The Best Ways To Reduce Employee Turnover

angry man on phone dealing with employee turnover

Imagine this:

It’s a bright sunny day as you walk into work. You get settled at your desk and about to start your day.

Just then, your newest employee pokes their head into your office and explains to you that they are leaving in two weeks for a different job opportunity. 

What a bummer

All the work that it took to hire that person and the training you put into them over the last few weeks or months are down the drain. 

New employee turnover is a real problem for businesses. About 28% of new hires leave just six months into a new job, and the average cost of each person leaving is between $3,000-$18,000, stretching over to two million for executive positions where hiring takes longer. Ouch!

That can really do some significant damage, and that’s not even mentioning the impact high turnover has on your company culture and morale. 

So how can we avoid all of this chaos and mess? Well, there’s a couple of critical tasks to do and some ongoing commitments to track, but a lot of it is pretty straight-forward and takes just a little bit of planning. Let’s dive in!

The First Day Is The Big Day

First impressions matter. That goes for a lot of instances, but especially when new hires first arrive at the office. 

The first day is the day where all of your hype and employer branding gets put to the test. Unfortunately, a lot of companies fail that test. Research has shown that 22% of all staff churn will happen within the first 45 days of employment. 

One crucial aspect that needs to happen on the first day is to make for a welcoming and engaging environment. If the first day is all about protocols, presentations, and paperwork, your new hire will probably feel pretty overwhelmed and not engaged. 

Make for an engaging first day by introducing them to some key people around the office, tell them about any intramural teams people play in or any company committees they could be a part of. Encourage them in different ways to be a part of your team.

Maybe the team makes a big volunteering effort twice a year. Perhaps there is a friendly cooking competition among the different departments. Whatever your company’s team-bonding thing is, ensure to tell your new employees about it and give them the option to join in on the fun. 

Another super impactful idea is to learn what their favourite snack and/or drink is, then have some on-hand for their first week. Not only does this show that you are listening, but also that you want employees to be comfortable in their new place of work.

If you really want to have an excellent first day, think about getting ahead of the game and doing some pre-boarding activities. Keep in mind that I mean more than just sending a couple of documents to begin their first-day reading assignments. 

Pre-boarding should help ease their nerves, after all, they are about to jump into a whole new environment, which can be terrifying for some. Try to send some information regarding dress-code, parking or transit options, or maybe even suggest some excellent lunch spots nearby the office. 

Try to set some expectations for the first day too. If they are expected to start on a basic assignment right away, give them a heads up that they’ll be assigned something. Any information that will help them feel like they are prepared will be a huge help!

This is also an ideal time to start introducing them to a couple of people on their immediate team. Sending a quick email connecting your new hire with someone like their manager allows the new hire to feel a little more prepared. Plus, it gives them a friendly face to find in the duration of that first, hectic day.

Be Relationship-First

People need connections when they first enter any group. Whether it is a new school, a new city, or a new job. Early relationships play a huge part in whether we stay there or not.

So how can we, as managers, help foster these vital early relationships? While we can’t force people to be friends, there are a couple of ways to get the process started and to encourage people to strengthen their bonds with one another.

One way is ensuring that the whole team is aware of the new hire’s arrival and ready to greet them into their new job. The more welcoming the first day or two is, the better chance the new hire will feel comfortable talking with their co-workers. 

You may also want to consider taking your newest crew member out to lunch with their team. A less formal setting will put people at ease and encourage conversations that don’t pertain to their work. 

Going the extra mile during the first week or so to help your new teammate meet people will help reduce turnover significantly. It’s a lot harder to leave if you feel like you’re about to leave a whole group of friends!

Also, consider how you’ll want to foster relationships past the initial onboarding of the first month or so. Inviting them to informal events, such as off-site, conferences, or more team lunches, gives them a chance to interact with everyone in a way that doesn’t revolve around work. 

This is where you can really learn about the person and help them make actual friendships, rather than just strict work relationships. 

Utilize your Mentors

If you don’t already have a mentorship or a “buddy” program in place, you should really consider implementing one. 

Mentors can provide valuable insights into the organization for new hires. You can even consider them a kind of bridge for new employees. They can help bring a new employee from not knowing key cultural information about your company to adjusting to the new workspace nicely. 

These people can act as a way for your new hire to integrate socially as well. If the mentor can be welcoming to the new hire and encourage them to join informal lunchtime discussions, the new hire will feel much more a part of the team and the organization as a whole.

"Having a strong mentorship program in your organization helps people progress within the company and show them what they need to do to succeed within your company." Click To Tweet

Check-in Often

Checking in with your new hire serves two essential purposes. Firstly, it gives you the chance to hear about any issues they might be having. If you do it frequently enough, at least at the beginning, this will provide you with a sort of early warning system. 

Secondly, it makes your newest teammate feel heard. Even having the opportunity to speak about how things are going can be an impactful way to feel part of the team. Make sure there are some actionables for you to achieve, so that really do they feel heard and that their opinions are respected.

Take the opportunity to use these check-ins to gather data on how they feel the onboarding is going in general. Anonymous surveys might be the best tool in this case. If you can have some information on how new hires feel during the onboarding process, you can then make adjustments. 

Searching for and continually improving how you run onboarding will always make for better results. Plus, then you can make a custom-made onboarding plan that fits just right for your company.

As your newest crew member starts to learn the ropes, you can start reducing the number of check-ins, but always make sure they feel heard, and you address any issues that might be forming. 

Tie It All Together 

There’s no doubt that onboarding is tough, but it’s even harder if your new employees rapidly leave because they either didn’t feel valued or they didn’t feel connected. 

So avoid the hassle of having to restart the hiring process every couple of months by planning a more engaging experience for your newest teammates. 

Plan to engage them before and on the first day. Work out a strategy to encourage friendship among employees. Set up a mentoring system to smooth out the bumps many new employees face. Ensure to check-in often enough to find and assist with any issues that might be sprouting up in the first few weeks and months.

These are just a couple of things that will help reduce new employee turnover for your company. In essence, people want to feel respected and heard. Once people think this, then the rest of it becomes a lot easier. If you want some more onboarding ideas, check out my other article, 10 top tips for better employee onboarding.

If you would like a little more structured list like the one above, head over to our super handy checklist page and download it. It’s full of even more helpful hints and goals to hit, giving you an edge when it comes to onboarding.