Good help is hard to come by these days, but keeping good help might be harder: last year, the U.S faced a historically high turnover rate which averaged 27% across industries. Among those, accounting firms lost 20% of their staff, adding an extra burden to the growing accountant shortage.
When losing a single employee can cost $15,000, or 50 – 60% of their annual salary, turnover is an expensive problem; a constantly revolving door not only entails the cost of seeking new talent, but also slows down productivity and interrupts workflow. From a business perspective, keeping employees around for the long term is a good investment – fortunately, it can be done.
According to Work Institute’s 2019 Retention Report, 3 in 4 employees who quit their jobs said they could have been retained by their employers if certain grievances had only been addressed. While a certain amount of turnover is always inevitable, organizations can easily improve their retention rates with a few simple changes.
In this article, we’ll share five data-backed tips to retain your star talent until the end of next year and beyond. Let’s get started –
- Make onboarding count
First impressions matter for everything and starting out at a new company is no exception: according to a study by Corning Glass, personnel who attended an orientation program at the beginning of their employment were 69% more likely to remain at their company for up to three years.
While investing in an orientation program might be a good idea, simpler measures can be equally effective. During the onboarding process, make sure to:
- Introduce employees to colleagues and mentors who can help them grow
- Train new hires to use the software and tools necessary for their work
- Show them around business facilities and help them understand your culture
A little bit of introduction sets the pace for an employee’s performance, promotes engagement and plants the seeds for good business relationships.
- Build real engagement
“Engagement” has become a buzzword which can mean anything from mandatory social events to setting up ping pong tables in the breakroom. But real engagement, as defined by Gallup, means:
“focusing on concrete performance management activities, such as clarifying work expectations, getting people what they need to do their work, providing development and promoting positive coworker relationships”
In short, employees who are engaged understand where they belong in an organization and how their work makes a difference. Employees who are less engaged – on the other hand – tend to withdraw, exhibit lower performance and take less initiative.
All of this has a direct impact on retention: Gallup found that teams ranking in the top 20% for engagement exhibited a 59% reduction in turnover rate. Similar reductions can be expected from simple engagement strategies such as recognition of exemplary work, building a supportive workplace culture, and – most of all – investing in employee training.
- Invest in your employees
In 2020, businesses should take their employees’ career development seriously: according to Work Institute’s report, “Lack of Growth & Development Opportunities” has been cited as the top reason that employees left their companies since 2013, with a consistent trend upwards.
Meanwhile, 93% of employees say they would have stayed with their employer if that employer had invested in their careers. But what does that mean? First, businesses should offer a path to promotion with clear guidelines for achievement. Surprisingly, more employees would prefer a promotion with no pay raise to a pay raise without promotion.
Second, businesses should invest in ongoing training, seminars and certification programs to develop their employees’ skillsets. Not only does training boost retention rates through increased loyalty, but it also offers a competitive advantage: according to the U.S Bureau of Labor, most organizations offer less than 6 minutes of training to their employees every year.
- Facilitate communication
Clear and consistent communication between employees and upper management is necessary to keep projects on track, coordinate between different teams and maintain deadlines. But communication goes both ways, and lack of responsiveness from upper management can drive frustration that leads to higher turnover.
To mitigate this problem, managers should periodically seek feedback from employees and implement their suggestions. This ensures that everyone has a voice and prevents minor issues or misunderstandings from escalating over time or becoming a systemic issue that is harder to fix.
Communication between employees is also important: according to one report, 39% of employees felt that they did not have enough opportunities to collaborate with their colleagues. Consider adopting peer-to-peer collaboration tools like Slack to break down silos within your business and bring employees together: there may be no stronger catalyst for engagement than teamwork.
- Modernize your tools
The tools your employees use on a regular basis can dramatically impact their engagement, productivity and output. According to the Harvard Business Review, 55% of employees said that their company’s workplace technology – including productivity apps and other platforms – influenced their decision to leave or stay.
Retaining older or outdated software applications can therefore result in higher turnover rates, especially as businesses grow and other solutions become the industry standard that new hires are familiar with. Periodically, a business should assess its assets for their continued value – or lack thereof – and consider upgrading if necessary.
Software with a steep learning curve can also result in frequent staff changes if employees are not offered sufficient training and guidance: in that case, consider hiring an experienced third-party to give your team the investment it deserves to succeed and stay engaged for the long-term.
WiJiT offers sustainable growth and profitability services including training to reduce turnover caused by accounting applications with a steep learning curve, staff augmentation, software evaluation and much more. To Learn More About Our Business And Services, Get In Touch: We’d Love To Hear From You!