7 Proven Strategies to Reduce Employee Turnover

As 2024 begins, employers are eager to move on from ‘The Great Resignation’ of 2022 and the subsequent ‘Great Gloom’ of last year. But what exactly do organizations do to reduce employee turnover? And are these efforts really effective?

We asked HR leaders and top executives to tell us what they’re doing to keep existing employees engaged and on board. They responded with seven strategies that are making a positive difference in their organizations. We think you’ll agree that these ideas are worth a try:

  1. Introduce a micro-sabbatical program
  2. Offer employee ownership incentives
  3. Implement mentorship and career development
  4. Balance compensation with transparency
  5. Enforce clear boundaries between work and personal life
  6. Choose a Flex-First policy
  7. Personalize recognitions and rewards

Read the detailed answers below to learn more about how these methods improve employee retention.

7 Ways to Reduce Employee Turnover

1. Introduce a micro-sabbatical program

When we realized that employee turnover was high, we introduced a micro-sabbatical program that allows employees to take a week or two away from work to focus on personal interests and passions. The goal is to help them relax and recharge when they need it.

This shows our team members that we value them and that we care about more than just their productivity at work. In addition to offering time off, we offer support before, during and after the sabbatical. We have resources that anyone can use to prepare for their time off and ensure a smooth transition into their role. This ensures that people return from their sabbatical with renewed energy, better focus and a deeper commitment to our company.

My best advice is to invest in the growth of your team members. In return, they will invest in you. As a result, you can expect happier people who are more productive and less likely to leave.

Eugenia SyrytsiaExperienced Recruiter and HR expert, Admix Global

2. Offer employee ownership incentives

If you’re looking for a powerful way to reduce employee turnover, think seriously about employee ownership.

We converted 5% of our business to an employee-owned structure, requiring three years of employment to take advantage. Considering the value of 5% of our company – even if it’s divided among everyone on the team – this is an incentive that most employees can’t get to leave.

Christopher OlsonGeneral partner, Azalea city tax and accounting

3. Implement mentorship and career development

Our mentorship and career development program has been instrumental in reducing employee turnover post-COVID-19. It matches new employees with experienced mentors who provide guidance and support.

The mentors help newcomers understand their roles, navigate company culture and set career goals. And they help new hires achieve these goals through regular check-ins and ongoing training opportunities.

This effort promotes a sense of belonging and support among new employees. People build strong relationships more quickly and feel that their managers value their personal growth. This personalized approach to professional development from day one increases job satisfaction and creates a positive work environment that reduces employee turnover.

Catherine CookeCo-founder, Further training

4. Balance compensation with transparency

We pride ourselves on offering fair compensation. However, money alone is not enough to keep great teammates. That’s why we balance the short-term and long-term elements of our compensation program. This ensures that rewards and incentives are aligned to keep teammates engaged, happy, and motivated over time.

We also believe that transparency about remuneration is essential. This is especially important early in the hiring process so that each candidate understands the compensation and is aware of the organization’s policies and programs.

New hires with less established loyal relationships are more likely to leave if they find a better-paying position elsewhere. That’s why we measure labor costs in each geographic location so we can determine a fair market value for each role and region we serve. This ensures that candidates know they are getting the best deal if they accept an offer, so they are less likely to look for ‘greener pastures’ elsewhere.

Robert KaskelHead of Human Resources, Check

5. Enforce clear boundaries between work and home life

When our management team agreed to enforce work-life balance policies across the board, our employee retention rates increased.

We noticed that most of our employees struggled to maintain work-life balance while advancing their careers at our company. They threw themselves into their work at an unsustainable pace that would only lead to burnout over time.

To prevent this, I engaged management to establish definitive boundaries between work and personal time. This included banning email activity outside of work hours and on weekends, discouraging overtime and introducing remote working options. The goal was to help employees commit to a higher quality of work-life balance and reduce employee turnover, which we achieved.

Meg HellerstedtChair, Sylvane

6. Choose a Flex-First policy

To reduce employee turnover, we decided to try a ‘flex-first’ scheduling policy, with a hybrid mix of working from home and working in the office. What makes it is the combination of trust and flexibility.

Most importantly, everyone stays on the same page with open, real-talk communication. We check in regularly through team meetings and surveys to gauge what’s happening with everyone, and adjust as necessary.

My advice is to listen carefully to what your people say and shape your work policy in such a way that it reflects their input as much as possible. It’s a big game changer. You will see results if you focus on keeping a sense of flexibility and communication running through the veins of the organization.

Lou ReverchukCo-founder and CEO, EchoGlobal

7. Personalize recognitions and rewards

We have a large, global organization with very low turnover. I think this is largely because we recognize strong performers with rewards tailored to what they value most at work.

A huge challenge of managing a large team is that everyone has unique needs and priorities. Some people are primarily focused on career development. Others are more concerned with work-life balance, devoting time to their personal lives and external passions. This makes “one-size-fits-all” recognition programs less likely to keep people engaged and on board.

Instead, start by learning what drives and motivates each team member. Then adjust the recognition accordingly. For example, those who focus on career advancement are more likely to stick around if they know that strong performance will lead to a promotion or other advancement opportunities. Others who prioritize work-life balance will likely be motivated by a more flexible schedule or additional work-from-home days. The opportunity to “earn” these rewards can keep them more engaged and engaged at work.

By tailoring recognition to the interests of employees, you better match their vision of the ideal workplace. This reduces the chance that they will look for work elsewhere. It also shows that you see, hear and value everyone on your team as a unique individual, and that you are committed to their satisfaction and well-being.

Rob BoyleDirector of Marketing Operations, Air fast

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