Human Resources: Employee Turnover and Things You Can Do To Reduce It

As a small business, you need your best employees to stay with you in ups and downs. You want to keep your workers to continue business as usual.

How can you do that amidst this pandemic and the Great Resignation that’s sweeping across the U.S. and the world at large?

By keeping them engaged and satisfied.

In this guide, we go through the Great Resignation, its major causes, and what you can do to reduce employee turnover.

The Great Resignation: What It Really Is

Causes of a High Employee Turnover Rate

Burnout

Opportunities for New Careers and Life Paths

Need for Flexibility

Lack of Growth and Career Development

Need for Better Work-Life Balance

How To Reduce Employee Turnover And Retain Workers Longer

1. Prioritize Employee Development Programs

2. Make Work Options More Flexible

3. Keep Top Performers Engaged

4. Listen to Your Workers and Act

5. Establish a Strong Company Culture and Values

Final Thoughts: How To Reduce Employee Turnover — 5 Causes and 5 Solutions

The Great Resignation: What It Is

The Great Resignation is the increased voluntary quit rate among employees, primarily in the U.S. This trend took off in April 2021 at a rate higher than ever in the last 21 years.

How does it affect your business?

The great resignation has taken a huge toll on the workforce. Many businesses have lost a decent chunk of their workers. Some of your employees may have resigned too.

Statistics from the United States Department of Labor share that 11.5 million workers quit their jobs between April and June 2021.

That’s not all.

An additional 4 million workers left in July alone. That’s a projected 2.7% employee turnover rate.

These numbers remain high across several industries. A survey conducted by Microsoft in early 2021 says that at least 41% of workers plan to leave their current employer in 2021 and 46% expect to transition to other career paths.

Eagle Hill Consulting forecast that this trend is here to stay well after the pandemic subsides.

What can you do to prepare your business against this Great Resignation?

Let’s go through the causes and potential solutions for reducing employee turnover.

Causes of a High Employee Turnover Rate

Lady holding her head, stressed as she looks at her laptop

Here are five top reasons your company may experience a high turnover rate.

1.   Burnout

Man experiencing burnout in front of his laptop

While burnout is a common workplace issue, the pandemic has only made it worse. Another Eagle Hill study shows that 59% of American workers reported experiencing burnout in August 2020. This figure was up from 45% in April 2020.

You’ll find several studies with similar results. The Hatford’s study found 61% of workers to be experiencing burnout.

Burnout at workplaces occurs due to:

  • Excess work hours and poor work-life balance
  • Inadequate human resources, communication and feedback
  • Poor employee recognition and incentives
  • Lack of fair or equitable treatment of team members
  • Unclear expectations and job descriptions

Collect feedback from your employees on their well-being to resolve these issues.

2.   Opportunities for New Careers and Life Paths

During the lockdowns, many employees reflected and changed their priorities. Some took on high-risk decisions and started their own businesses or became freelancers. And many others moved into new jobs or careers.

Schools and colleges now offer flexibility in their learning options, attracting people to learn new skills. Workers with a new skill set are more likely to turnover, leaving for more lucrative options or changing careers altogether.

3.   Need for Flexibility

Many of your workers may have performed their jobs remotely during the pandemic. They could attend to their children. They could work while sitting in their garden.

This newfound freedom will be hard to give up after the pandemic.

FlexJobs found that 58% of participants were likely to quit jobs that didn’t support remote work. Employers reverting to full-time office work after the pandemic may consequently turnover more employees.

4.   Lack of Growth and Career Development

In 2019, many workers voluntarily quit the workforce because of a lack of growth.

The pandemic has only worsened it, with many companies freezing promotions, tracking back bonuses and benefits, instituting pay cuts and laying off workers.

5.  Need for Better Work-Life Balance

Work and family have always been competing interests.

Your employees may wish to spend more time with their families. And due to pandemic lockdowns, they know that it’s possible if the business provides flexibility.

That’s why employers will lose a large workforce unless they offer support in establishing a work-life balance.

How To Reduce Employee Turnover and Retain Workers Longer

Meeting between team members possibly discussing with their supervisor
  1. Prioritize employee development programs
  2. Make work options more flexible
  3. Keep top performers engaged
  4. Listen to your workers and act
  5. Establish a strong company culture and values

Employee turnover has a massive impact on companies’ costs and bottom line, and you’d do well to get ahead of the curve. Here are some essential steps you can take today to reduce employee turnover.

1. Prioritize Employee Development Programs

You can increase employee engagement and retention by putting their development first. Offer your employees exciting opportunities where they take on more responsibilities and improve their competencies and skills.

Take a more proactive approach and facilitate training boot camps and seminars for your workers.

Have one-on-one discussions with team leaders to identify opportunities for workplace improvements.

Besides that, provide opportunities for internal career changes to keep talented workers looking for a new challenge and reduce your employee turnover.

Check out Dropbox, HP and AT&T for ideas and inspiration.

2. Make Work Options More Flexible

Remote work has proven to be effective and satisfying for the workers.

But you might need some workers in the office after the pandemic. To ease this transition, here are some things you can do:

  • Offer flexible working hours so your employees can adjust to the needs of their day
  • Allow your workers to choose between on-site, remote and hybrid options
  • Give employees options for contract and freelance working

3. Keep Top Performers Engaged

Your most productive and talented workers are also the most susceptible to burnout.

One way to keep your top talent engaged is to listen to them. Engage with their ideas and offer them solutions to their immediate work-related challenges.

You can also offer them exclusive training, career growth opportunities and a better benefits package.

Don’t just focus on top performers, but also use them as examples to encourage their co-workers to improve their outputs.

4. Listen to Your Workers and Act

Image of scrabble pieces spelling ‘listen more’.

Listen to your workers’ pressing issues and take action. Change your policies and practices to support a workforce-friendly environment that also cushions your workers from the effects of the pandemic.

Conduct employee surveys, offer mentorship opportunities and listen to new ideas about the workplace.

Adjust the workplace to support the needs of your employees where possible. A supportive environment often reduces employee turnover rates.

5. Establish a Strong Company Culture and Values

Strengthen your company using a welcoming culture and strong support structures for all employees. While you can attract many workers by being a globally acclaimed brand, a culture consistent in its values and principles keeps the right employees in the long run.

Let your company culture evolve to attract younger talents with a better cultural fit to help future-proof your workforce.

Have a strong hiring and reskilling strategy that ensures you have outstanding new hires willing to stay long in your company.

Here are more tips on how to improve your workers’ well-being.

Final Thoughts: How To Reduce Employee Turnover — 5 Causes and 5 Solutions

If you want to keep your current workforce, keep them happy. It’s a much easier alternative to onboarding new employees. It also promotes hard work and better outputs across the production chain.

With these employee retention strategies, you reduce your involuntary turnover rates and armor your company from problems like absenteeism and exit interviews.

Do you agree with this list? Do you have a tip of your own to reduce employee turnover?

Let us know by tweeting at @Bluehost.

Machielle Thomas
Machielle Thomas | Content Manager
Machielle Thomas writes and curates web and email content for marketing professionals, small business owners, bloggers, and more.

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