Six surprisingly simple ways to tackle high staff turnover

Whatever your business, retaining your best employees is a top priority. Staff turnover has many associated costs, from leaver admin to recruitment fees.

17 May 2018

These costs can amount to thousands of pounds - in fact one study by Oxford Economics put the cost of replacing someone who leaves your business at £30,614.

Even staff who are just thinking about leaving can have a negative impact on a business, from poor productivity to lowered cultural morale. That’s why it’s important to make a concerted effort to keep your team happy, engaged and committed - and it could be easier than you think. Here are a few ideas to help set you on the right path:

Ensure communication is a priority

As the weeks fly by, it can be easy to forget to gather your team together and give them a platform to share the great work they’re doing with one another. But regular company updates are crucial - they’re a great way to remind your staff that they’re valued, and that their contribution to the business is celebrated.

As well as business-wide gatherings, arrange one-to-one catch-ups with each member of your team. Be sure to meet with them individually every month or two, rather than making it a biannual - or even annual - event. Getting together regularly takes the pressure off each meeting and allows you to keep channels of communication open so any concerns can be aired and resolved early on.

Of course, communication is only effective if it is acted on. You can’t just be seen to be listen, you actually have to respond. Staff surveys are a great example. If the feedback is that people are struggling with work-life balance, offering flexible working options is a great way to proactive tackle that problem. You need to make time to manage the outcomes of the feedback you get (from surveys or one to ones) and put actions in place to make improvements. Feedback from a survey that is not acted on is worse than not completing a survey at all.

Give teams purpose, clear goals and vision for the company

Employees want to know the work they are doing matters and has purpose. Review their goals, are they meaningful, do they have clear measurable objectives, do they have a job description which includes what they are responsible for? If not, get it in place. Do you share the vision of the company with them and how the business and their team is performing against targets. They can’t help you achieve your targets if they don’t know what they are.

Consider making flexible working an option

Research from Dept of Business Innovation and Skills found that companies that introduce flexible working as an option for their employees often enjoy reduced staff turnover. This is because working flexibly allows staff to adjust their work pattern to suit their lifestyle and personal commitments.


Flexible working is also highly likely to raise staff morale and increase levels of job satisfaction across your team. A recent survey showed that three quarters of employees find a job more appealing if there’s an element of flexibility involved. Anything that allows staff to adjust their work-life balance to suit their individual needs is always going to be met with a positive response. What’s more, as well as helping you keep your existing staff happy, offering flexible working can be an effective way to attract even more talent to your team and result in some great new hires.

Review your benefits scheme

As well as ensuring your employees are paid a fair - ideally competitive - wage for their work, it benefits everyone to offer regular opportunities for raises. These should align with each employee’s professional development, rewarding them for their ongoing commitment to their role. With gender pay gap reporting turning everyone’s attention to the bottom line, this is more important now than ever.

Incorporating benefits - such as discounts on gym membership and a cycle-to-work scheme, for example - is also an effective way to thank employees for remaining in their role at your business rather than taking their skills elsewhere. Childcare vouchers can be a lifesaver for parents who otherwise simply wouldn’t be able to afford to work.

Remember that socialising matters

Encouraging your employees to socialise and interact with each other in a positive, supportive way is likely to foster a healthy, happy work environment. You could even take this a step further by creating a rewards system whereby employees can commend others for great work. This can be of great benefit as it allows staff to be recognised for their efforts in real time. Just be sure that any social schemes are as inclusive as possible. Post-work drinks can exclude parents who need to be available for their children at those times, while some activities may have a gender bias that means some feel uncomfortable about joining in, breakfast and lunch events are great inclusive options..

Make room for growth

Help your employees to feel recognised and respected by making their career growth a priority. Creating a personal development plan for your staff is simple - they can even take responsibility for this. Ensure you have succession planning in place to allow you and your staff to develop. If employees are able to see clear goals and a rewarding career path at your business, they’re more likely to stay loyal and work hard to progress through the ranks - not to mention give their best to their work on a daily basis.

To find out more about how flexible working could help boost staff retention at your business and reduce your turnover costs, get in touch with us today.