How to reduce your staff churn rate

Image of a revolving door

A high staff churn rate can be costly, disruptive and demoralising for other employees. However, with the right strategies, you can reduce your staff churn rate and create a more stable and motivated workforce where your employees are loyal and engaged. Here are our tips.

Understanding why employees leave

If your business is experiencing a high staff churn rate, it’s essential to firstly understand why this is happening. Exit interviews are an effective way to gather information about why staff leave a business, and something that are often overlooked. Common reasons often include a lack of career progression, higher pay elsewhere, poor work / life balance or bad management. However, many employers choose to avoid what they perceive as an awkward conversation as an employee leaves the business. Realistically, this is the ideal moment to capture and learn from feedback, addressing issues directly, awkward as it may be.

An important point to remember is that questions should be open-ended so that the employee is not influenced in any way. The exit interview should help you to understand:

  • Why the employee has decided to leave the company.
  • What their new role is offering them that the current one doesn’t.
  • What they valued about the business.
  • What they disliked about the business.
  • If they felt they were equipped with the proper resources to do their job properly.
  • Their views about management and the way in which they were managed.
  • Their relationship with their manager.
  • If they would consider working for the business again in the future.

For more tips and guidance, read our guide to holding an exit interview: How to run an exit interview and download our exit interview template.

Create a positive company culture

It goes without saying that a positive company culture creates an inclusive, safe workplace, which is essential for all businesses to retain and motivate their teams. It may sound obvious, but staff who feel valued and appreciated are less likely to move on, and will be more motivated and productive. If your business doesn’t have an identifiable set of values, this can be a great starting point. Defining the core values takes it back to basics – considering what the ethos was when the business was started. Once you understand this, it’s easier to keep this at the forefront of all decision making and future planning.

Other ways to promote a positive culture include:

  • Encouraging open communication with staff – allowing them to voice their opinions and feel heard.
  • Recognising achievements and rewarding them.
  • Promoting a sense of community within the team.

Regular team building, social events and recognition events can all to help build a strong company culture. At Bespoke HR, we run a number of initiatives such as a Six-month Superstar reward (voted for by colleagues), long-service awards and summer and Christmas team events.

Read our guide to running a company culture day. How to set up a company culture session or our team away day ideas.

Conduct a salary and benefits benchmarking exercise

Salary isn’t the only factor in job satisfaction, but it’s a significant one. Many job seekers are looking at more than just salary when considering roles, with benefits packages moving up the priority list. So it’s essential to make sure your pay and benefits packages are competitive for your industry. Read our guide to salary benchmarking.

According to research from Avado, 70% of employees are more likely to stay with a company that offers well-structured benefit packages. 65% of candidates consider employee benefits as a crucial factor when evaluating job offers. Companies that offer mental health support report a 30% lower turnover rate. At Bespoke HR, we offer all employees benefits including private medical, death in service, critical illness cover, performance related bonus scheme, free parking, travel expenses, free lunch and time off for employee volunteering. All of these contribute to our overall staff retention rate, helping to reduce employee churn.

Invest in employee development

The HR press has coined this year as ‘The Great Stay’ following a period dubbed as ‘The Great Resignation’. This stems from research revealing that over half of employers are looking to retain their current workforce, and that staff turnover and vacancies will decline. CIPD is recommending that employers prioritise staff training to upskill, develop and retain their workforce. Of course, career development is crucial for employee retention. Encouraging continuous learning with clear paths for advancement are strong motivators. If employees see a future with your business, they are more likely to stay.

Take a look at some of our training courses (our plan clients can use their hours towards these) or read our guide to setting up a training scheme.

Examine and improve management practices

Good managers need to be well trained and equipped to lead their teams. They should be approachable, supportive and able to provide constructive feedback to the people they manage. Holding regular performance reviews and one-to-ones can help managers understand their employees’ needs and address concerns immediately. For more help, read our guide to running staff appraisals.

Provide a good work-life balance

A healthy work-life balance is essential for all of us, and increasingly employees are prioritising this over anything else. You can encourage employees to achieve this by taking regular breaks, using their holiday time and maintaining a balance between home and work life. Flexible working and the option to work from home can also help employees to manage their responsibilities more effectively, ultimately leading to higher job satisfaction.

Recognise and reward employees

Recognising employees for their hard work and contributions is incredibly motivating. This can include monetary bonuses, additional time off, public recognition or even small tokens of appreciation. At Bespoke HR, we run a ‘Six month superstar’ scheme where colleagues vote for each other, highlighting examples of their work.

Listen to feedback and act on it

There’s no better way to understand how your staff feel than to ask them! Regularly gathering feedback will help to identify areas for improvement and potentially nip any issues in the bud. There are numerous ways to gather feedback, from holding sessions to staff surveys or creating an open-door policy where staff feel comfortable sharing their thoughts. However, if you’re asking for feedback it’s essential that you listen to it, and act on it. When employees see that there opinions are valued and lead to positive change, they are more likely to stay.

Make sure you have a good onboarding process

The onboarding process sets the tone for the employee’s entire experience in the business. A common complaint we often hear when conducting exit interviews for our clients is that the onboarding experience was bad, and it’s very hard to recover from this. New hires should feel supported and well-integrated into the team from day one. Provide them with the right training, introductions and resources as soon as they begin. A company culture book can be a great way of introducing your company in a more user-friendly informal way. We wrote a blog about it on Enterprise Nation, or check out our guide to onboarding.

Address issues straight away

Conflicts or tension can be easy to ignore in the hope that they will go away. Sadly they rarely do, and ignoring them can create a toxic working environment, increasing staff churn. If staff feel comfortable in voicing concerns or raising issues, issues are unlikely to escalate. So it’s essential to take immediate action if you see a problem.

Find the tools to support staff

Research and invest in the tools that will make your employees’ lives easier. Project management tools, platforms and employee management software can streamline processes and reduce stress. We’ve put together an AI policy for businesses to ensure that tech is being used fairly and that the business is protected.

Review and refine regularly

Reducing staff turnover is an ongoing process. By regularly reviewing these strategies and making adjustments, you can ensure that you stay informed about trends and issues, ultimately creating a positive workplace full of motivated staff.

Written by:

Sian Whittington
As a fully CIPD qualified HR Consultant, Sians broad experience includes organisation design and development, talent planning, performance and reward, employee engagement, employee relations, HR compliance and HR information systems.