Listen up, bosses!
Turnover matters in workplaces—especially small businesses. A workplace is only going to be as productive as the people in it, so hiring (and keeping) talent is often a matter of survival for companies. Employees leave holes in their workplaces whenever they leave, and hiring a replacement doesn't guarantee that hole will be filled. To that end, we talked with experts about the factors that most drive employee turnover.
Let's Get the Obvious Out the Way: Payroll
It shouldn't come as a surprise that once the paychecks stop at a company, the work stops almost immediately after. Frustrations with payroll are one of the strongest motivators for employees leaving jobs, even if they're otherwise happy with the work, culture, and benefits. These aren't just limited to missing paychecks, even brief delays in pay can translate to headaches over bills and rent.
Having good payroll services goes beyond making sure that checks are on everyone's desks, however. While some employers are quick to define nickel-and-dime-ing their employees as being good "for the bottom line," any employee who feels their managers are looking for a reason to not pay them will likely look for a reason not to work. Situations like this can quickly translate to turnover as employees leave for jobs that will better value them.
As With Any Relationship, Communication Is Key
Employees aren't just trading in time when they show up for work. They're bringing focus, energy, and expertise that could be refocused towards countless other things, and it's important to respect that by being communicative. Managers who communicate openly with their employees about the expectations of their job and the nuances of their workplace see much better employee retention—and satisfaction, too! Remember that terms like "employee satisfaction" aren't abstract statistical concepts, they're a measure of how much real people actually enjoy the place where they spend their time.
Additionally, poor communication in workplaces can be problematic in ways that extend far beyond turnover. Inaccessible managers or overly bureaucratic departments can translate to unaddressed problems and missed opportunities. After all, employees aren't going to report problems if they feel like nobody's listening, and they aren't going to contribute ideas if they feel that they won't be valued.
If your employees can't get ahold of you, expect them to start communicating via a resignation letter.
Consistency Helps; As Does Having a Game Plan When It’s Impossible
Consistency means vastly different things for different industries. In the restaurant industry, it might translate to having enough inventory to keep the menu running and a consistent schedule for waitstaff. Meanwhile, a sales department might view consistency as equitable access to leads. Regardless of how consistency manifests in any given work environment, its core principle is the same: the idea that a workplace respects its employees enough to actually let them do their jobs. If an employee feels like they can't do their job because their employer isn't ordering supplies or scheduling shifts, then they're rapidly going to lose any motivation to show up.
Granted, consistency can be difficult to guarantee. This last year especially has disrupted virtually every industry, forcing countless companies to rethink their operations and workplaces on the fly. While not every workplace can guarantee consistency, they can certainly look for opportunities to create it. Having a game plan is vital when things get turbulent, as is sharing it with employees. Knowing what schedules to adjust and what departments to redirect can be a saving grace for companies that are vulnerable to COVID-19 disruptions or chaotic markets. Employees aren't likely to be happy if you have to start cutting shifts, but they're more likely to understand (and stay!) if you communicate why with them—instead of quietly slashing their hours.
It's worth noting that high turnover rates aren't something that happens randomly. Rather, they're a symptom of larger issues in the workplace which can stem from a variety of different sources. By being mindful of these drivers for turnover, workplaces can be more accountable to their employees–and better off for it!
Did we miss another reason for leaving your current job? Share in the comments.