Skip to Content

Your 2023 W-2 is now available. To access it, log into your Employee Self-Service portal (GMS Connect)

Overcoming High Employee Turnover

Overcoming High Employee Turnover

As concerns pile up, employee morale can quickly go downhill. The challenge of losing valuable employees becomes particularly daunting in today’s competitive job market, where it takes an average of 24 days to fill a position.

While hiring managers look for replacements, the remaining team members may find themselves taking on extra work. This additional workload can make staff feel overwhelmed and resentful, exacerbating existing issues within your organization – causing more team members to leave. The domino effect is real and immediate, so you must act quickly before the topple becomes unstoppable. Because staffing is such a pressing concern, hiring decisions often become rushed, leading to hiring mistakes that inadvertently undermine retention efforts.

While some turnover is expected, careful planning leveraging people analytics can help avoid its normalization. However, if you’re experiencing perpetual turnover, it might be time to examine your company culture. Attracting and retaining talent requires finding underlying issues and creating a strategy to address them.

What Causes Employee Turnover? 

Employee turnover happens for various reasons, often interrelated, and understanding these can help your organization develop strategies to retain talent. Key causes include the following:

  • Low pay and inadequate benefits. According to the Pew Research Center, 63% of employees cited low pay as a leading factor in seeking alternative employment.
  • Lack of professional advancement opportunities. Employees often aspire to grow their skills and advance their careers. If they perceive a lack of opportunity to grow within your organization, they are more likely to look for one that will.
  • Negative company culture. Another common reason for high turnover is a toxic or unsupportive company culture. This includes issues such as a lack of diversity and inclusion, poor work-life balance, and poor management practices.
  • Lack of professional respect. Employees want to feel valued and respected for their contributions. Lack of respect can manifest in several ways, including not listening to employee feedback, ignoring achievements, or generally undervaluing an employee's role in your organization.

If your your organization is experieicning high emploee turnover, fixing every issue overnight is impossible. It will require careful planning and time to fully address the root causes. 

Addressing High Employee Turnover

High turnover can create a stressful environment for your entire team, and while you can’t simply flip a switch to fix everything, addressing the root issues as quickly as possible is essential to avoid long-lasting detrimental impacts.

First, it’s vital that you take an honest look at your company. One way to do this is through utilizing exit interviews. Exit interviews should be a routine part of off-boarding, where you can gather insights. From an employee’s first to last day, the company’s core values should guide their experience. The exit interview is no exception.

It’s never easy to hear criticisms and concerns, but you’ll never get to the root of problems without asking questions and then listening. This isn’t the time to defend your company. Departing employees need to feel heard. Use this time to probe into factors that made them want to leave. If candid feedback is the goal, then direct managers shouldn’t conduct interviews. Nobody wants to burn bridges, so hiring a reputable third party is considered the best practice.

In addition, you can start to address issues through:

Taking action

Once key concerns are uncovered and exposed, act immediately. It’s easy to get distracted and not follow through. To offset that tendency, create a team responsible for moving things forward and implementing changes.

This team can analyze gathered data and market intelligence to create an employee retention plan. If there’s a manager with high levels of turnover, use feedback to coach them. Any new changes instituted show current and former employees that you genuinely care. If left forgotten or unfinished, that sends a clear message as well.

Hire strategically

After identifying and addressing areas of improvement, take a look at your hiring process. Employee retention is about hiring the right person. Skills are typically a top consideration when speaking with candidates, but you must also assess how they will fit with your company culture. A skilled new hire needs to experience a sense of belonging to consider it a long-term fit.

There are a couple of strategies to aid this process. First, ask behavioral interview questions to gauge how they respond to common company scenarios. Then, give them a tour and introduce them to various employees. This is helpful for both of you. You can observe how they interact, and they can get a sense of the workplace culture and if it suits them.

Compensate adequately (beyond salary)

While happy hours and team outings are absolutely appreciated (and an essential part of building a culture), they don’t pay the bills. Research the market value and typical benefits for critical roles in your region. If you want to compete for top talent, you must offer a competitive benefits package that reinforces your company's value. Packages include salary, paid time off (PTO), vacation time, sick days, benefits, etc.

Look beyond money

As the saying goes, money doesn’t solve everything. Millennials rank giving back as a top priority. That translates into taking jobs where they make a difference with society’s more significant issues. Is community involvement a core value or a PR opportunity? For candidates who care, they’ll know the difference.

The following are more win-win strategies you can incorporate:

  • Recognition motivates employees and makes them feel respected
  • Understanding aspirations and providing a career path keeps them inspired
  • Flexible work schedules show trust and reinforce the value of work/life balance 

Ultimately, you want to craft an atmosphere that supports happy, productive employees. Collaborating with experts who understand HR best practices can be beneficial Working with a professional employer organization (PEO), specifically GMS, allows business owners to outsource all or part of their HR to help build these cultures and programs to retain employees.

GMS Can Help

GMS has advised companies for more than 20 years on how to evolve to meet growth and talent goals. GMS’ HR Account Managers specialize in crafting well-defined job descriptions, ensuring you attract candidates who genuinely fit the role. They excel in creating efficient and streamlined hiring processes, saving you valuable time and resources while finding top talent.

PEOs like GMS, understand the importance of cultural fit and can guide you in aligning candidates with your company’s values and culture. When it comes to onboarding, GMS offers structured, effective processes to ensure new employees seamlessly transition into their roles, thereby reducing the risk of disengagement or early turnover.

Let us help improve your turnover rates and help your business retain employees to create efficiency and longevity. Contact us today to learn more about how GMS can help your business.

Return to Blog