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How Do You Deal With High Employee Turnover?

Jan. 18th, 2018

It’s true that you can’t make all of the people happy all of the time. But when your employees are more focused on where they’ll jump next than on the current job at hand, you might have an issue with employee turnover.

Why Does Employee Turnover Matter?

You may think that a constant influx of new employees will lead to new ideas and new energy. But that’s only part of the story.

When you factor in the costs associated with onboarding a new employee, the time and loss of productivity such onboarding can put on other team members, and even the costs for advertising, interviewing, and screening: It all adds up quickly.

And it can create a domino effect. When one employee leaves, it puts additional strain on others, who in turn become overwhelmed. They’re more likely to make mistakes and more likely to burn out, putting them on the hunt for a new position elsewhere.

In fact, many studies show that the total cost of losing just one employee can cost one and a half to two times a position’s annual salary. Now multiply that times the number of employees on your payroll who are currently looking for work elsewhere, and the problem becomes exponentially bigger.

How Can You Boost Employee Engagement Within Your Organization?

There are a couple of ways to combat employee turnover.

Bad Bosses

First, research indicates that a bad boss is the number one reason people leave their jobs. Many organizations promote employees who are subject matter experts to the role of manager or supervisor.

But those individuals often don’t have the people skills necessary to lead others effectively. Investing in leadership development for new managers can provide them with a foundation of the “soft skills” necessary for success.

To build a foundation of trust with their direct reports, it’s important for leaders to:

  • Find the right way to communicate with direct reports
  • Provide others with meaningful, insightful feedback
  • Resolve conflict effectively.

When a company spends time and effort improving leadership skills system-wide, employee retention increases.

Don’t Just Manage, Inspire

Our own research has revealed that leadership and communication skills, while a good foundation for success, are alone not enough to keep employees engaged. Today’s workforce is savvy. They want to feel like they’re making a positive contribution.

We’ve found that employees are looking for inspiration and enthusiasm from their bosses. Leaders can — and should — set the tone for those who report to them. You want to strike the right balance between getting results and showing respect for your team. Energy across a team, or even across an organization, naturally arises when there is a clear vision, meaningful work, and a positive attitude.

You may feel that leadership is an either/or prospect: Either you’re born that way, or you’re not. But we’ve found that strong interpersonal skills can be developed via training and practice. Even those with natural charisma can benefit from such training.

When your organization’s leaders have the ability to influence others effectively, your workforce is involved and engaged — and committed to the organization’s ultimate success.

Want to Learn More?

Want to learn more about how employee engagement can decrease your high turnover and boost productivity? Check out our whitepaper.