7 Ways to Prevent Turnover Contagion in Your Workplace

Nov 18, 2021

Turnover is rampant across workplaces these days, and it can be contagious. Worklytics, the people analytics firm, found that once one person on a team quits, peers in their work environment are 2 to 3 times more likely to leave. With 65% of American workers looking for new jobs, according to a recent PwC survey, business leaders across all industries are bracing for substantial turnover outbreaks able to upend productivity, morale, and profits.

Bracing for resignations is not the only option. Even now, businesses have opportunities to minimize turnover and improve employee engagement. Need a starting point? Here are seven effective approaches Employment Enterprises clients and partners are using today to retain talent and avoid mass quitting events.

1. Get Flexible

One of the top reasons millions of people have left jobs this year is because they needed greater flexibility. From the challenge of taking care of loved ones to the desire for greater balance, the search for flexibility has millions quitting or eyeing the exit. Businesses that offer flexible options–such as remote and hybrid work arrangements or self-selected work hours–are quickly becoming employers of choice. With numerous employers unwilling or unable to offer remote and hybrid options, businesses that embrace them are seeing the anti-turnover effect: record applicants and rising satisfaction.

2. Create and Communicate Career Paths

Many people leave jobs because they don’t see growth opportunities. According to the Beamery 2021 Talent Index, “83% of employees think companies should help with career progression, yet 44% percent say their employers don’t have talent acceleration programs.” In the absence of employer career support, employees are devising their own paths to advancement by choosing new jobs.

Businesses that take time to map out clear career development plans for employees will see a decrease in turnover. The key is to go beyond career mapping and development plans and communicate growth opportunities as carefully as you build them. Employers and managers are often shocked when an employee tells them they are leaving because they want more growth opportunities. “Why didn’t they ask me so I could help them find the right path here?” is a common refrain. Employers shouldn’t wait for their workers to ask how they can grow. Assume growth is a common goal and communicate growth opportunities enthusiastically and often.

3. Conduct Stay Surveys

Keep connected to satisfied and high-performing talent with stay surveys. These monthly or quarterly interviews are a chance to check in, gauge satisfaction levels, and probe why they are staying and assess if there is any restlessness. Stay surveys can help employers proactively address issues that could spark turnover events, such as higher wage rates at other employers or conflict with a team or manager.

4. Keep Workloads Fair

One issue that can quickly spark turnover contagion is overburdening employees who have chosen to stay when others have left. Overworked and resentful employees are easy to lose and hard to keep. If you find your business asking too much of employees in terms of workloads and schedules, it’s critical to make a concerted recruitment push. That might mean bringing in an outsourced recruiting specialist to accelerate hiring or looking to alumni talent pools, such as recent retirees, who can offer temporary relief. Once balance returns to the workplace, recognize and reward employees who took on extra workloads. From bonuses to awards and gifts, acts of gratitude build loyalty, redirect turnover thinking, and foster retention.

5. Foster Connection

Employees want to feel connected to their work and colleagues whether they are in the office or remote. Ensure that managers get the training they need to foster team and company unity. Build and budget for events that allow employees to get to know each other better and feel connected to the work. Try simple lunches and celebrations. Smaller, more frequent events that engage employees in fun ways can help to increase their connection and commitment to the job.

6. Stay at or Above Competitive Wages

Wages are up 4.2% from a year ago according to the Wall Street Journal and this is information your employees already have. They are aware of the signing bonuses and other perks businesses are leveraging to attract new hires. If you are currently paying employees less than market value, now is the time to bump up pay. In addition to being key to strong retention and low turnover, solid wages are table stakes for recruiting new hires.

7. Welcome Diversity

Employees today want and need to be recognized as individuals with diverse skills, backgrounds, goals, and stories. While consistency can be useful in terms of building an effective employment journey, employers need to ensure they are also recognizing differences that shape and motivate people. From resources like employee groups to strong DEI programs and training, there are many tools businesses can and do use to create environments that welcome diversity and retain talent.

Has your business found additional ways to stave off turnover contagion? Share your best practices in the comments. If high turnover is creating critical workforce gaps, reach out today and let the recruitment and workforce solutions experts at Employment Enterprises get your team back on track.

Written by: Employment Enterprises

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