Are You Doing To Reduce Staff Turnover?
By Larry Wenger
wrote an article entitled “Is Staff Turnover Keeping you
Poor…Costs and Affordable Solutions”. The article identified
eight simple tips to reduce turnover and related expenses. The
1. Involving staff in turnover reduction planning
2. Evaluating your hiring process
3. Addressing communication issues
4. Recognition and praise
5. Staff training and development
6. Positive relations among staff
7. Starting the campaign with successful actions
8. Tracking actions
and human service leaders everywhere understand the importance
of reducing turnover. Clearly, turnover is an expense as well as
a threat to the maintenance of quality products and services.
Can we manage this problem or is it just part of the cost of
doing business? Unfortunately there is very little data to
substantiate what works. But experience and employee surveys
tell much about the roots of job dissatisfaction. Staff
retention is related to two factors:
at market rate or above.·
Employers who treat
article examines organizational operations in seven areas. In
each area we will identify practices that speak to hiring and
retaining qualified and dedicated staff. How many of these
practices does your organization have in place?
A marketing oriented
statement spelling out why a·
candidate would want to work for you.
A hiring process
bottlenecks or proceeds so slow that candidates are lost.
descriptions of the requirements of your ideal candidate.
hiring someone who doesn’t really meet your needs, just to get
the position filled.
Look for candidates
with flexibility; today’s job requirements may·
referrals; you will get them if your employees·
like working for you.
observe the work environment…to see·
what is working and what isn’t.
Give candidates the
opportunity to interact·
with current staff and consumers of service.
performance standards with a low tolerance for·
inadequate performance; stress continuous improvement.
Each employee should·
regularly receive at least one hour of private supervision.
The results of·
supervisory conferences should be recapped while together. Any
assignments and progress against goals and objectives should be
identified and memorialized.
training and development for·
supervisors carry out their role in a professional·
o Follow-up on commitments made to supervisees
o Give supervisees honest, constructive feedback about their
o Ensure confidentiality of the supervisory relationship
o Take responsibility for their own errors in judgment or
Respect for Staff
Listen and respond
to staff suggestions; don’t just·
tell staff what to do.
When developing new
operational procedures give·
special weight to staff that will be heavily impacted by the
Staff Training and Development
Invest in the
development and training·
The development plan
for each employee should consider what each·
staff person wants to achieve personally.
Make sure your
employees reflect the demographics of the·
community you serve.
diversity involves more than race,·
culture and gender factors.
Use a professional
measure to identify employee·
styles and temperaments.
and use it to strengthen the·
Help staff to
understand that true cooperation and team work·
results when issues can be openly discussed and not seen as
staff to find out what they are·
thinking about the organization…positive and negative.
employee suggestions so that employees know their input is
valued and used.
Hold exit interviews with all departing employees and regularly
review the data that comes from these interviews.
interviews to discover·
issues before turnover ramps up.
input anonymously through·
surveys, focus groups, suggestion boxes.
Use technology to
updated on organizational events and concerns.
Hardware and Equipment
Is your facility
clean, safe, attractive and·
Do all the toilets
Do vehicles operate·
properly and safely?
would your score look like? Review the seven areas with other
concerned staff. Pick out the areas where your retention program
can be strengthened. Set a few goals for the year.
alternative to implementing a measurable and effective staff
retention program is to roll along, accepting turnover as a
(rising) cost of doing business. The “do-nothing” strategy
taking their knowledge with them…maybe to a competitor.
workforce competency and lower client satisfaction scores.
levels and lost revenue.
A drop in employee
morale resulting overburdening·
remaining employees with additional duties.
Increased costs for
and training. Is there really a choice?