6 Ways to Stop Employee Turnover in Its Tracks

April 26, 2017 Pete Jansons

At small businesses, employee turnover is no small deal. Staff sizes are already small, so when one person leaves, it makes an impact on both productivity and morale. As you take the time (and money) to hire and train someone new, the rest of the employees are left must pick up the slack. Instead of waiting for employees to quit, stop employee turnover before it starts. Below are the major reasons employees leave their jobs – and what you can do to prevent them.

  1. No opportunities for advancement. One of the major reasons employees leave their jobs is that they do not see any chance to advance at their current companies. This is especially common at small businesses, where opportunities for upward mobility are few and far between. 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. They have no work-life balance. Not only does helping employees achieve a healthy work-life balance help them, it’s good for business. Ask your employees what you can do to ease their schedules and see if you can arrange to let them work from home a few times a month or create more flexible schedules. (Learn more ways to help employees achieve work-life balance.)
  3. They are burned 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. If you think this is the case at your company, there are steps you can take to lighten their workload, reduce stress and prevent burnout, such as helping them prioritize projects and manage their time or bringing in some temporary help.
  4. They don’t get along with their bosses. An estimated 50 percent of workers have left a job “to get away from a bad manager,” according to Gallup research. But what defines a bad manager? In a separate CareerBuilder study, workers who showed the least satisfaction with their bosses said they needed improvement in the following areas: communication style, attitude toward employees, equal treatment of employees and recognition of employees’ good work. Make sure your managers are providing your employees the support they need. Survey your employees to find out where management could improve and take the necessary measures to to fix these areas.
  5. They don’t get along with their co-workers. Just as important as getting along with your boss is getting along with your employees. Research shows a direct link between job satisfaction and how well people get along with their colleagues. Unfortunately, not all companies get along “like family.” Learn the signs of a toxic work culture and, if you recognize them, take steps to eliminate the problem.  
  6. They want more pay. This is a tough area for small businesses, where they cannot always pay as much as bigger companies. If you can’t afford to offer your employees a raise, you may be able to offer perks that can help them save money and help fill the compensation gap. These include transportation and tuition reimbursement, telecommuting options and extra PTO. (For more ideas, check out What to Offer Your Employees When You Can’t Offer a Raise.)

With small businesses, where the HR “team” is often a one-person operation, managing your workforce is no easy task. Consider looking into human capital management software, which can help small businesses automate workplace tasks, making it easier to manage everything from employee benefits, to the onboarding process to background checks. This way, your HR teams are less burdened with paperwork and better able to tend to employees’ needs on a human level, which can have a direct impact on employee satisfaction and retention.

Want to find out how your employees really feel about their jobs? Ask them. Check out The Best Questions for Your Employee Engagement Survey.



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