Turnover. A word that no manager, leader, or owner loves to hear. The truth is, it sucks. Putting in the time, the effort, and money just for an employee to leave in the end is an awful feeling. The average turnover rate in the U.S is 19%! After being in management for quite some time, I have identified four ways to reduce employee turnover rate within your organization and keep your employee satisfaction high.

The Initial Interview

This is where the retention starts. During the initial interview make sure you have a list of questions that will clue you into whether or not the candidate is planning on staying long term. Some good questions to ask are:

  • Where do you see yourself in 3 to 5 years?
  • Why did you leave your last position?
  • Tell me, do you have goals and aspirations to move up within the company?
  • Are you seeking a career or a job?

With these questions, you can read between the lines and identify if the candidate is planning on staying long term. Also, during the initial interview, inform the candidate of the entire scope of work they will be doing within this position. Provide as many details as possible so that the candidate can also make a beneficial decision for the organization.

Set Them Up For Success From the Very Beginning

Often, I would hear employees say “I didn’t sign up for this.” Although that is not a very good team player attitude, it is true. Larger organizations are expecting more and more from their employees without providing the proper tools to get the job done or without ever asking the employee if they have the capacity to take on additional projects or tasks.  

An employee who feels overwhelmed and underprepared will often be the first to leave an organization. Nobody likes to feel as if they are failing. Every now and then, have a one-on-one with your employees. Ask them if there is anything that you can do to improve their work experience? Are there any tools that they think would help get the job done more efficiently? You will be shocked at some of their responses. By tapping into the employee’s knowledge, we may even be able to streamline some of the work and in turn be more productive.

Listen to Your Employees

This turnover tip coincides with setting them up for success. Employees who feel like they are just a number and not appreciated will not be there for the long run. It is crucial not only to get to know your employee on a professional level but also on a personal level. Do they have a family? Did they just get married? Are they a caretaker when they are home? These are essential things that will affect their work ethic and productivity at work.

If an employee comes to you with a suggestion, listen to them. After all, they are often the ones doing the nitty-gritty work. Sure, as the manager or the director, your hands in all areas of the business, but the employees are on the front lines daily. They know what could be improved, what isn’t working anymore, and potentially how to fix it all.


Who doesn’t love a reward? Sometimes it is a simple comment like, “Hey, I see you and I see the work and effort you are putting forward. Great job, keep it up!” For others, it might be something tangible like a cup of coffee or a gift certificate. If you have the budget and approval to give out small rewards, I highly suggest you do so.

I remember working at a large corporation and just feeling like another warm body in a cubicle. Until one day a senior manager bought me and a cup of Starbucks coffee. He might not have ever said anything to me before, but he noticed me, and that was his way of letting me know he sees my efforts and I was being recognized. From that day forward my outlook changed. I was excited to go to work and eager to get my next acknowledgment.

Turnover is very high with large companies in the US. It is up to us as leaders and managers to understand why. Do the employees feel unappreciated, is there something going on outside of their work life that is affecting them, or are they just a chronic career changer? There are so many different things that can affect turnover. Turnover is expensive. It is timely and ineffective for any company. By using my four tips on how to make turnover stop, I genuinely believe your organization will benefit from having career-minded employees, not just people who have a job.

If you need help auditing and improving your onboarding and employee engagement strategies, please contact us. In this tough job market, you want to do everything you can to keep your best employees!


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