How to Stop Losing Employees

Attrition. It’s the one word most hiring managers least want to hear—and for good reason. Attrition doesn’t just mean a simple loss of employees. It means that the loss of employees is more than an anomaly. It means—and this is where it hurts—that the loss of employees is part of a pattern.

Losing employees is an inevitable part of business. Resignations, terminations, and retirements happen. People move on. But when those exits start coming in clumps or with more and more regularity, it’s time to look inward and start developing strategies to combat the pattern.

Where are the losses coming from?

If you’re experiencing unusually high attrition rates, stemming the turnover starts with some soul searching. People don’t usually take new positions without good reason. Retirements and health issues aside, there could be several reasons why your team is looking at other opportunities. These include:

  • Wages and/or benefits
  • A lack of advancement opportunities
  • Employees feeling undervalued
  • Poor Work Culture

Fixing the Attrition Problem

The good news is that it doesn’t take an advanced degree to stop losing employees. It just takes strategy and implementation.  Here are a few tips:

  1. Hold exit interviews.

Employees who are on their way out for reasons other than health or retirement may be much more willing to give you an honest assessment of their time with your company. You can’t fix what you don’t know about, so start attacking your attrition problem by tapping into the best resource available—the exiting employees!

  1. Re-think your compensation model.

If departing employees say they were unhappy with their pay, it might be time to re-examine how you compensate the team. This doesn’t necessarily mean higher salaries, although that’s probably a good start. After all, a higher salary might pale in comparison to the money, resources, and time you’re spending consistently hiring and training new staff.  Barring wage hikes, consider providing other financial incentives, such as commissions, health care stipends, or higher retirement matching.

  1. Promote from within.

The only thing positive about employee turnover is the opportunity it presents to others within your organization. Hiring outside the company can be demoralizing to those worthy candidates who already know the business and can handle the open position’s responsibilities. Be careful not to promote arbitrarily, however! Putting people into the wrong roles can compound the problem. Make sure the fit is right, otherwise, you could fall into the Peter Principle.

  1. Elevate your corporate culture.

Work culture can have a profound impact on morale, teamwork, and attrition. Begin your cultural assessment with an anonymous survey to the team.  Ask for honest feedback about the work atmosphere, how you can improve as a leader, and ways employees want to be acknowledged or rewarded for their hard work. Happy employees tend to be more focused, more pleasant, and more productive than those who spend their days in an uninspiring or demotivating workplace. Some ideas to consider are participation in a group charity, company-wide work-from-home days, or employee happy hours. If you strike the right cultural balance between fun and productivity, your team will not only thank you for it, they’ll want to remain with you.

  1. Set Goals and recognize excellence.

Acknowledging good work should be a regular activity. If you haven’t set goals, spell them out and challenge the team to meet them. If you have, and the team is consistently meeting their sales or productivity goals, acknowledge their efforts with a team lunch or individual rewards. If they’re not, re-examine whether the goals are realistic and recognize the folks who are doing everything they can to meet them. Make a point to single out members of your team for recognition. Sometimes a public pat on the back can go a long way toward building loyalty.

  1. Ramp Up Recruitment.

If you’re already in the depths of attrition and are looking for a way to bounce back, it’s time to ramp up your recruiting game by making it an ongoing thing. Ongoing recruitment guards against ongoing departures, regardless of the reason. In the meantime, start implementing the other tips on this list. The first step toward alleviating mass exits is to stop the bleeding. While you’re doing so, however, quietly begin escalating your recruitment efforts.

The most stable employees are the ones who are a good fit from the beginning. Hire right, and your new employee can breathe fresh life into the entire team. Hire wrong, and it’s likely your new employee will feel overwhelmed and underperform, which will ultimately lead to them leaving or being let go.

If departures continue to bog down operations at your tech company or marketing agency even after you’ve made changes, adapt your recruitment efforts by outsourcing. Shyft Careers specializes in matching talented candidates with quality companies, so make a Shyft today, and let’s get started!

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