Employee retention is one of the biggest challenges companies face. Of course, it is impossible to keep 100% of workers. Sometimes turnover is necessary or unavoidable. However, excessive turnover, especially the loss of top employees, is disruptive, demoralizing and expensive. Depending on the industry, the loss of a worker can cost a company anywhere from 30% to 200% of that individual’s annual salary.

So, what can the leaders of an organization do to be proactive? First, it is important to identify the problem.

Why Do People Leave?

According to, Harvard Business Review, the top reasons people leave their jobs have held steady for years. In general, employees quit because …

  1. They don’t like their boss.
  2. They don’t see opportunities for promotion or growth.
  3. They are offered a better gig (and often higher pay).

Fortunately, there are ways to address each of these issues.

Three Ways to Counteract Turnover

1. Cultivate a Culture of Respect

It would be wonderful if all workers loved their bosses and vice versa, but the world is not a perfect place. Sometimes leaders must make difficult and unpopular decisions. Nevertheless, managers can show employees that overall, they genuinely care about their well being and have their best interests at heart. Trust, gratitude, and compassion are essential elements. Or as the Golden Rule states, “Treat others as you would like to be treated.”  

 2. Encourage Career Development  

In 2013, Workforce Magazine reported that “slightly less than one-third of U.S. employees received training and development to better perform their jobs.” This is an opportunity for dedicated and forward-thinking bosses to institute onsite training, mentorship programs and more robust performance reviews. Although this is a tall order for companies, career development is vital to retention. Top performers who feel “stuck in a rut” will motivate themselves to find other jobs.

 3. Provide Compensation and Inspiration

Smaller companies and non-for-profits may struggle with compensation. How can they possibly compete with larger and wealthier organizations? Luckily, it is not always about money. Bestselling author Daniel Pink advocates “pay people fairly, pay people well; indeed, pay people enough to take the issue of money off the table.” Then move on to purpose, mastery, and autonomy. Making a difference in the world, becoming a better person and enjoying a career can be far greater motivators than a huge paycheck attached to a thankless and unsatisfying position.

Better Hiring Practices = Less Turnover

Finally, it is important to remember that, hiring the right people in the first place is another key ingredient to reducing turnover. This presents yet another challenge for organizations regardless of their size. Advertising, recruiting, screening and interviewing are all time consuming and costly. And, what if a company still ends up with a sub-par hire?

The professional recruiters at an employment agency would be happy to help. Priority One Staffing places skilled and vetted candidates in healthcare, administrative, financial, call center and human resource positions. Learn more about how to Find Great People in the Baltimore, Maryland area.


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