Updated: Aug 31
If you have been working as an employee for some time, you could have witnessed several people leaving their job posts-- quitting. Based on my observation, they have varied reasons, but having a better job offer and dissatisfaction with co-workers and/or supervisor are the most common.
The management would at times negotiate with a resigning employee just to keep him. I'm pretty sure you have heard, or probably experienced, that kind of stuff.
While I was still working as an MDS RN Coordinator, I have experienced being offered a flexible work schedule; my boss said I could come anytime at my convenience as long as I'm able to finish the workload. In another instance, I was also offered having somebody to bring patient charts into my table since I've had physical limitations with my previous pregnancy.
Voluntary employee turnover is, however, not always detrimental to the management. This is particularly true in the case of an underperforming employee turning in his resignation letter. It opens an opportunity for you to look for a more fit candidate for the position. Moreover, if a highly paid employee resigns, you can hire somebody who possesses acceptable knowledge and skills needed for the job at a lower salary.
On the other hand, turnover becomes dysfunctional if engaged employees, who contribute well to your business, leave the door. Engaged employees are your talents-- your human capital. They perceive themselves happy and committed to their job position, organization, and community. They tend to exert more effort to show their capabilities and potential-- performing at their best. Having well-engaged human capital adds to productivity and profitability.
Furthermore, loss of a valuable employee can be costly. Oftentimes, the management has to pay for the employee's accrued paid time off and to hire and train a replacement. In addition, the new employee's quality of service might not be great at the beginning since it usually takes some time before the work is mastered. It also reduces the morale of those who stayed, as well as the confidence and loyalty of the customers to your business.
Now, you must understand that you cannot absolutely prevent valuable employees from resigning. This is because there are various unavoidable reasons for turnover, such as family circumstances, marriages, economic migration, health problems, or desire to go back to studies. Nonetheless, you must be able to manage the avoidable factors like job dissatisfaction with compensation and benefits, working environment, job hours, and staff policies if you want to retain employees with essential skills and competencies-- those who will help you achieve your financial goals and objectives towards financial freedom.
The following are ways to reduce employee turnover.
Job satisfaction surveys and exit interviews. Understand how you employees feel within the organization by conducting an assessment of their level of job satisfaction and organizational commitment. This can be done by through regular surveys. You must first have the knowledge on what aspects of the job make your employees stay and what need improvements. This is important before you can actually deal with the root causes of turnover. Exit interviews can also be valuable tools in planning for retention strategies. It gives you immediate information on the employee's reason/s for leaving.
Improve your recruitment and hiring process. Possessed knowledge, skills, and past experiences can give you a clue whether an applicant will be a great fit for your organization. Furthermore, you must consider the applicant's emotional intelligence (EI). A person who has higher EI tends to build a more positive working relationship with his superiors and co-workers, to have higher job satisfaction, and to solve conflicts effectively. I have experienced applying to several positions which required me to answer pre-employment psychological questionnaires measuring my aptitude and personality.
Competitive pay and benefits. You must realize that your talents are the most important asset of the business. According to the theory organizational equilibrium, staff remain motivated to stay and to give valuable contributions to the organization if they perceive that the inducements (like competitive pay and benefits), are equal or greater than what they contribute (in terms of time and effort). In addition, a highly valued employee may find it easier to quit if he has better alternatives. Hence, you must ensure that the job position your employees hold remain competitive.
Tangible and intangible rewards. Every person enjoys the feeling of being praised. You must show appreciation when employees perform great, and provide encouragement to keep putting on their best effort. Completing a big and difficult project, finishing tasks on deadlines, and satisfying irate customers are worth your acknowledgement as their manager or boss. Recognition makes employees feel valued. Also, remember that engaged and competent employees are in high demand; thus providing rewards in terms of wages and bonuses can help retain them. Above-market rewards, however, may be more challenging for small businesses.
Developmental opportunities. Improvement in knowledge and skills and moving up the career ladder are developmental opportunities that competent employees want. It keeps them focused and goal-oriented. You may want to communicate with the employees you want to retain regarding their career path aspirations. Through this, you can make plans on how your business can offer them enticing opportunities. Developmental programs to enhance employee competencies may include formal classroom training or online courses.
Improve quality of work environment. Improving the quality of work environment can be a daunting task since you cannot control everything that happens within the organization. However, you must continue on working on them to make sure that talented and creative employees stay. When the work environment is comfortable, there is less stress. Some ways to improve the work environment include hiring and retaining professional and team player individuals, improving lighting conditions, keeping the workplace clean and attractive, providing comfortable desks and chairs, improving communication skills among the staff, offering water and snacks, maintaining comfortable room temperature, offering opportunities for socialization, and offering flexible work schedules if possible.
Strengthen relationships within the organization. When employees form strong relationship with their managers, co-workers, and outside business-related linkages, they feel embedded within the organization. This makes them more difficult to quit. Team building activities are popular schemes that many companies use to keep their employees connected. It facilitates cooperation, trust, communication, and collaboration. It can even help mitigate conflicts as it builds stronger, supportive, and cohesive relationship among your staff.
Although retaining valued employees can be challenging, it is worth your every effort as it has a direct effect on your business' productivity and profitability. After implementing various strategies to reduce employee turnover you must evaluate its effectiveness, and then revise your actions based on your findings. You must be able to identify and to work on the most significant and avoidable causes of turnover in you organization. I hope the this article aids you in doing so.
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