How to Combat High Turnover of Employees

Most company heads know that a high turnover of employees is costly. Companies lose money in advertising, recruiting and training new employees. In fact, it is more expensive to hire a new employee than to retain an older one.

Companies also lose time. Productive hours are instead dedicated to re-hiring employees. And that isn’t where the damage of high turnover of employees ends.

The negative effects can also be felt on staff morale and on the quality of a company’s product or service, particularly when highly skilled labour is lost. In this article we explore ways to combat high turnover and mitigate its impact on a company.

Train your staff

Some managers might wonder why they should train employees who might end up leaving a company, making off with the skills they have learnt. But training staff is actually a good way to way to tackle high turnover of employees.

When a business gets new employees, it should couple the employee orientation or on boarding period with on-job training. One of the reasons new hires might soon leave a job is because they have not been given the support to do their work.

Despite being qualified, a new job might come with new systems, new equipment or new policies that one needs to get familiar with in order to do their job well. This training can also help ease any discomfort that might prompt an employee to leave the job for one they feel they can better excel at.

Training opportunities should also be made available to continuing staff. Growth is a natural part of life and when employees feel like their career is stunted, or that there is nowhere to move in the company, they will look for jobs where they can expand.

Small businesses which can’t always offer promotions can capitalise on trainings to prevent high turnover of employees. These trainings can be in the form of seminars, webinars or professional courses.

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Enabling staff to go for conferences and events where they can learn more about their industry can help them to feel valued at work and encourage retention.

Promote those who qualify

If employees remain at the same level year after year, despite becoming more and more qualified, chances are you will start to see a high turnover of employees. Companies can increase employee satisfaction by promoting top performers. This is a way to show staff that they are valued and to encourage the rest to achieve as well.

In 2011, the Chipotle chain is reported to have reduced employee turnover by 64% by promoting staff from within the company.

Promoting from within the company is also good for the bottom line because it saves money on the recruiting and training process. In addition, you get employees who are already familiar with how the company works.

Hire the right people to start with

Hiring the right people for the job isn’t only about hiring the candidates with the best references and the most years of experience. How well they fit in with the culture and their ability to play well with others should be put into consideration.

To determine if someone isn’t only qualified but is also a good cultural fit, companies can use behavioural tests. Scenario based questions will also help reveal how candidates might react in real life situations with other colleagues.

Companies should share what their values and what their culture is like with candidates in early interview stages. If you have a company culture that doesn’t appeal to the candidate, it might be worth it for them to consider another company and for you to consider another candidate. Wrong hiring decisions can lead to turnover once employees learn that they do not fit in.

Pay attention to the demographic of your employees

As companies seek to reduce high turnover of employees they should look at their demographics. Younger employees tend to report higher turnover than older employees. This means that the company will need different retention tactics for different employees.

For instance, while millennial employees may be attracted to work that gives them meaning, older workers may prefer stability over meaning. Gen Z employees may opt for jobs with flexible schedules that allow them to multi task. With a diverse workforce, a one size fits all motivation or retention plan will be less effective.

Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives

One way to combat high turnover of employees is to take on CSR activities that have an impact. These can include social or environmental projects in the community. Employees who work for such companies and are actively involved in these initiatives report having higher levels of on job satisfaction.

On top of the satisfaction that comes with them giving back, employees involved in CSR are more likely to withstand negative factors like pay cuts that might ordinarily lead to turnover of employees.

How to Combat High Turnover of Employees

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Offer attractive benefits

Benefits can be short term and long term. In the short term, employees can look forward to getting a prize for hitting a target or getting a monetary reward for a particular accomplishment.

Employees can look forward to earning long term benefits upon being with a company for a number of years. Having both long and short term benefits helps to retain both new and older employees.


Another way to reduce high turnover of employees is to set up flexible schedules. The 9 to 5, in office model has become out dated in many industries. Workers of today value the flexibility to work on multiple projects. They will constantly seek opportunities that make this possible.

Flexible schedules also make it possible for employees to accommodate their families, social lives and hobbies. This can increase productivity and help to improve staff retention over the long term.

In Summary

Combatting high turnover of employees is all about showing staff that they are valued. Whether it’s through training them or giving them flexible schedules, a company will be able to retain their employees and enjoy their loyalty.

Gerald Ainomugisha

Gerald Ainomugisha

Gerald is a freelance writer with a pen that is keen for entrepreneurship, business and technology. When he isn't writing insightful articles on employee engagement and corporate culture, Gerald can be found writing for a number of media outlets.