It's Time To Take Employee Retention Seriously

September 28, 2016 Kelly Marc Alston

The prevailing attitude when discussing retention is to simply accept turnover as a fact of life. This fatalistic mindset does nothing to help improve the situation or solve the problem. In actuality, there are specific and actionable that can be done to improve employee retention rates.

Think about it this way: would you ignore an issue that costs your business roughly 16 percent of an employee’s annual earnings? Because that’s the average cost of replacing staff that quits. High turnover rates in faced-paced, high turnover environments like restaurants or retail mean you’re always playing catch up, struggling to attract and train new employees. Without some type of remediation, this becomes a never ending cycle of hiring, training, quitting, hiring, and so on.

Retention rates is one of the vital signs of a company - it signals the health of the organization and can be used as a barometer to quickly measure how the company is doing. As such, this data should be available to everyone within the company. One of the signs of a healthy organization is transparency. Tim Sackett, who worked in human resources at Applebee’s, says, “From the CEO to the line cook, we had detailed metrics visible in every Applebee’s location. We used dashboards that were updated on a daily basis. No one could hide from the truth.” The first step to remedying a problem is to recognize it. Even if your current turnover rates are higher than you’d like, being transparent about it could be the catalyst to starting a meaningful dialogue with current staff. Talk to employees to find out why turnover is high. Get to the heart of the problem by identifying the top reasons employees quit. Then, take measures to rectify those issues. Typical reasons include insufficient guidance in their daily work tasks, a lack of open communication between employees and management, and workers feeling unstimulated, ignored, or unproductive in their roles.

Lack of effective employee retention strategies leads to millions of dollars in lost productivity and inefficiency. Costs associated with recruiting, hiring, training, and onboarding for open postions add up quickly. Ramping up efforts to improve your company’s retention rate will save time, money, and lead to happier and more productive team members. 

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