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Retention Tips to Improve Employee Turnover

Your employees are leaving. And they aren’t just leaving in the standard way, in which an ambitious worker gracefully gives notice after realizing that your company can’t offer the kind of advancement she needs, or in which a new graduate stays for a few years and then moves onto bigger adventures, the kind your company can’t provide. Those types of exits are typical, and can be expected as a simple cost of doing business. In fact, if you’re hiring smart and ambitious newbies, training them, and then watching them leave a few years later with grace and gratitude, you’re doing something right.

But if you’re like many employers in the current climate, you’re witnessing something else. Your employees may be heading out with minimal—or zero—notice. They may be coming on board and staying for only a month or two. Or worst of all, they may be leaving in a cloud of anger, resentment, or burnout. If you’re experiencing any of these, here are a few moves you can make that may cool the negative energy in your workplace and help you retain your most valuable team members.

Stop reacting and just listen.

Quell your urge to panic. Instead, recognize that employee dissatisfaction is on the rise everywhere, not just in your company, then calm down and have open conversations with your employees.

Ask questions.

Ask why they’re eyeing the door, and really listen to the answers, even if you disagree with the reasons or feel insulted by what you hear. If there’s something off about your workplace culture, your salary rates, or your expectations, now is the time to find out. And if you aren’t currently conducting exit interviews, it’s time to start.

Reset your pay rates.

Employees need money—not just a living wage, but a wage that reflects both the value of their skills and the sacrifices they make in order to work here. So chances are, paying your employees more will go a long way toward solving the problem. But…

Get the facts first.

Before you start applying wage increases as a general cure-all, check to make sure there isn’t another issue looming that has nothing to do with money. If your turnover is related to just one insufferable manager, one workplace policy that risks employee safety, or even a simple office thermostat that could be turned up a few notches, fix that. You may reap huge savings in time, money, hassle, and broken relationships by investing in a quick and easy solution.

Make sure your hires are a fit.

Some hiring managers are still choosing candidates based on an outdated image of a “model employee”. This imaginary person is fresh-scrubbed, eager to please, skilled at every imaginable task, has an advanced degree, wears an eternal smile, never has any human needs, never speaks up, never makes a mistake, and places the company above ever other priority in his or her life. Because no such person exists (nor should they), don’t seek this. Instead, seek the person who has the one or two skills that will actually be required every day by this specific job. Look for the person who will get along with the other members of this specific team. Look for the candidate who has the knowledge you need, regardless of degree status. Look for someone who will be comfortable and happy here.

For more on how to attract—and keep—the best candidates on the market, turn to the staffing experts at Personnel Services Unlimited.

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