Best Ways to Invest in Your Employees to Reduce Turnover

small business team having laughing and having fun at a casual meeting

Where would your business be without your employees? Starting a business was an incredible accomplishment. But to stay successful, you need to expand it. Most likely, you’re not the only one contributing to your company’s success.  Your knowledgeable and hopefully loyal staff is helping you.

As an employer, you want to retain team members who are doing an excellent job, so they don’t go work for your competitor. So, you must invest time and resources to ensure they stick around. Losing one person can put you in a position where you’re scrambling to find an ideal replacement.

What’s the cost of losing an employee?

High employee turnover can drive a business owner crazy. After you’ve spent countless hours finding the right person for the job, it’s frustrating to have them walk out the door six months later. The reality is that it can happen no matter how great of a boss you are or how much people enjoy working for your company. People’s lives steer them in different directions, so there are external factors you can’t control.

But you should be concerned if workers are leaving your company frequently. If that’s happening, something is wrong internally. It’s your responsibility to find out what that something is and correct it. Otherwise, you’ll continue to pay for employee turnover – literally.

It can be expensive when a team member quits. Here are a few cost factors to consider:

  • Hiring
  • Job postings
  • Training
  • Time devoted to hiring, onboarding and training processes
  • Lower productivity since the rest of your staff is required to pick up the extra workload
  • Learning gap between the new hire and your established workforce
  • Mistakes made by the new hire that likely would not have been made by a seasoned worker
  • Wavering morale as yet another person leaves the business

You may also owe your former team member money for accrued vacation time, unused sick time, health insurance contributions, and severance pay.

Many variables make it impossible to calculate the exact cost of employee turnover, but you can see the kind of negative impact it has on a company. You’ll be taking unnecessary hits to your bank account, time, and company culture.

Unless you’re excessively pampering your staff, you’re inevitably going to experience turnover. Someone may quit for a job with better benefits (such as health insurance or a 401(k)). Someone may leave for a higher salary elsewhere. You’ll have to assess your business to determine what the priorities are and how far you’re willing to stretch to give everyone what they want.

Create a worthwhile culture

If you can create a workplace where your employees don’t dread going to, you’re off to a good start. Ultimately, work is work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t sprinkle a bit of fun into the environment. Encourage laughter and help staff members end each day on a positive note.

Team building exercises can lighten the mood and give everyone a nice breather. You can focus on business in each activity, or you can try to take work off everyone’s mind. Team outings (like going to lunch or happy hour) can go a long way toward building friendships, which can influence whether a worker stays with your company.

Perks, little or big, can also encourage your team to stay.  Coffee plays an important role in many people’s lives, so get a quality machine for the breakroom. Everyone loves food, so cater lunch occasionally (and don’t forget dessert).

If you’re looking to make a bigger gesture, consider whether you’re offering enough vacation time and try to provide opportunities to earn bonuses. These, combined with substantial health benefits and a 401(k), can go a long way.

Devote time and money to employee development

Generally, workers want to grow and excel in their roles. They don’t want to feel stuck, or they’ll look for another opportunity that can put them on a more desirable career path. Offering a clear direction for career advancement can drive a team member to achieve great things.

That’s why it’s crucial to invest time in your staff. Show them that you care about their current and future success. Understand how they feel and where they want to be in one year, two years, and five years down the road. That commitment in their future will inspire them to stick around.

It’s common for businesses to establish programs for career growth. Your company can offer things like:

  • continuing education to help individuals refine their skills
  • tuition reimbursement for those who want to go back to school
  • leadership and mentoring programs for anyone who wants to go into management

Many people allow their careers to define who they are as a person. Make sure you’re giving them a chance to succeed and be proud of where they work.

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