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Combat High Turnover of Staff: Expert Retention Tips

Company Culture
July 19, 2022
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No company wants a high turnover of staff. It places more stress on HR teams to have to constantly be recruiting, exacerbates the workload of employees who remain at the company, and can overall harm the company culture and morale. So, how can HR and management teams play a role in reducing the causes of employee turnover? 

It all starts with figuring out if you have high employee turnover in the first place. Then, it continues with fostering a workplace that prioritises its people and their mental wellbeing. This way, team members are equipped to overcome challenges and express their needs. 

We’ll share expert tips in this article for how to do so, as well as share how employee wellbeing platforms can make a world of difference.

What is Employee Turnover and What Is High Turnover of Staff?   

Turnover is a figure that expresses how many employees leave an organisation within a given period of time. It could be voluntary turnover, which is when people leave on their own volition, or it can be involuntary turnover, in which case people’s employment is terminated by the company. 

Turnover should not be confused with attrition, which is also a figure of employees who leave, but then the role ceases to exist. In the case of turnover, the roles must be filled through internal promotion or external hiring. 

How do you Calculate Employee Turnover Rate?       

According to Monster, the average turnover rate in the UK is 15%. Although the average turnover rate varies by industry. 

With a benchmark in mind for your industry, it’s a great opportunity to calculate your business’ employee turnover rate. This can be done by using the following equation:

Employee turnover rate = (Employees who left / average number of employees) x 100

What is a Good Employee Turnover Rate?       

To deduce if your turnover rate is good (or should we say on par or acceptable), look at the average rate within your industry. 

While the average rate may be 15% overall, there are some industries that have much higher average turnover rates due to the nature of their work. 

What are Examples of High Turnover Jobs?   

Sectors that tend to be highly demanding and require highly skilled workers are often more prone to high turnover rates. 

To exemplify, food services can have turnover rates as high as 73% and retail can reach 65%. Additionally, hospitality, tech and IT jobs, and sales also tend to suffer from higher turnover rates.

What are the Consequences of Not Investing in Retention?   

Failing to invest in retention has immense consequences on a business. You’ll often find statistics that point to the financial strain of turnover, which according to some estimates, can warrant up to 33% of an employee’s salary being expended to replace them. 

Beyond the economic burden, the outcome of ignoring retention efforts also affects your workplace in qualitative ways. For example, employees may feel discouraged or demotivated when one of their team members quits. 

They may also suffer from burnout if they have to take on the extra workload while a replacement is found. Additionally, losing a team member results in lower productivity rates. 

It requires a lot of time and effort to replace a lost employee with a good candidate, which is why it’s so paramount to focus on retention before turnover rears its head. This is especially true considering the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, which caused employees to shift their priorities. 

With an employee wellbeing platform like LUME, HR teams can support employees by helping them to deal with the “new norm” and strengthen their own mental fitness. 

As a result, employees feel well taken care of and have access to evidence-based knowledge and techniques to help them better cope with higher stress levels. In turn, they are less likely to look for a job elsewhere because they have the resources they need to reach their potential and navigate challenging situations.

How Can You Tell if an Employee is About to Quit?       

The burning question that every employer hopes to answer is how they can tell an employee is about to quit before it happens. While you aren’t a mind reader and an employee’s personal and professional circumstances are bound to change, there are indicators that can help you spot turnover before the resignation letter hits your desk. 

In many cases, employees quit when their work is having too great of an impact on their mental wellbeing. It could be because they feel overly stressed, are experiencing a lack of a work/life balance, seek more flexibility, or sense that their hard work is going unnoticed. 

Whatever the reason may be, an employee wellbeing platform can help. An expertly-designed platform like LUME encourages employees to build a greater awareness about how they feel, and what impacts it, so that they can make positive changes for themselves.

HR and management teams also get insights from patterns and trends from anonymised data across teams, departments and locations. This way, they can recognise when departments may need extra support, which would relieve burdens or stress that could otherwise lead to turnover, for example. 

The platform also provides resources and tools to strengthen an employee’s mental fitness, which helps them to be more resilient and better manage change or stressful situations.

Burned out employee at desk
By Marcus Aurelius from Pexels

What are the Causes of High Turnover Rate of Staff?   

There are many reasons why a company could be experiencing a high turnover of employees. 

