Let’s face it — hiring is expensive. Between recruitment, training, and onboarding, having to constantly hire new employees can hinder progress. On the other hand, long-term employees who know the ins and outs of your company can help take your business to new heights.
“Quality talent is like a rare jewel. You have to protect it at all costs,” says Cody Candee, Founder and CEO of Bounce.
So, how do you avoid having to constantly hire new team members? You can reduce employee turnover if you follow these 11 steps.
- Be Selective During the Hiring Process
The best way to ensure your employees won’t job-hop is to hire the right people in the first place. This may be easier said than done, but if you go through the correct screening process, you can hire employees who will be with you for years.
“Look beyond the resume when hiring new employees. If you want to reduce turnover, you need to also make sure your new hires are a good fit for your company, not just the job,” recommends George Fraguio, Vice President of Bridge Lending at Vaster Capital.
Roles and job descriptions should be clear on your job posting. Try to describe the role as accurately as possible. When you start the interview process, discuss the role in depth with your candidates and answer any questions they have. It’s also helpful to have another person interview the candidates to get alternative opinions before you hire.
- Schedule Regular Check-Ins
If you are only having one-on-ones with your employees during annual reviews, you need to meet with them more often. The frequency will depend largely on the size of your team, but if you can meet up with each employee quarterly to check in with them, you will notice the difference.
“You can’t give and receive feedback if you don’t make time to check in with your employees. Make sure you are setting aside one-on-one time to share ideas,” advises Justin Soleimani, Co-Founder of Tumble.
During this time, ask them about their satisfaction with their role and any issues or suggestions they would like to raise. This is also a good time to talk about their future with your company. It helps to maintain an open-door policy so your employees can have one-on-one time as the need arises.
- Give Private and Public Recognition
People need to feel appreciated when they are working hard to accomplish a task. You don’t even have to do anything flashy to make your employees feel special. A simple acknowledgment of their hard work will go a long way.
“When we make people around us feel valued, we improve our relationships and work culture,” explains Simon Sinek, Founder of the Optimism Company.
It’s important to give recognition both privately and publicly. If you have a weekly team meeting, set aside time to acknowledge employees who have hit milestones or have accomplished something outside of their day-to-day tasks. You should also give recognition in your one-on-ones.
- Avoid Micromanaging
Micromanaging is one of the most frustrating things employees experience in their work life. While other issues may boil up over time, this one is right in their face, every single day. Not only does micromanaging show a lack of respect for your employees, but it can also be downright insulting to have someone blatantly distrust your ability to do your job.
“Being micromanaged is akin to suffocating. If you give your employees room to breathe, they will start to perform at a higher level,” says Maegan Griffin, Founder, CEO and nurse practitioner at Skin Pharm.
Let employees come to you with any issues instead of constantly looking for them yourself. If your team knows you trust them to work independently, they will feel comfortable coming to you when they encounter a problem. Don’t let your micromanaging drive away good employees.
- Offer Work Work-Life Balance
While older generations love to roll their eyes at the entitlement of wanting work-life balance, you cannot take that approach as a business owner. Things have changed since baby boomers entered the workforce, and younger generations are demanding a healthy work-life balance. If you can’t provide something as foundational as that, prepare to have a high turnover.
“Your employees don’t live to work, they work to live. Employers have to remember that work is just a small part of who each person is. Recognize that and you will have happy, productive employees,” points out Anthony Tivnan, President and Co-Founder of Magellan Jets, a company that offers luxurious private jet charter flights.
Work-life balance starts with expectations. Don’t expect your employees to work outside normal work hours. If it’s the weekend, leave them alone. The same goes for when they are on lunch breaks, vacations, and holidays.
- Approve Time-Off Requests
Similar to work-life balance comes time-off requests. Some employers love the power trip that comes with dictating their employee’s lives. This type of time dictation leads to high turnover.
“Your employees have an entire life outside of work that you have no idea about. Ignoring this will drive away employees faster than you can deny a time-off request,” explains Dakota McDaniels, Chief Product Officer of Pluto, an AI stock trading platform.
A time-off request is really more of a notification rather than a request. If your employees are asking for time off well in advance, there is no reason for you to deny it. It’s your job as the boss to accommodate when your employees need to be away from their jobs for a period of time.
- Be Competitive With Compensation and Benefits
The number one thing that will cause employees to job-hop is better compensation. At the end of the day, your employees are working for a paycheck. If they are able to find a better paycheck elsewhere, they will most likely do so.
“When the market is competitive, you have to be too. Paying below market value will result in your job postings collecting dust,” points out Brandon Adcock, Co-Founder and CEO of Nugenix.
Keep your compensation and benefits competitive. Research what competitors are paying their employees to ensure that you are offering fair wages. If you pay well above market value, your employees are going to stick around longer.
- Allow Work From Home
Working from home was once a luxury that few employees got to indulge in. In 2023, however, it’s more of an expectation. Post-pandemic, companies that forced employees back into the office had some of the worst retention rates. If your employees are able to do their jobs from home, allow them to.
“The way people want to work has changed dramatically since the start of the pandemic. The world’s exposure to work from home forever changed today’s landscape,” says Andrew Chen, Chief Product Officer of Videeo.
From the employee perspective, commuting accounts for hours of unpaid labor. Sitting in traffic, eating out for lunch, and spending money on work attire just isn’t appealing to most people. Work-from-home jobs are highly coveted right now, so consider a hybrid or fully remote option if the nature of your business allows for it.
- Be Transparent About Opportunities for Growth
No one wants to stay in an admin position for life. Employees value opportunities for growth so you need to make sure you can provide that. If an employee feels like they’ve become stagnant in their role they will start to look for new opportunities, whether it’s with or without you.
“Upward mobility is what having a career is all about. It’s constantly looking toward the future and asking what’s next,” advises Jason Zhang, CTO of Tapin.GG, a company that helps video game players achieve an elo boost.
Be transparent with your employees about their future at your company. Talk to each employee about the career path they want for themselves and see if it aligns with what you can offer. Having these discussions regularly will let your employees know that you are engaged in their future and value them sticking with your company.
- Demonstrate Respect
The simplest thing you can do to retain employees is to treat them with respect. A difficult job can turn into eight hours of daily misery for employees who feel like they are being treated poorly. Give your employees respect and they will give it back.
“The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant,” advises Max DePree, founder of Herman Miller office furniture company
Studies have shown that employees who feel respected and appreciated perform better at their jobs. Mutual respect can benefit all parties. If you want to see an increase in productivity, keep your employees happy.
- Be Inclusive
Inclusivity is valued highly among employees. If you can foster an inclusive environment, you’ll have a better shot at retaining your top talent. A diverse and inclusive workplace also contributes to better productivity and employee satisfaction overall.
“There is no excuse to not have an inclusive workplace. Why would you want your employees to feel like they have to hunt for a new job that gives them basic respect and rights?” wonders Russell Kuwahara, Performance Marketing Manager of simplehuman, a company known for their innovative line of trash can products.
Keep interactions authentic and be open to hearing the experiences and opinions of your employees. Challenge stereotypes and support the things that make each of them unique.
Retaining Your Talent
Follow these tips and tricks for reducing employee turnover and retaining your top talent. If you give your employees the tools they need to succeed, they are more likely to stay loyal to your company. It just takes a little respect, recognition, and a great benefits package.