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13 Strategies to Reduce Employee Turnover

13 Strategies to Reduce Employee Turnover

No employer plans to install a revolving door. However, employee turnover is a normal part of doing business. Most businesses expect some staff to come and go - it keeps things fresh, and in the long term, helps find the right people for the role. And after all, these days it is rare for someone to stay at one company for their entire career!

However, this doesn't change the fact that high turnover can have a costly and timely impact on a business. When the turnover rate climbs too high, it can be a sign of problems within a company. The first step to addressing high employee turnover is to understand what your turnover rate is and what is causing it.

Most human resources departments can install effective strategies to tackle the root problems of employee turnover as it is estimated that 77% of employee departures are preventable [1]. In this article, we will outline thirteen strategies to reduce employee turnover.

What Is Employee Turnover Rate?

Employee turnover rate is the rate at which employees leave their position. Turnover can be voluntary, when an employee decides to leave, or involuntary, when an employee is fired or laid off. It depends on the industry your business is based in and many internal and external factors can influence employees leaving a company. In terms of industry, for example, hotels typically have a higher turnover rate than the government since government roles will require specific skills and are not always entry-level.

Factors that may contribute to a high employee turnover rate include:

  • employees feel a lack of job satisfaction
  • inadequate pay/benefits package
  • negative work/life balance
  • lack of feedback and recognition
  • lack of progression
  • employees' expectations were not met due to an inaccurate job description

Not only does it take time and money to train new employees, but high turnover can also have a negative impact on the morale and productivity among remaining staff. Consequently, remaining staff may take on extra responsibility which can lead to fatigue or even burnout, thereby creating a vicious cycle that can further increase turnover.

How to Reduce Employee Turnover

Employees who are satisfied with their jobs are more likely to stick it out for the long haul, so it's important to create a work environment that is enjoyable and rewarding. Additionally, businesses should make sure that employees feel like they are a valuable part of the team and that their contributions are appreciated.

While there are many external factors influencing employee turnover, it would be beneficial for a company to focus on the controllable factors that affect the employee's experience.

Exit interviews can provide valuable insights into why employees are leaving a company. By asking questions about an employee's experiences and perceptions, employers can identify areas that need improvement. For example, if a large number of employees are leaving because of poor pay, the company may need to reconsider its compensation policy.

Exit interviews can also help to identify patterns of turnover, such as whether certain departments or locations are seeing more departures than others. By understanding the reasons behind employee turnover, companies can take the right steps to retain their best employees.

Hire the Correct People

By attracting and hiring top talent from the start, businesses can reduce employee turnover rates and stay ahead of the competition. However, hiring the right employees is not always easy. Here are a few tips to help you build a successful recruitment process:

  • Define your company's core values and communicate them to potential candidates. This will help you attract candidates who are a good fit for your organization.
  • Use social media to reach out to potential candidates. LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are all great platforms for connecting with potential hires.
  • Make sure your job postings are clear and concise. Include information about your company's culture and the type of person you are looking for.
  • Conduct preliminary interviews over the phone or via video call. This will help you save time and money by meeting with only the most qualified candidates.

The focus should also extend beyond recruitment to the onboarding process and beyond. New hires need to be made to feel at home in your company if they are to stick around.

Create a Strong Company Culture

A positive, or "high-impact", company culture can help to attract and retain the best talent, encourage employees to be productive and innovative, and promote customer satisfaction. To create a strong company culture, businesses should start by articulating their values and vision. Employees need to understand what the company stands for and where it is going in order to buy into the culture.

Once values are established, businesses should work to foster a sense of community among employees. This can be done through social events, networking opportunities, and development programs. When employees feel like they are part of a supportive team, they will be more likely to be engaged and invested in their work.

Businesses should focus on creating an inclusive environment that encourages employees to be their best selves. This means promoting diversity and inclusion, supporting personal and professional growth, and offering flexible work options. By taking these steps, businesses can create a strong company culture that will support long-term success.

The effects of company culture can have a significant impact on employee turnover, as shown in a Columbia University study. It found that the likelihood of employee turnover at an organization with high-impact company culture is a mere 13.9 percent, whereas the probability of job turnover in low-impact company cultures is 48.4 percent [2].

Plan training & development programs

By providing employees with the opportunity to learn new skills and grow within your company, businesses can foster a sense of loyalty and commitment. In addition, training and development programs can help employees feel more valued and appreciated, leading to higher levels of engagement as more responsibility is given.