While they range, the connection between most (if not every) reason listed is related to emotional wellbeing. 

Lets take a look: 

1. Employee Stress and Heavy Workload

Stress is a natural component of life. But, when employees are constantly under pressure and worried about work, it becomes unsustainable. Their workload may need to be distributed, or employees may need more training and development to be able to streamline their processes effectively.

2. Work/Life Balance

If an employee spends all their time at work or thinking about work, they will be unable to maintain a healthy work/life balance. This often leads to burnout, which is a state of emotional, physical, and mental drain. 

3. Job Experience

If employees lack experience to get their job duties completed, they could feel a lack of confidence or inability to take initiative. They also may end up making more mistakes and fear the outcomes. 

If you support employees through adequate training and caring about their development, you can help them grow rather than having them choose to go. 

4. Lack of Recognition

Employees love to know that their hard work is contributing to the success of the organisation because it breeds a sense of purpose. Without rewards and recognition, employees often lose motivation and become unengaged. 

5. Company Culture 

A company culture that ignores an employee’s wellbeing and overall experience can end up being toxic. Employees spend so much of their time at work, so it’s no doubt that they want to be happy and feel supported in those moments.

6. Poor Relationship with Bosses

There’s a saying that people don’t quit their jobs, they quit their managers. A manager plays a pivotal role in the employee experience. 

As such, managers must be organised, fair, and approachable. It’s of great value to receive employee feedback regarding their managers to ensure this is the case. 

7. Lack of Flexibility

Company culture and flexibility tend to go hand-in-hand. Companies that keep employees overtime on a constant basis and ignore the need for a work/life balance may cause an employee to seek more flexible options elsewhere. 

8. Benefits & Remuneration

Employees may look for other jobs if they don’t feel like they are earning enough for their work or lack benefits. Keep an eye on how your business compares to your industry’s typical salary package, health benefits, pension benefits, etc.

9. Poor Learning & Career Development Opportunities

Most employees have the desire to grow and develop in their professional lives. Without the support of an organisation to do so, they could get frustrated in their current role and often build resentment. 

Organisations should invest in employee development to not only motivate their employees, but also because it may result in the ability to internally promote rather than having to recruit from scratch. 

10. Unequal Treatment 

Employees should all receive equal treatment and support. If anyone feels like there is favoritism, it can create tension and anger that results in resignation.

How Can You Reduce High Turnover of Staff?   

Here are some recommendations to help reduce high turnover of staff:

1. Focus Your Hiring Strategy 

Hire with the goal of reducing turnover in mind. To do so, define the needs for the position. Consider using a pre-employment assessment as you begin the interview process. 

This will provide you with data and insights into candidates when you start interviewing and also confirm if you’re getting an accurate read on them. 

Along with this, hire for cultural fit (behavioral assessments and references aid here) and ensure that your compensation and benefits packages are competitive enough tor retain employees, as it’s a common reason for employees to look elsewhere.

2. Prioritise Employee Mental Wellbeing 

Employee mental wellbeing is pivotal to minimising turnover. With an employee wellbeing platform, employees have access to a system that is designed for them to improve their ability to deal with increased stress and become more resilient. 

Employees get to track their mood over time and gain insights into what impacts them. LUME empowers both employees and employers to recognise opportunities for growth within the organisation, which can be a main source of motivation and an engagement driver for employees in the short and long term.

3. Reward Your Employees 

Recognise employees for their efforts. This can be in the form of recognition or rewards. Whatever method you use, a little can end up going a long way. It also helps to boost an employee’s sense of purpose and ability to see how their actions benefit the organisation.

4. Ensure a Work-Life Balance 

Even when there is a lot to get done within the business, employees must be able to possess their work/life balance. 

As an employer, this can be accomplished by providing: 

  • flexible work options like remote working 
  • access to employee wellbeing platforms that showcase to employees that their employer cares 
  • perks outside of work 
  • respecting boundaries 
  • allowing employees to take their vacation time without being interrupted by work concerns

Take A Multi-Faceted Approach 

While the approach to relieve high turnover of staff should be multi-dimensional, you can see that it heavily hinges on an employee’s overall emotional wellbeing. This is because the way in which people react, behave, and view their work and life is based on their mental wellbeing. 

As an employer, when you prioritise employees’ mental wellbeing, you will be able to alleviate high turnover rates as a result.

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