Causes of high employee turnover

Causes of Employee Turnover

5 causes of high employee turnover – and how to reduce it

With the most recent figures from the AHRI Pulse Survey revealing turnover rates across Australian businesses in all industries is at 16% – up from 12% in 2012 – there’s no question that high turnover is a growing concern for business owners. However, you can take control of the situation with a few tips and tricks to spot – and reduce – turnover problems.

Common trends and causes

It’s always best to speak with your staff if you are concerned about turnover rates rising. They will be able to give you direct insight into what they feel could be improved in the workplace.

But there are also five common causes to look out for – no matter what the industry:

  • Employees are overworked: A 2015 study by TINYpulse found that nearly 70% of employees believe they don’t have enough time each week to complete their assigned tasks.
  • Some staff are treated better than others: There will always be star performers and those who need a little motivation in the workplace, but it’s a manager’s duty to ensure every employee is treated equally.
  • Poor company culture: Work culture goes hand in hand with employee happiness, so it’s no wonder a positive culture will lead to greater employee happiness – and the opposite for a toxic workplace.
  • Lack of career development: In small business it’s sometimes hard to offer high-flying roles to ambitious staff, but that doesn’t mean you can’t provide them with opportunities for growth.
  • No coaching or feedback: Effective managers understand how to get their team to perform well – most often through tailored coaching and ongoing feedback.

Strategies for dealing with employee turnover

You don’t need to draw up a comprehensive list of strategies to implement in the workplace. In fact, the first step to dealing with employee turnover is looking inward. A few key points to remember are:

  • Your employees are the greatest competitive asset you have.
  • A high turnover rate is costing you money.
  • Better compensation and/or benefits is a short-term investment for long-term savings.
  • Making the workplace fun means happier employees and a better chance of retaining your best people.

While it’s important to consider the costs of recruiting when trying to reduce employee turnover, if you start with the small stuff and work one-on-one with your team, you’ll likely notice immediate changes for the better.

Ways to reduce turnover

Understanding the causes of high turnover is one thing, but figuring out ways to reduce it – and then applying those tactics – requires a deeper dive. You can read more about how to reduce employee turnover here, but for now here are some hard-and-fast tips:

  • Hire the right people: Good company culture begins at the hiring process. Make sure your job description is comprehensive and honest, do your due diligence when interviewing and focus on training and incorporating new hires into the team.
  • Use employee engagement programs: An employee recognition and reward program can deliver near-instant results for businesses struggling with high turnover. When you give your staff something to strive for, they are more likely to put in the effort to attain it.
  • Provide a growth program and training opportunities: Employees want to be good at their jobs, but they sometimes need help from their superiors to get on the right track. A minor investment of time for a solid growth and training program could be the difference between a team member leaving or staying.
  • Keep the lines of communication open: You might be the boss and you might be juggling a million things at once, but that doesn’t mean you can’t spend a few minutes each day speaking with your team. Also let them know they can talk to you outside work hours (via phone or email) about work-related issues.
  • Be flexible and promote a work-life balance: Above all, employees want to know you care about their wellbeing. A strong work-life policy in the office will mean your staff will want to work hard, and you will want them to enjoy their life outside work.
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