5 Ways to Address High Staff Turnover Rates

Does your small business suffer from a revolving door of employees- that halts growth? Then perhaps you need to have a re-think

5 Ways to Address High Staff Turnover Rates

Having a high turnover rate among a workforce is generally bad news for any business but for smaller businesses it can be particularly damaging.

The processes involved in hiring and training people to become valuable contributors to your business usually requires a considerable investment of both time and resources. So to lose these people for any reason soon after those investments have been made can be a real setback and a source of concern.

With that in mind, here are some ways in which a small business might aim to reduce the rate at which its employees move on and aim to establish a more sustainable turnover rate among its workforce.

1. Refine your hiring processes

If you have a high staff turnover rate then it could be that the processes you’ve relied upon to identify potential new hires entails a flaw of some sort that you haven’t recognised.

Small businesses often rely on referrals from people they trust as a means of finding potential new hires but this isn’t necessarily a flawless approach.

Referrals can work out well but relying on them too much as a recruitment mechanism can lead to a situation whereby your pool of potential new employees isn’t as diverse as it needs to be.

What’s most essential is that as an employer you are thinking carefully about how your recruitment processes function and where any refinements might be made in order to deliver the kind of results you want and that your business really needs.

2. Think about why people are leaving

Employees don’t always feel comfortable enough to inform their employers about all the things they aren’t happy with in their working environment or about the nature of their particular role.

Even if you go out of your way to be approachable, flexible and understanding as an employer, there is still a good chance that members of your workforce won’t be willing to outline their true concerns and tell you precisely why they’re looking for a new job elsewhere.

So it could be that you’ll need to read between the lines and figure out for yourself what some of those issues might be. A common reason for a high turnover rate among small businesses is a scenario in which a person’s expectations about a particular job don’t match up with the reality.

It is perhaps natural to err towards overselling the positive aspects of a particular role or working environment during the recruitment process but if the reality is too different from the promise then this can create problems and a degree of disillusionment among employees.

Every employer wants a new hire to be positive about joining their workforce but shielding them from the true nature of the challenges they’ll face until they’re on board can create more problems than it solves.

3. Focus on your company culture

Developing a company and having it compete and grow and fulfil its potential is difficult on any number of levels and business bosses always have an awful lot on their agenda from one day to the next. So much so that the issue of a company’s overall culture can easily go overlooked to an extent that is ultimately unhelpful as far as employee morale and commitment are concerned.

There is no one way to engender a positive working atmosphere and a sense of positivity among your workforce but the aim should always be to have your staff members feeling committed to the cause and part of a bigger picture. One way to do that is to establish a mutual sense of trust and collective responsibility among your teams.

Sometimes giving your employees more flexibility in terms of the way they work can reap dividends down the line because they’re more likely to become more motivated to give back, to go the extra mile and to stick around to make a contribution towards whatever is being built around them.

4. Don’t rush to hire or make too many compromises

Another reason why businesses can experience high staff turnover rates is simply that they aren’t routinely thorough enough in their recruitment processes and take on individuals who prove not to be a good fit for their organisation.

For businesses looking to make new hires, it can be particularly important to have a clear sense of what skills and attributes are required from a new employee.

Making compromises or hiring someone who isn’t a good fit on the basis of time pressures can quickly be shown up as a counterproductive approach. In short, patience often pays off when it comes to the recruitment process, particularly for small or medium-sized companies.

5. Recognise achievement and reward excellence

If you’ve been able to bring in truly talented people who are capable of making consistently positive contributions to the development of your business, then there is a clear imperative to try and keep them around. Recognising achievements and awarding outstanding performance can be an important mechanism for making sure that happens.

Rather than simply rewarding strong performances on an ad hoc basis, businesses can help themselves keep hold of their top talent by establishing a rewards structure that provides incentives and delivers benefits routinely.

Maintaining motivation is a key part of what being happy in a job is all about and as a small firm it’s vital to work hard on keeping your best people incentivised and enthused about progressing their career as part of your organisation.


Gary Addison is a director at RedundancyClaim.co.uk and has helped thousands of company directors with advice around redundancy and statutory entitlements

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