With the ever-evolving workplace, employee attrition is front-of-mind for employers worldwide. Loyalty levels aren’t what they once were, but it’s easy to reduce your attrition with a few smart decisions and implementation of the right processes and systems.
The reality is employees are leaving companies with no end in sight. The growing population of retirees, the rise of entrepreneurship, and the ever-changing nature of work-life balance have produced a scurried decline in the workforce.
With over 4.3 million people (and climbing) quitting this quarter, employers are scratching their heads, searching for solutions. Attrition rates are on the uptick, and roles are closing weekly—so the rise in employee attrition is not a matter of if departments are shrinking but a scramble to keep employees put.
Before companies find themselves tasked with the same quota of work, burnt-out employees, and a much smaller team, they can take simple (yet preventative) measures to keep quality workers on staff.
When employers establish clear systems, standardise processes, and foster efficiency, they can build impenetrable teams.
Surveys to reduce your employee attrition rate
Your employees have an opinion about their work, the company culture, and even their boss. So, uncomfortable as it might seem—wouldn’t you rather know how they feel about their employee experience to prevent their departure?
Conducting employee satisfaction surveys is a simple method that you can implement to discover how employees feel about their work. The appeal of surveys is the ease at which you can use them. Software like 6Q make it convenient to gather anonymous information with a button click.
You can ask simple open/close-ended questions to gauge your teams’ feelings about their job expectations, work stress, and career advancement.
You can create a decent amount of questions with the option for them to indicate a score within a range of one to ten. Consider gently pushing your employees toward an online survey to understand how satisfied they are in their current role and company.
Calculate employee satisfaction index (ESI)
Calculating your workforce’s Employee Satisfaction Index (ESI) is a quantifiable indicator of your employees’ feelings about your company. ESI is a metric that can help you quantify how your staff feels about their current employment. You can start by surveying three questions with numbers ranging from one to ten.
Specifically these questions can include:
- How satisfied are you with the workplace?
- How well does the workplace meet your expectations?
- How is the workplace compared to your ideal workplace?
Next, you can put those measures in a formula to calculate the ESI. You will receive a score ranging from one to 100, with 100 being the highest possible score.
Here are some sub-ranges to consider within this range of one to 100 to gauge the responses you receive:
- >80 = Very High
- 70-80 = High
- 62-69 = Acceptable
- 50-61 = Low
- <50 = Very Low
Once you have the scores calculated for these three questions, it’s much easier to see where there’s room for improvement, but also to see how you stack up against the competition. If your competition is doing a better job in setting expectations for their employees, for example, that may be a gap you need to close to ensure you don’t lose out on the best talent.
While it may not be possible to achieve a perfect ESI, a low number could indicate your team could improve anything from teamwork to communication style among your team, or even leadership style. The goal of gathering this score isn’t perfection but understanding how to improve your employees’ experience and reduce their attrition.
Adopt an agile team framework to eliminate burnout
Undefined work models might allow employees to feel in command of their work but rarely aid in the success of their work. Employees work better within clear and predictable systems that eliminate burnout.
Adopting an agile system might be the change your company needs. An agile system is a responsive and flexible system for managing problems. There’s great value placed on iteration within an agile framework, so you are able to rapidly make changes based on feedback from your customers, and also address the challenges which they are having with your produce or service.
If your team can’t define and measure the progress of projects, manage responsibility, properly address feedback in a timely matter, and pinpoint barriers to a project’s success, then you could benefit from this system.
Sure, employees might dislike tracking their time and accounting for their work, but they despise burnout. Software teams who follow an agile model understand how to allocate their work and time to address time-bound assignments. Even if you don’t work in software, you could use an agile system to reduce employee attrition rates.
When your employees know with certainty their projects’ timeline, the progress of each contributor, and a realistic timeline for completion, assignments become a lot less intimidating. Employees who approach each task with a clear idea of time, knowing key players’ responsibilities, feel more at ease with their work.
Celebrate employee achievements
Going into a workplace that doesn’t recognise achievement or celebrate any wins (even slight)—is discouraging. Employees might not ask for a pat on the back, but it sure can help with keeping them at your company.
Celebrating employee achievement should become a regular practice you incorporate into the workplace. Employees need to understand their work matters and adds value. Elaborate achievement celebrations could be exciting: throwing an (office hours) party, bonuses/raises, and gifts to show appreciation. However, depending on your teams’ temperament or the nature of the work, it can be equally rewarding to recognise them in other ways.
