDs will frequently lead to absenteeism or presenteeism, and may eventually result in employee turnover. This is where good health programs come into play: Make sure your company provides quality health and wellness resources to prevent injury and reduce or eliminate existing pain in employees. On-site treatment therapy can help immensely by immediately addressing muscular pain, strains, and injury. On the other hand, when an employee does have a more serious injury, it is also important to have a good return-to-work program ready. Both of these steps will ensure that employees are well cared for and valued in the company.


10. Get to know your employees beyond just the work they do

Last but not least, remember to treat your employees as people. You already know they are good workers, but what else can you talk about when you see them? Get to know them a bit: What do they like to do in their free time? What are their interests? Short of becoming close friends, it’s good to know who your employees are as people. This will make working together more natural and can help with managing them more effectively. The employees will also feel more valued in the company and, therefore, more loyal.


Employee turnover is an unpleasant reality of any business, but you can improve employee retention by making sure your workers are valued, fairly compensated, treated like people, and provided with quality resources to prevent injury and pain. These points improve loyalty and will create a company that is stronger and healthier across the board.

About the Author

Dell Dorn is the founder and CEO of DORN Companies. He started DORN in 1998 to help employers save money on workers’ compensation claims and reduce OSHA recordables. Today, DORN customers realize the immense cost of employee pain and the enormous impact our service has on employee morale and their bottom line.

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