Want to Keep Your Employees? HR Pros Share Their Best Defense Against Turnover

Hiring great employees can be a significant challenge for businesses. Even more difficult is keeping those employees around. In the current landscape of talent wars and job-hopping, retention can seem like a nearly impossible task, but it's one that must be prioritized: Employee turnover can cost organizations tens of thousands of dollars per year.

If you've noticed a couple of team members submitting their resignation, don't panic. There are steps you can take to defend against turnover and keep your staff happy and comfortable enough to stick around. Follow this advice from Forbes Human Resources Council to improve your retention rates.

1. Create Opportunity

Most people seek roles that deliver growth potential and opportunity. Helping employees take advantage of the opportunities around them will create more fulfilling experiences and connections to the company, in turn reducing turnover. - Sara WhitmanPeppercomm

2. A Formula For Retention

Employee retention is multidimensional, so it is important that employers proactively manage the organization’s culture including emotional intelligence of leaders, employee appreciation, job stimulation, security and compensation and rewards. A deficiency in one or more of these categories will result in employee turnover. - Ben WeberVendor Resource Management

3. Open Communication

The best way for companies to reduce turnover is through open and proactive communication. Ask your employees how the company can better support them and be a place people enjoy working. Once you listen to the feedback, take action to improve the employee experience. Open dialogue on what needs to change, how you'll change it, and the results after the change is key to driving turnover down. - Sarah O'Neill - SHRM-SCPhumano LLC

4. Know And Support Growth Goals

First, understand the employee's goals and offer a career path with clear company expectations to move forward. Second, support that goal by developing skills and knowledge to meet that goal. This can be accomplished by low-cost online learning, mentorship and appropriate internet knowledge content such as YouTube tutorials and Ted Talks. - Kristin WilliamsUltra Mobile

5. A Strong Sense Of Community And Empathy

Employees often overlook the drudgery of some jobs if they feel like their emotional, psychological and basic financial needs are met. If employees feel like they have a community that empathizes with them and is genuinely interested in contributing to their growth, a natural affinity will exist, and will anchor them more strongly to the company. - Angela NguyenAd Exchange Group

6. Trust

Outside of the work environment, your employees are given a certain level of "credit" for understanding how things work and how to behave. However, when your employees enter your workplace they are often bogged down with bureaucracy, needless policies and handbooks, and numerous levels of permission required for the most basic tools. Clear the path and trust your employees. - John Sigmonjohnsigmon.com

7. Growth, Gratitude And Goodwill

Use the "three G's" to retain top talent: Growth is achieved when the environment is conducive to development. Organizations should ensure their employees are provided with ample opportunities to grow and expand. Gratitude is recognition of the unique gifts and contributions each person brings. Goodwill is a culture of transparency, care, dignity, respect and inclusion. - Candice McGlen, Gifted Works, LLC

8. Understand Each Exit

The best defense against employee turnover is understanding why people are leaving in the first place. If you demonstrate a genuine attempt at understanding the "why," people will tell you. Then it is up to the organization to make the necessary changes. - Matt BurnsJYSK

9. An Excellent Onboarding Process

The key is to show employees you care about them before they even start. The recruiting/onboarding experience sets the foundation for successful, long-term relationships with your people. Of course, you should always keep employees your top priority through great benefits, ongoing development and meaningful programs that value them as people. But first impressions matter and make a difference. - Vivian MazaUltimate Software

10. Monitoring The Talent Ecosystem

In the hire to retire cycle, quality of hire is the first strong predictor of voluntary turnover. Besides good hiring, monitoring the talent ecosystem continually is important. Understanding the level of engagement, burnout, leaves of absences and areas of organization where manager efficiency needs to be addressed can help you prepare to implement proactive measures for employee attrition. - Ekta Vyas, Ph.DStanford Children's Health

11. Engagement is Everything

The best defense against turnover is having truly engaged employees — not just in their work, but in their teams too. When people make connections and enjoy being at work and engaged within a productive team, their efforts and productivity are higher and their intent to stay is, too. Having a great leader who knows how to engage the team is critical and that leader must understand each and every employee — what motivates them, what their career goals are, what they need to stay engaged — and work on that every day. - Megan BilsonTE Connectivity

12. Corporate Culture And Growth Opportunities

Employee turnover is inevitable as employees’ career goals change and new opportunities arise. To minimize turnover, however, organizations should offer a strong and supportive corporate culture that prioritizes inclusivity, collaboration and recognition. Also, companies should offer growth opportunities to ensure employees are able to create and achieve new goals, and roles constantly evolve. - John FeldmannInsperity

13. Properly Trained Managers"Employees don't quit their companies, they quit their managers." The best defense against turnover is properly trained managers who know how to effectively onboard, coach, train and develop their staff. Employees want to feel like their manager truly cares about them and their future. Managers should also spend time getting to know their staff on a personal level to build trust and loyalty. - Tana SessionTanaMSession.com

14. Opportunity Knocks

Gone are the days where people work for an organization for 40 years and retire.  In order to gain the trust and allegiance of employees, you have to ask what opportunities you offer to grow within the walls of the organization. Does the organization consider growth-oriented and rotational roles for those individuals who want to understand more cross-functional aspects of the business?  What conversations do you have about individual goals?  How connected are you to their dreams? - Stacie MallenCampusLogic

15. Motivating, Not Stifling, Managers

To minimize employee turnover, managers must change their attitudes from managing to motivating. Managers should create an environment to encourage employees to engage. By giving star employees an opportunity to be a part of organizational change, they feel more committed through their contributions. After all, we're all motivated by our own sense of power and feeling of ownership. - Mark LascolaON THE MARK

16. Expectation Management

The key to employee happiness and retention is a healthy management of their expectations. Most of the negative interactions employees have with managers revolve around unclear goals or career paths. Leaders should focus on a well-documented hiring and promotion process, and ensuring all employees understand how they are being evaluated so they have a clear, measurable path for growth. - Eli HamelPatreon

17. Proactive Customization

Proactively seek information from those who are leaving to learn if they seek to get rid of something negative or to gain something positive. Use that information to tailor your recipe for reducing turnover. Fix broken processes, invest in leadership training, empower people, fix the culture — the answers will vary across organizations, even departments. The best defense against turnover is to proactively ask, listen and act. - Catherine DeckerOutsell

18. Transparent, Trustworthy Leaders

Creating an engaged workplace leads to higher profitability and reduced turnover. Leaders must walk the talk.  When employees see leaders holding themselves to high standards, it can inspire trust. Next, focus on transparency and trust employees with information. It builds a collaborative environment and encourages personal investment. Engaged employees are likely to stay. - Thoai HaLynx Innovation

By Forbes Human Resources Council