6 ways to stop employee turnover in its tracks

Matt Tarpey


All companies make an effort to keep employee turnover low, but it’s an especially big deal for smaller businesses. With already smaller staff sizes, just one person leaving can have an outsize impact on both productivity and morale.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so rather than waiting for employees to quit unexpectedly, find ways to stop turnover before it starts. Below are some of the most common reasons employees leave their jobs – and what you can do to turn them around.


1. No opportunities for advancement. Nobody wants to feel stuck in a dead-end job, so it’s not surprising that many employees start looking for new opportunities if they don’t see any chance to advance at their current companies. That’s especially common at small businesses, where there are often fewer opportunities for upward mobility. But that doesn’t mean you can’t help employees create a satisfying career path that meets their goals. (Get more tips for creating a career path for your small business.)

2. Poor work-life balance. Not only does helping employees achieve a healthy work-life balance help them, it’s good for business. Be sure to encourage your employees to use their vacation days. You may also consider offering more flexible schedules or arranging a more accommodating work-from-home policy. (Learn more ways to help employees achieve work-life balance.)

3. Burning out. Employee burnout is all too common in workplaces where workers are constantly challenged to “do more with less.” When push comes to shove, employees may start to look elsewhere for a less stressful environment. Luckily, burnout can be prevented – and even reversed – by identifying the root causes and making reasonable changes to management practices.

4. Bad bosses. You’ve probably heard the saying “employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers.” But what defines a bad manager? One CareerBuilder study found that workers who were unsatisfied with their bosses noted the following problems: poor communication style, negative attitude toward employees, unequal treatment of employees and lack of recognition of employees’ good work. While those may be common sources of tension, it’s important to identify potential issues at your company before you start losing employees. Survey your employees honestly to find out where management could improve and take the necessary measures to fix those areas.

5. Workplace toxicity. Just as important as getting along with your boss is getting along with your employees. Gallup research shows a direct link between job satisfaction and how well people get along with their colleagues. On top of that, having friends at work has also been shown to improve an employee’s performance. Unfortunately, not every workplace is able to maintain a consistently positive atmosphere. Learn the signs of a toxic work culture and, if you recognize them, take steps to eliminate the problem.  

6. Low pay. This is a tough area for small businesses, many of which simply can’t afford to match the pay rates bigger companies can offer. If you don’t have the budget to offer your employees a raise, look for competitive benefits and perks you can offer instead. Some popular options include transportation and tuition reimbursement, flexible telecommuting options and extra PTO.


A high turnover rate is often closely linked to low employee morale – so be sure to avoid these 10 phrases that kill employee morale.

Previous Guide
Are you ready for AI in TA?
Are you ready for AI in TA?

Usage of AI products in talent acquisition is expected to increase dramatically over the next two years. Ar...

Next Article
5 habits of highly successful small business managers
5 habits of highly successful small business managers

Being a small business manager is no easy task. Think you know the top qualities that'll make you successful?


Get the latest hiring trends delivered to your inbox.

More resources headed your way!
Error - something went wrong!