How to Reduce Staff Turnover
To retain and motivate today’s employees you need to engage them from day one.
According to research from the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), 30% of successful job seekers plan to move on within their first 12 months, with 58% expecting to work elsewhere inside three years.
Over 500 new employees and 1,000 managers were questioned during the study, which concluded that even though three quarters of new starters felt “delighted” with their switch, a new job did not guarantee loyalty or bring with it a long-term commitment.
So the days of having a ‘job for life’ are over, which is nothing new, but what I found really interesting was the generational shift in employee attitude seems to have been met with an overwhelming acceptance from staff managers.
The report went on to say that while the bulk of potential recruits are proactively planning to progress their career, salary, experience and prospects by job-hopping between organisations and industries, more than half of the managers quizzed predicted the majority of their new workers would leave within three years.
Now I’m not sure about you, but I’d much rather be part of a business where the management believe they have what it takes to keep me engaged and motivated, rather than one that’s resigned to losing people in a relatively short period of time.
Of course employee engagement needs to be earned, but the ILM study dug deeper into this, indicating that in order to make a positive and lasting impression on today’s workforce, the first 30 days are the most critical.
To keep new employees motivated and retain them over the long-term, you need to engage both their head and heart:
- Clear communication is crucial when defining any role, setting objectives and describing what is required from new staff.
- Providing simple resources that explain the company brand and mission helps your recruits to understand what you’re trying to achieve and how they fit into that vision.
- Regular and flexible access to managers, but not just in the early days, encourages people to feel valued, supported and listened to.
- Being honest about career progression from the start will keep ambition aligned with opportunity.
- Make staff feel welcome by preparing for their arrival; including setting up IT systems in advance and offering training on everyday things like operating telephones and company procedures.
- Let everyone know who is joining the business and what they will be doing. Consider a team lunch to encourage bonding and book one-to-one meetings so your team can engage immediately. If you don’t already have one, consider a buddy or mentoring programme to help new starters settle in quicker.
- Think carefully about key tasks that utilise people’s skills and experience and can be worked on in the first few days, as this will help new starters feel worthwhile and part of the team.
If you’re planning to recruit and invest time in someone, you need to make sure that they will be willing to commit themselves to you in exchange for support, training and help to develop both personally and professionally.
In my experience, people who are recruiting often have a negative view of too many short-term jobs on a CV, leading them to question motivation, commitment or even the ability to get along with colleagues.
Organisations worry that they will become the next rung on someone’s career ladder, so rather than take a risk and spend time and resource on training only to lose the employee before that investment pays off, they will opt for a safer option that they have confidence will deliver long-term business benefit.
By getting the induction period correct and setting off on the right foot, you should begin to develop a bond that will help you to retain good staff even if things go wrong in the future. Get it wrong and it can be hard to ever recover from.