It’s a truism to say that HR departments have been busy during the global pandemic. Along with COVID-19, so much is up in the air regarding how companies respond to the disruption in their industries.
Lockdowns and remote working have forced many to reimagine how they maintain morale and productivity. As things return to whatever the new normal is and we think about preparing for the post-pandemic world, the crisis has also placed a greater emphasis on the importance of effective hiring.
We take a look at what this means for those tasked with managing employee turnover.
Employee Loyalty in a Post-Pandemic World
Your employees are your most valuable asset and important investment. Your talent drives business performance and sets you apart from competitors. But if you haven’t been implementing processes that empower your people to drive your business forward, they could be walking out the door.
It’s hard to overstate how important it is to keep employees content with their roles and work environment. High employee satisfaction rates are vital to everything that matters to your organization. Happy employees mean higher rates of employee retention, engagement, morale, and productivity – all factors which undergird your bottom line.
To grasp the importance of employee satisfaction, consider the counterfactual. Imagine how things would play out in an alternate timeline in which you played fast and loose with your employee happiness.
The Costs of Neglecting Your Employee Turnover Strategies
Turnover is part and parcel of any organization. Perhaps an employee is no longer a good fit for your company or no longer adding value. Turnover gets problematic, however, when a business starts to lose large numbers of employees. Likewise, when talented employees that add value choose to depart.
The immediate problem with losing high-value employees is the crippling impact on financial performance – most significantly, the cost of hiring a replacement. According to research by Oxford Economics and Unum, the average cost of replacing an employee is a whopping £30,614 ($42,324).
The negative impact of this includes:
Losing valuable employees can result in clients following them out of the door to maintain their close personal working relationships. Or perhaps the relationship ends with no one stepping in to manage the fallout, so the customer winds up with a poor impression of your company. Things can fall through the cracks when employees leave without a smooth and orderly transition.
Whether you’re a large service sector organization with brick-and-mortar stores or a small eCommerce business with your sights on improving your online conversion rate, you can’t afford to neglect team morale. And a high rate of turnover will almost certainly hurt this. Employees and organizations need stability, and trust can get undermined when staff start leaving at an alarming rate.
Whether due to austerity measures or employee dissatisfaction, excessive turnover should be a red flag. What’s more, this disruption can leave other team members to pick up the slack. Taking on the responsibilities of the departed colleague can increase workload and stress, eroding morale further.
Lose Your Recruiting Initiative
When word gets around that your company can’t retain its talent, recruiting staff can become trickier. A high turnover is one of the biggest and most ubiquitous knocks on a company and can be a sign of a crisis in your organization.
Just think of the impact of a negative review left by a former employee when it comes to establishing a talent pipeline. Missing out on the best talent means losing out to your competitors at a fundamental level on which the success of your business depends: your people.
In addition to the costs of hiring, onboarding, and training a replacement, productivity invariably takes a hit. Employees who hit the ground running are the exception. Usually, it will take time for new employees to produce the same level of work as predecessors.
Tip: Think about automating Excel to collect and process the data you use to monitor performance to claw back some of these productivity losses.
Of course, the most effective way to reduce the cost of staff turnover is to develop organizational resilience so star employees won’t leave. More on that below.
Managing Your Employee Turnover With Six Impactful Strategies
So, how to create an employee retention strategy and drive value? Here are six impactful tactics to help you.
1. Rethink How You Hire
Hiring employees should involve considerable planning and foresight. To maximize the chance of finding the right fit for your organization, identify skill gaps and bridge them. By basing your hiring on knowledge of shortfalls incapacity or demand, you’ll hire people who complement your existing resources and mitigate weak areas.
Managing employee turnover starts before staff even have their foot in the door. Be clear and upfront in the job description about pay and benefit expectations. Remember, you get what you pay for, so offer competitive rates to recruit the sort of fresh thinking that will re-energize your company.
Hiring the best candidates means having thorough vetting processes in place, including interviews, skill assessments, and background and reference checks.
Tip: Be mindful of soft skills in addition to education and experience.
2. Optimize Your Talent
Imagine, for example, that you're putting employees under too much pressure to meet their call center agent KIPs. You could be contributing to their burnout. This is one of the main factors in employee attrition, and managers must be realistic and mindful of staff stress levels, especially at the current time. But bear in mind that not enabling employees to realize their full potential can also impair morale and impact productivity in the long run.
To get the best out of your team, allocate the right jobs to the right people. Use task management tools to assign tasks that align with skill sets. Employees who feel underqualified to do the job will quickly get disillusioned.
On the other hand, overqualified staff will feel unsatisfied, disengaged, and bored, which entails its own stress response. Deploy artificial intelligence to eliminate monotonous work and avoid having employees squandering their valuable time on low-impact activities.
Tip: Leverage AI to monitor an array of specific employee metrics to uncover the true drivers of turnover and even predict which employees are most likely to leave.
3. Opportunities for Personal Development
No one likes to feel stuck in a lackluster job. By providing training and development opportunities, you demonstrate your commitment to helping employees advance their careers. Plus, you’ll leave your core competitive assets feeling valued and, better still, animated with a sense of purpose.
Implement personal development plans to steer employees along their path of short and long-term goals. Foster a growth mindset and facilitate employees to develop their skills and take on more responsibility in higher roles.
Implement annual reviews and more regular one-to-one progress sessions where employees can discuss career paths they wish to take.
Tip: Draw on business processing services to create performance reviews that help your employees understand what they need to be successful in their roles.
4. Pass It On
Promote a culture of growth by sharing constructive feedback. Give credit where it’s due: validation for a job well done is the sort of positive reinforcement everyone appreciates. Highlight the achievements of your team and showcase stellar contributions in your company newsletter. Consider rewarding exceptional performance with thank you notes or small gifts.
Consider the benefits of taking feedback from your employees via surveys and informal meetings. Express gratitude to acknowledge their work and efforts and show you’re listening to their concerns.
5. Be Flexible
Doing what you can to deliver a healthy work-life balance is a proven intervention in managing employee turnover. As whole countries experiment with a shorter working week, it’s becoming incumbent on forward-thinking employers to reimagine work schedules with an emphasis on employee wellbeing. Though flexible work schedules may not be feasible in specific industries, they can help with employee focus and deliver higher efficiency.
While remote working has been necessary during the pandemic and is no longer, consider tweaking schedules nonetheless to offer flexible working arrangements where you can and supercharge employee satisfaction.
A company is only as good as its people, and good team spirit goes a long way in creating an empowering work culture that mitigates the risk of talent loss. A cohesive team is correlated with better communication, lower stress levels, and better performance. Therefore companies that manage employee turnover well must nurture healthy interpersonal relationships and strong bonds among their team.
One way of investing in your employee relations is to provide team-building activities. A mentorship and development system is one impactful way of helping newbies integrate and become versed in company protocols. It also gives existing employees the chance to take on new responsibilities.
The numbers speak for themselves: companies who build camaraderie among employees get to boast about higher engagement and retention rates.
During the pandemic era, people are rethinking their priorities. Whether moved by work-life balance concerns or a rekindled desire to pursue passion projects, this has massive implications for how employers approach their employee turnover strategy.
As employees strike out in new ways, companies can leap into new ventures too. Get proactive with these strategies for managing staff turnover today.
Alister Esam is the CEO and Founder of Process Bliss, a work management software that is reinventing how businesses execute day-to-day tasks. He is an expert in strategic planning, business process management, and business process optimization. With more than 15 years of experience in helping businesses run at peak efficiency in compliance with ISO procedures, Alister has dedicated his career to make work easier and more motivating for managers and employees alike. Here is his LinkedIn.