Investing in employee learning and development is not only good for business, it's good for employees too. Employees who feel valued by their employers are more likely to stay with the company, and employees who have access to learning and development opportunities are more likely to feel valued.

Realistic Job Previews

Job previews are an important part of the hiring process, as they provide potential candidates with a realistic view of what the job entails. By giving an accurate job preview, employers can help to ensure that only those candidates who are truly interested in the position apply and that they understand what they are getting themselves into. This can help to improve employee retention, as employees who feel that they were accurately informed about the job before they accepted it are more likely to be satisfied with their position.

Offer Competitive Salaries

While benefits and perks are certainly important, most workers place a higher priority on their base pay. In order to ensure that your employees are being paid what they're worth, it's essential to regularly review salaries relative to the marketplace. This can be done through simple online research or by working with a compensation consultant.

Additionally, it's important to keep in mind that annual salary is just one part of the larger picture when it comes to employee compensation. Be sure to also consider factors like benefits, bonuses, and equity when making decisions about pay. By offering a comprehensive package that is competitive with other employers, you'll be in a better position to ensure employees stay with your business.

Pay Attention to Employee Engagement

A disengaged employee may be passive or even hostile towards their job, while an engaged employee is passionate and committed to their role. There are many ways to engage employees, but some common methods include offering opportunities for growth and development, ensuring that employees feel valued and appreciated, getting employees involved in decision-making, and providing a positive work environment.

These strategies go beyond sending out the yearly engagement survey and strive to create a relationship between leaders and teams. According to research by Bersin, companies with highly engaged workers were able to lower employee turnover by 31% [3].

Offer Employee Benefits

Workplace wellness programs can help to address this issue by giving employees more control over their work, flexible schedules, reasonable workloads, and emotional support. For example, some companies provide employees with wellness stipends that can be used for things like gym memberships or mental health counseling.

Others offer flexible work hours or the ability to work from home on days when childcare is needed. By investing in workplace wellness, employers can create a culture of care that will help to retain employees.

Encourage Generosity and Gratitude

A culture of gratitude has a number of benefits for employers and employees alike. Studies have shown that gratitude leads to other positive emotions, such as empathy, kindness, and generosity.

Additionally, grateful people tend to recognize their privileges, which can lead to a greater sense of social responsibility.

Furthermore, a culture of gratitude has been shown to improve employee morale, job satisfaction, and productivity. It is essential for employers to create a workplace environment that is positive and supportive in order to compete with other workplaces. By promoting a culture of gratitude, employers can give their employees the tools they need to be successful.

Moreover, David DeStano, a professor of psychology at Northeastern University, examined the effect pride and gratitude at home and in the workplace have on our lives finding that perseverance on difficult tasks increases by over 30% by feelings of pride and gratitude [4]. If these feelings are encouraging people to progress their careers by taking up new challenges this can only mean good things for employee retention.

Make Opportunities for Development and Growth

In today's competitive job market, employees are looking for more than just a paycheck. They want to work for a company that is invested in their development and growth. A recent survey by Cornerstone found that lack of development opportunities is one of the main reasons employees give for leaving a company.

By investing in your employees and providing them with opportunities to learn and grow, you can create a workforce that is highly skilled and motivated. There are a number of ways to foster employee growth and development. One approach is to offer training and workshops on a variety of topics. This can help employees gain new skills and knowledge, and it can also give them a chance to brush up on existing skills.

Another way to promote employee growth is to offer opportunities for career advancement. This can include offering promotions or giving employees the opportunity to take on new responsibilities. By focusing on employee growth and development, you can create an environment in which your employees can thrive.

By offering career development opportunities, you are showing your employees that you are committed to their growth and development. This, in turn, leads to higher employee retention and engagement. So if you want to keep your best employees, make sure you are investing in their development.

Minimize Bench Time

Bench time is the time when employees are not working on billable projects and are instead waiting for new assignments. This can lead to boredom and frustration, which can eventually lead to employees quitting.

There are a few key ways to minimize bench time and keep employees engaged. First, make sure that you have a good mix of long-term and short-term projects. This will ensure that employees always have something to work on, even if they are between assignments.

Second, utilize project management software to help match employees with the right projects. This way, employees can get started on new assignments as soon as they finish their previous ones.

