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Why do your staff keep leaving? How to avoid high turnover

Having staff leave after a short period is detrimental on so many levels

It is bad for your company image and reputation, can have an impact on your clients, perhaps even hit your profit margins, and is extremely bad for the morale of the remaining staff – and this is without mentioning the extra costs it incurs in recruiting and training replacements. If your company has a high turnover of staff, you will want to find out why this is and then do something to stop it happening.

Why do some companies find their staff turnover is high? This could, of course, be for several different reasons. Perhaps the pay is low compared with similar firms and people are heading where their wallets will be heavier; alternatively, perhaps the training is not adequate and staff feel they are not getting the support they require.

It could be that there is little or no structure for promotion, leading people to believe they have no option but to move elsewhere if they want to further their career. It may even be the case that one of your managers is to blame.

Whatever the reasons, a high turnover of staff should be a warning to employers. If your staff are leaving in droves, there is probably an underlying cause that you will need to discover if you want the situation to improve.

The first thing you should do if you are experiencing high turnover is look for patterns. If all the people leaving have been under one manager, this could indicate why they are heading for the door. Make sure you ask the leavers for an honest reason why they are making the move – perhaps a less obvious issue will be flagged up.

Secondly, you should take steps to ensure your new and existing staff feel valued, that they get the training they need to do their jobs efficiently, and that they are supported both financially and emotionally.

Training programmes should be continuous throughout an employee’s career, not just a cursory two-day introduction. It should go without saying that employees should be paid as well as you can afford, and certainly in line with similar firms.

Treating your employees with respect, listening to what they say and taking any complaints, however trivial, seriously are also ways in which you can show your staff that you value their contribution.

One way to weed out any ‘short-termers’ is by introducing a more rigorous recruitment and training procedure that uses tests and multiple interviews to find the recruit. In this way, you can at least be relatively certain that the people you appoint will be in it for the long haul.

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