Consider taking them to lunch, sending them a gift card, leaving a letter on their desk, or even reserving a parking space. There are numerous ways you can show your appreciation to your team. Letting them know you are proud of them doesn’t need to be a grand gesture, but it should be regular and authentic to help improve retention.
Standardise business processes
Your employees may not like going through training, having to notate a ticket with a consistent process, or following a rule-book when onboarding new hires, but not doing so could lead to issues. Without standardisation in place, you’re inviting chaos. And chaos is the biggest enemy of teams that are scaling and taking on greater responsibilities within the corporate structures.
Standardisation is a model that follows a prescribed set of rules teams must follow when completing work assignments. Without you even realising it, several processes outside of the workplace operate under this model. Laws like wearing your seatbelt, ensuring buildings are up to code, and even preparing your favourite hamburger are standardised.
Your workplace can benefit from a predictable process because adhering to a set of steps eliminates guesswork, improves productivity, and jumpstarts morale.
Imagine if a hiring manager decided to bypass training a new warehouse hire on handling heavy equipment, and the employee gets injured. This negligence would be an unfortunate situation that would steal away time and productivity from everyone involved.
The employee would have to take time off work to recover from the accident and develop a distrust for the employer. Other teammates would have to cover the absent employee’s job, which would cut into overall productivity and morale. If the injured employee couldn’t trust standardised training, could they trust the company with anything?
While this is an extreme example of what could happen without standardised processes, this could happen in any workplace. Employees may not prefer following an established order of rules, but it might be what keeps them and their position intact.
Create a more dimensional workplace
Completing quality assignments on time is important, but it’s not all that matters. Your team should expect more than reporting to their desk, completing their tasks on time, and getting a pat on the back—variety matters. They want a varied, comfortable work environment that makes them feel comfortable and appreciated.
Sure, it’s unnecessary to create a jam-packed calendar every week. Still, a work conference, leadership training, or continuing education could break up the monotony and add dimension to their career.
Most people don’t find meaning in their careers and merely go through the motions. Work, home, work is their typical rhythm—but it doesn’t have to be.
Your internal communication team can bring value and a different dimension to the office. For example, when was the last time your team attended an engaging summit outside of their regular four walls, shared an exciting project with a nearby department, or included employee feedback on a product launch?
Anything that gets your team outside of a ho-hum pattern and brings variety can usher fun back into work. Opportunities to learn new ideas, travel collectively, or gain new knowledge can forge deeper connections with your team and make it an enjoyable place to work.
Automate with supportive software
Some parts of your team’s job are repetitive and unexciting. For example, notating calls, completing paperwork, or sending mass messages are mundane tasks that eat away productivity and make other work seem…well, impossible.
Automating simple tasks is a great way to help employees do more and not expend their mental resources on menial tasks. When creative and high-performing people are bogged down with tasks they see as boring, repetitive, or menial, they’re much more likely to find a scenario where they won’t have to deal with these tasks, than otherwise.
Consider how much automation saves us time and effort.
Automating your bills, sending auto-reply Out of Office emails while on vacation, receiving customer service autoresponses and operating your mobile device while driving makes your life considerably easier—so why wouldn’t automation be helpful for your business processes?
Automating simple steps using an employee scheduling software could be an effective means of elevating your employees’ experience. This software can eliminate human error from manual entry, improve customer satisfaction, and even transform the way you operate your business.
With supportive software—you can rest easy knowing your team isn’t keying in a wrong number, incorrectly marking a customer ticket, (or worse) sending an incorrect salary range.
The data points toward automated systems being a helpful method. For example, 45% of employees report an organised onboarding process makes their companies more trustworthy.
Imagine what automated systems could do to preserve your team? With a small amount of work, putting the right systems in place ensures everyone is pulling their weight in the same direction, and there’s no confusion about the work ahead, and how the people involved should handle that work.
People are leaving work in droves. In the era of the great resignation, loyalty is becoming an increasingly frail concept. People aren’t going to hesitate to move on to new opportunities if they see the grass as being greener. Therefore it’s on companies to do everything in their power to prevent a poor employee attrition rate.
Companies can start by adopting productive systems, standardising their workplace, and fostering efficiency to maintain the size of their team. Additional steps protect companies from closing more roles in the workplace and safeguarding their brand’s life.
About the Author
Michelle Harris is a freelance writer based in Atlanta, Georgia. She has written for sites including Stuff & Stock, Creative Circle and other retail & technology websites.