Finally, don't hesitate to ask employees for their input on what kinds of projects they would be interested in working on. By engaging employees in this way, you can minimize bench time and reduce turnover.

Prioritize Employee Happiness.

Prioritizing employee happiness is not just a feel-good measure, it makes good business sense. Turnover is expensive, and unhappy employees are more likely to leave. Studies have shown that happy employees are also more productive, so investing in employee happiness and well-being can lead to tangible benefits for your bottom line.

There are many ways to make your employees happier, but some of the most effective include offering competitive pay and benefits, providing opportunities for career growth, and creating a positive work environment. By making employee happiness a priority, you can reduce turnover and create a more productive and successful business.

Offer Bonuses for Key Performers

By offering tangible rewards for meeting specific goals, you can encourage your team to work harder and achieve more. Incentives can take many different forms, but some common examples include cash bonuses, paid time off, and company-sponsored trips.

When designing an incentive program, it is important to consider the needs and desires of your workforce. What motivates one employee may not be as effective for another. It is also important to set realistic goals that can be achieved within a reasonable time frame. With careful planning, workplace incentives can be an excellent way to boost morale and improve performance.

Bonus schemes can be an effective way to retain employees and motivate them to perform at their best. By offering financial rewards for meeting certain targets, bonus schemes provide employees with an incentive to stay with the company and continue contributing to its success. In addition, bonus schemes can help to create a sense of healthy competition within the workforce, as employees strive to outperform their colleagues in order to earn a larger bonus.

Ultimately, by offering employees a financial stake in the company's success, bonus schemes can help to ensure that they remain committed and engaged in their work.

Offer Flexible Work Schedules & Remote Work Possibility

89% of employees want a hybrid or remote work environment [5]. Flexibility and work-life balance have become essential requirements for more employees especially when you consider the effects the pandemic has had on our working lives.

There are many different ways that employers can offer flexible work schedules, such as allowing employees to choose their own start and end times, or permitting employees to work from home on certain days. Flexible work schedules have been shown to improve employee satisfaction and retention rates, while also reducing absenteeism and turnover. In addition, flexible work schedules can help to improve employees’ physical and mental health.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can HR Help Reduce Turnover?

High turnover rates can be costly for businesses, so it's crucial for HR departments to take steps to reduce turnover. There are a number of ways HR can help, including:

  • Offering competitive salaries and benefits: This will help attract and retain employees.
  • Developing a positive work environment: This includes things like creating a positive culture, providing adequate support, and ensuring that employees have the resources they need to do their jobs well.
  • Offering training and development opportunities: This helps employees feel invested in their work and less likely to leave for another job.

Does Training Reduce Staff Turnover?

Much debate exists over whether training reduces staff turnover. Whilst some argue that training provides employees skills and knowledge to be successful within their roles, resulting in higher job satisfaction and less likelihood of quitting. Others argue that better training doesn't necessarily reduce turnover when low pay and poor working conditions are at play. However, it is vital that employees understand the career paths available to them and will need the training to understand the company's mission.

How Do You Motivate Employees to Reduce Turnover?

A key factor is understanding what motivates each individual. Managers should take the time to get to know their employees and find out what makes them happy at work. Offering a variety of incentives, from financial bonuses to flexible work schedules, can help keep employees motivated.

How Do You Manage a Team with High Turnover?

It can be difficult to manage a team with high turnover but by understanding what motivates employees and using that information to create an effective strategy, you can increase the chances of retaining your top talent through:

  • providing opportunities for growth
  • offering competitive compensations
  • fostering a positive company culture and working environment

Can Informal Recruiting Reduce Turnover?

Many employers are finding that informal recruiting can be an effective way to reduce turnover. By informally recruiting employees who are already familiar with the company culture and values, employers can reduce the amount of time and money spent on training new employees.

In addition, informal recruiting can help to ensure that only the most qualified candidates are hired, as employees are more likely to recommend people who they think will be a good fit for the job.

Finally, informal recruiting can create a sense of loyalty among employees, as they feel appreciated and valued by the company. As a result, employers who use informal recruiting methods may find that they have fewer turnover problems in the long run.


  1. Forbes, 2021
  2. Elizabeth Medina, Columbia Univeristy, 2012
  3. Bersin & Associates, 2012
  4. David DeSteno, 2018
  5. BCG, 2021
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