5 Easy Ways to Minimize Employee Turnover

I recently came across a photo of Liam Neeson from Taken in my LinkedIn news feed, and written on it was “I don’t know who you are but I will find you and I will recruit you”. The post also had appropriate caption: Recruiters, unite!

Yes, I did find it funny and yes I did laugh and I even saved it. But the truth is it’s not that funny. When I think about it, these people are targeting my colleagues, my friends. They want to take my family. I get where Liam Neeson was coming from. So I decided to put together a quick guide for managers to minimize employee turnover and increase employee engagement.

Employee turnover or employee churn rates have started to grow like never before. Technology has brought us all these new benefits and easy solutions but it also brought major challenges. This is one of these challenges for HR specialists, who are desperately trying to find new ways of retaining and engaging their talent.

The majority of turnover, 52%, occurs, on average, in the first year of employment, peaking around the 12th month. That is because employers don’t invest enough in a proper selection and onboarding process, leaving the new employee feeling lost and unfit. Improving retention in the first year can make a big difference. (Source: TalentKeepers)

If threshold productivity rises on average at the 6 month mark, anyone who leaves with less time on the job is, to some degree, a financial loss. That’s why it is essential that employers build a retention strategy, focusing on the early months, to get people engaged with the company. 

1.    Get the right people

Everyone agrees that in order to minimize employee turnover you have to act even before that person is actually your employee. Targeting the right talent and properly selecting it Is the first step to minimize employee churn rates. Following Darcy Jacobsen’s advice, hire the right people and fire the ones who don’t fit.

Once they’ve become your employees, it’s game on. Every day is a competition for talent.

2.    Reward your talent

You may have hired the best people. But if they truly are the best people, they will continue to learn and grow. It’s up to you to encourage them to do so, to give them the framework they need to excel and to compensate them properly. If they’re getting better you need to reward them better. Unfortunately, money is still one of the top 10 drivers for employee engagement.

Pay moved up as an engagement and motivation driver, from #6 in 2011 to #3 in 2012 and is continuing to rise, according to Aon. But that doesn’t mean that employee happiness can be bought. To the contrary, employees have higher expectations and demands regarding work-life balance. Read more in our white paper on Happiness at work.

Offer them the right opportunities to develop and to grow. Not only will you benefit from that growth, but you’ll inspire loyalty and gratitude.

3.    Build a happy work environment

Behaviors that encourage respect and communication in the workplace, gratitude and recognition, fun and social interactions. That’s what drives happiness at work. That’s how you can minimize employee turnover and reduce churn rates.

You need to stay on top of your employee engagement levels. Always know where they stand and what you can do to improve their work experience. They will appreciate you, as management, not only for your actions but also for caring. People won’t leave a manager who cares enough about them to constantly ask how they’re feeling and how their experience be improved. Here’s a great article by Dorie Clark , author of Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future.

4.    Assign responsibility

How is responsible for employee engagement and employee turnover? Is it the employee? The manager? Shared accountability is the most efficient way to ensure employee engagement and retention. HR and Senior Leaders have the biggest share of responsibility, followed by Mid-Level Leaders, Executives, Front-line Leaders, Training and Recruiting Departments. 80% of employees are disengaged as a direct cause of management.

More and more companies are also setting an engagement initiatives budget, designed to improve business metrics. (Source: TalentKeepers)

If you do have a HR Manager, make sure that he or she has all the necessary resources to get the job done. That also involves the authority of telling you how to best manage your talent.

5.    Don’t burn bridges

Despite all of your efforts, some employees will leave. They may have personal reasons or simply a better offer, but it’s important how they leave your company. Having an exit interview is really important, to wrap-up a work experience that is easily sharable. Your reputation and future collaborations depend on it.


Asses your current turnover rate and build a solid strategy for the following 6 months, based on these 5 steps. Review your results in 6 months and set up a long-term, flexible plan.

Image via StockSnap.io under C.C.0 license