How to Combat Employee Turnover


Although this may be an appreciative outcome of leaving one job for another, it is rarely the primary reason employees will leave an organization. Numerous studies and organizational surveys show a vast array of reasons why employees leave organizations, and more money is rarely the precipitating factor. In fact, poor management, the lack of recognition and nonchallenging job responsibilities are what reinforce employees’ decisions to leave an organization.


It’s true that for today’s American workforce, specifically for young professionals, it’s not practical to work for one employer for 10, 20 or 30 years like past generations. However, it’s never safe to generalize. While tenures at organizations have lowered, the fact is turnover is not due to a changing workforce, but because of an unchanging workplace. Large corporations who have been conducting business the same way since the ’50s are going to have a harder time retaining employees if they don’t analyze the needs and aspirations of its existing workforce. Young professionals are seeking more work/life balance and flexibility from their employer.


Though employers take the brunt of the blame for employee turnover, they don’t deserve all of the blame. Employees should take some responsibility for your work situation. If you want that plum, cushy job, work to earn it. Nothing is going to be handed to you. Too many employees complain about their work situations without doing anything about it. Voice your concerns to management, express how you like to be managed and explain what best motivates you.


What the employer can do: So how does a business combat employee turnover? A simple answer is you can’t. Or not completely that is. The best thing about human nature is that everyone is different, which can be the most frustrating aspect of the turnover issue. The thing an employer can do is conduct a thorough analysis of the work culture and environment. Then put the right management in place to instill the ideal culture and environment.

Also focus more on the individuals you employ and give them your attention when asked. If they don’t ask, communicate consistently that you are there for them to assist in their success and development when needed. Ultimately, you won’t be able to eliminate turnover, but by designing and implementing the right systems for your industry, culture, environment and workforce, you will lower the chance an employee will choose to leave.

What the employee can do: For the employee, perform regular self-analyses. Determine what you desire in a workplace and pursue the opportunities that match. Take responsibility for your choices. Research an organization and the job before accepting it. If you want more money, earn it. Show that you are a considerable asset to an organization by producing above expectations for an extended time. If you want recognition, earn it. Perform above expectations for an extended time. And if you want flexibility, earn that too.

Ultimately, transparency for both the employer and employee will lead to a higher retention rate. Employers who consistently conduct exit interviews, poll employees to make sure their expectations meet desires and assess trends as it relates to turnover will decrease employee turnover. Conversely, employees who are transparent in their wants and needs from their employer ultimately will receive constructive feedback of how these can be mutually agreed upon and ultimately achieved.

Happy job hunting!