Minimizing Employee Turnover

Today's workforce seeks development, opportunity and job satisfaction. At one time, it was more common for workers to remain with one company for the duration of their career. Due to changing employee needs coupled with a competitive job market, employee turnover is on the rise. The effects of turnover can be extremely costly. With departing employees comes the loss of intellectual capital, as well as costs associated with recruiting, hiring and training new personnel.

If your company is experiencing a pattern in employee turnover due to unsatisfied employees, there are steps you can take to improve retention rates, including:

1. Hiring employees with the right "fit".

Compatibility is critical to retention. Behavioral based interviewing and competency screening goes a long way in determining personality, work style and potential match and success within your company.

2. Hiring older workers.

Consider hiring candidates who are seeking stability. Older applicants may not be looking for the development opportunities that their younger counterparts may be in need of.

3. Describing the job correctly.

Make sure you describe the job as accurately as possible so candidates will know what is expected. Misconceptions regarding the job responsibilities and work environment are one of the major causes of employee turnover.

4. Developing competitive compensation and benefit packages.

Understand and research market pay ranges in your area and consider the value of benefits and employee perks; offering such extras to your workforce may be the key to your retention efforts.

5. Challenging your employees.

Employees want to be challenged in the job they are performing to feel like they are growing both personally and professionally when challenged with attainable assignments.

6. Providing excellent supervision.

Incompetent supervisors are often one of the first issues linked to employee turnover. No one wants to work for a manager who cannot adequately complete the tasks of his or her job, who is not passionate about the work being done and who fails to provide regular feedback. Providing better employee supervision as well as enhanced communication helps decrease employee turnover.

7. Recognizing employee success.

It is important to let your employees know that their work does not go unnoticed. Employees are more willing to stay with a company if they feel a sense of pride and success in their work. When employees meet or succeed your expectations, show your appreciation for a job well done.

8. Providing an employee-friendly work environment.

Be accommodating to your employees' outside demands. Providing employees with flexible schedules makes for a productive, satisfied workforce. The stress of balancing work and life diminishes when employees can work around their outside obligations.

9. Career Advancement Opportunities:

Whenever possible, provide opportunities within the company for cross-training and career progression. Employees are seeking to develop themselves, and offering that opportunity to them may provide the satisfaction and stability they are seeking.

The bottom line is that it's extremely important to understand the impact of turnover in your business and determine the reasons why employees are leaving. The most effective way to do so is by conducting exit interviews with departing employees. This strategy alone will help you make adjustments that will reduce future turnover.

Facts [+]

The Domino's Pizza chain focused on its store managers to reduce worker turnover from a staggering 158% down to 107%, according to a article. To accomplish this, Domino's HR department deployed a store manager strategy of hiring more selectively, coaching them on how to create better workplaces, and motivating them with the promise of stock options and promotions.

Consumer products maker SC Johnson ranked number seven on Fortune Magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For. The company has a devoted workforce as evidenced by its remarkably low turnover rate of two percent. Among SC Johnson's unique employee perks are: flexible work schedules, no meeting day Fridays, paid sabbaticals, and lifetime membership at the company fitness center.

By Michael J. Pires

Michael Pires is the President of,