5 Ways Firms Can Reduce Employee Turnover

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Allegra Nagler
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A recent survey from global staffing firm Robert Half revealed that 17 percent of professionals said they are “very likely” to look for a new job within the next year, while 25 percent said it is “somewhat likely” they will seek new employment.

For employees ages 18 to 34, that number jumps to 68 percent.

Part of the retention challenge for managers is understanding why a good employee would want to leave. The top reasons why professionals said they would quit are inadequate salary and benefits (39 percent) and unhappiness with management (25 percent). But according to the more than 2,200 finance executives who were surveyed, the No. 1 reason professionals leave is limited growth potential.

“Once turnover begins, it’s often too late to stop it,” Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half, said in a written statement. “Employers should not assume their teams are content. They need a pulse on how employees truly feel about their job and the company, and a willingness to take action when necessary.”

Managers of accounting and finance teams don’t seem too concerned about staff turnover. More than half (54 percent) said they have no retention worries, and only 9 percent are very concerned about employee turnover.

“Retention should be an ongoing focus,” McDonald added. “Accounting and finance professionals have more job opportunities today and, if they leave, are harder to replace.”

Robert Half offers the following five tips to reduce employee turnover:

1. Gauge job satisfaction. Don’t presume all is well. Ask your staff what they think about their work, such as how interesting or challenging they find it. Regular one-on-one meetings are effective, but for brutally honest feedback, such as worker happiness with management, consider conducting an anonymous survey.

2. Increase salaries. Money talks – and it can persuade or change minds. If it’s been some time since you’ve evaluated your firm’s compensation structure, benchmark current employee wages against industry salary guides. Strive to offer above-average compensation for your city and industry.

3. Leverage bonuses. These financial incentives are one way to retain highly skilled team members, especially if your firm is undergoing a major change, like a merger or acquisition. In addition to merit-based rewards, look for opportunities to award spot bonuses following key projects or periods of extraordinary performance.

4. Help employees recharge. Even well-compensated staff are more likely to quit if they’re continually stressed and overworked. Increase the chances of keeping staff by allowing them some flexibility. Consider autonomy, flextime, remote work, onsite amenities, and generous paid time off.

5. Show them the way. If employees don’t see an obvious path upward within the firm, they’ll head for the exit. Keep today’s top performers and tomorrow’s leaders motivated by having regular discussions about in-house growth prospects, as well as your firm's willingness to invest in their future.

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