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5 Key Strategies on Reducing Employee Turnover

By Nancy Young

One of the biggest challenges companies face today is managing employee turnover in a competitive talent marketplace. Future Workplace and Kronos conducted a new study indicating that 87% of employers said that improving retention is a critical priority for their organization. This statistic makes perfect sense, because another study from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics showed about 3 million Americans quit their jobs voluntarily each month. Another motivating factor to resolve this challenge is that employee turnover can be quite expensive. Some studies show that every time a company replaces an employee (salaried), it can cost them 6 to 9 months’ salary on average.

So why are so many new hires jumping ship? In my opinion, it’s lack of attention. Like raising children… the more time you spend with them early on, the stronger the relationship and foundation built, so they have the necessary tools to work independently and more successfully later on.

Here are five simple retention strategies that focus on devoting more time to your employees and keeping your team together longer:

1. Encouragement & Recognition

Imagine if leadership and management spent more time with their employees inspiring them, offering words of encouragement and providing constructive feedback. We all want to feel appreciated… it’s part of human nature. With new and existing employees, take the time to recognize hard work. Whether you implement an employee rewards program, mentoring program or even starting with a simple “thank you”, all can make a huge impact.

2. Cultural Fit

Cultural fit is a critical piece in the recruiting process. In fact, it can be even more important than skill fit since it can be a determining factor of how long an employee stays with an organization. Companies can no longer afford to take a chance on a candidate that could potentially not fit well with an existing team. This can be accomplished by using behavioral interviewing techniques to determine their values and beliefs. Spending more time in the recruiting process to determine cultural fit can deliver winning results for the both the employer and employee.

3. Competitive Compensation

Attractive compensation packages are essential in today’s competitive talent marketplace. This includes not only salaries but the whole gamut of benefits – bonuses, paid time off, health benefits, retirement plans and any the other perks that can be a deciding factor from one workplace to another. Employees now have the necessary research tools and can review websites such as and to find out the average pay for a multitude of professions in various industries. So, make sure you’re three steps ahead and develop a solid employee compensation strategy because compensation remains to be a top reason why employees leave companies.

4. Work Flexibility

Flexibility in the workplace matters for a number of reasons. First, it’s an opportunity to expand your talent pool to hire the best people. Second, millennials expect flexibility and since they’re taking over the workforce, this is an important consideration. Also, employees who have flexibility are happier and we know what that leads to… Happier employees are more productive, loyal, and less likely to jump ship when a new opportunity arises.

5. Leadership Development

Another great way to increase retention is to offer leadership development. In a recent study by Udemy, "44% of respondents cite a lack of learning opportunities as a reason they left their last job”. This study also revealed that nearly half (43%) of U.S. full-time employees are bored or disengaged at work. Remove boredom out of the equation and aspire your employees to challenge themselves by providing them the tools and resources to further develop and grow within the company. This strategy not only helps companies increase retention, but also with developing their next generation of leaders.

Taking a holistic approach and spending more time with your employees is the most advantageous way to break the cycle of turnover. The more time spent implementing these five simple strategies, the more vested and productive your employees will become, so let’s get started.


About the Author

Nancy Young is the Director of Client Engagement for McHenry Consulting. She manages Administrative Services and Client Engagement for multiple business practice units. She has more than 18 years of experience in business development, talent acquisition and HR consulting and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Advertising/Public Relations from the University of Central Florida.

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