No company can avoid employee turnover altogether. But the good ones take precautions to manage it, so that it doesn’t have a lasting negative impact on performance, engagement or morale.
Watching people go, especially well-liked and respected team members, can be traumatic. Those left behind mourn the loss of more than just colleagues. In many cases, they have lost key supporters at work. Staff may go through a period of instability. They may even begin to question their own jobs, and wonder if there are better opportunities for them elsewhere, too.
When fellow employees leave, remaining staff have to deal with redistributed workloads, the loss of legacy skills and knowledge, severed continuity, and ruptured relationships. Dealing with these very real challenges proactively and positively can ease the transition for everyone involved.
The Cultural Fallout
When an organization suffers turnover, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain their culture, as a constant stream of new employees may push staff away from their original vision. This can lead to a corporate identity crisis, unless you nip it in the bud.
The Morale Downslide
When turnover spikes up, employee morale can really take a hit. This may stem from overworked team members who are forced to pick up the slack in the wake of unexpected departures.
- New hires are not immune. They may suffer from an unsettling “revolving door” as they attempt to get to know their colleagues. Continuation of this type of work environment can result in your company having a more difficult time attracting and retaining high-quality talent.
How to Reduce – and Manage – Turnover
When it comes to turnover, prevention is the best medicine. If you make minimizing turnover a key part of your ongoing strategy, you can save yourself the heartache of nursing your team members through it.
- Hire the right people – and nurture their careers. Have ongoing career success plans and training programs. Hiring people who are the right cultural fit and then developing them as necessary goes a long way toward ensuring loyalty and retention.
- Be employee oriented. The companies with the lowest turnover tend to be those who solicit input and involvement from all team members and maintain true open communication. Rewards and recognition are critical, as employees have a voice and are acknowledged for their contributions.
- Develop a strategic compensation approach. Be creative. Look at opportunities to tailor your comp packages to meet the specific needs of star performers.
- Conduct exit interviews. They help you to understand what people are thinking when they voluntarily resign. Ask departing employees for suggestions on how to improve your company for the future, rather than simply asking them why they are leaving.
- Conduct “stay conferences.” Don’t wait till people quit to find out what they are dissatisfied with. Hold regular “stay discussions” with the goal of discovering what you can do to retain your best performers. Discuss their strengths, their career aspirations, and their development goals.
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