How To Reduce Regrettable Turnover With 4 Simple Tactics

Despite popular belief, not all turnover is bad. In fact, some turnover is actually healthy. The longest-standing challenge companies have been facing since the beginning of time is reducing their regrettable turnover. They dump their budgets into attracting and hiring the best talent but fail to retain them for the long haul.

Employees want to be proud of the company they work for with benefits that support them professionally and personally. It’s crucial for employers to be strategic in the perks and benefits they offer to show they’re committed to more than just an employee’s output. Millennials don’t crave a work-life balance, they crave a blend.

Flexibility in the workplace is no longer a luxury but a requirement if companies want to retain top talent. Companies who thrive in promoting flexibility experience increased loyalty from their employees than those who don’t. While flexibility is a key piece to retaining workers of the new generation, it isn’t the only strategy.

Here are four ways companies can reduce regrettable turnover to keep a happy, healthy and thriving culture

Redefine What Leadership Means In Your Business

The reality is, people don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses. O.C. Tanner Learning Group conducted research showing 79% of employees who quit their jobs, quit due to a lack of appreciation with 65% of employees reporting they weren’t even recognized once within the last year.

The first step should be combing through the management team to see if there is anyone not living up to the company values. Too often, companies will justify bad apples at the executive level because of their rank and tenure. Voluntarily choosing to neglect the impact poor management has on the company as a whole is an easy way to keep regrettable turnover high.

Taking an honest and unbiased look at the management team and acknowledging the role and environment the manager creates drives employee engagement. Boundaries should still be in place to promote healthy relationships and professional standards, but toxic behaviors and poor leadership should be addressed, if not eliminated.

Infuse Transparency into Recruiting Strategies

Traditional recruiting methods kept internal company cultures a secret until the candidate made the transition into an employee. This behavior keeps the candidate in the dark thrusting them into a situation they might strongly oppose leading to quick and unexpected turnover. HR should open the doors to their internal happenings from the start while striving to build a culture of transparency. The benefits of transparency far outweigh the negatives and the new generations don’t just crave this, they expect it.

Companies who choose to release only small bits of their internal culture risk losing top talent to competitors because of their lack of transparency. They can mitigate this by giving candidates a full view of what the company culture is like. Candidates aligned with what they learn about a company are more likely to move forward with the interview process and remain committed longer than those who had to be won over.

Define Milestones With Actionable And Achievable Goals

Career mapping is by far one of the most effective exercises employers can do with their employees. It not only shows they value them but it provides a guideline for how they’ll interact within the organization giving them milestones to achieve to be successful. A conversation around this should occur as soon as the interview stage. This paints a picture of the potential employee’s needs to see if the company is able to make them achievable through a clearly defined path.

Today’s workers prioritize personal and professional development and want to work with companies that value their growth. HR should promote this initiative from the start and help managers lead it once they’ve been hired. Managers should remain proactive in providing feedback from day one to help support the growth of the employee in achieving their career goals. Middlesex University London conducted a long term research project studying 4300 workers and found 74% didn’t feel like they were achieving their full potential.

Drive Change Through Communication

Recognition is vital yet is most often overlooked. In a said Forbes India Interview with David Sturt, the Executive VP of a lack of recognition sends a clear message to the employee that they’re not valued creating a gap within the organization. People want to feel valued for the work they do. In order for praise to be effective, it needs to be timely and genuine.

This simple and cost-free acknowledgment remains a key driver for increased profitability. Smarter Workforce Institute published a white paper studying the impact of recognition and engagement over 19,000 employees across 26 countries. They found employees who receive recognition for their work experience almost three times the engagement levels as those who don’t.

Managers who take on a coaching role are more successful in building sustainable relationships with their employees with frequent feedback and open communication. Harvard University published an article describing the benefits of managers turned coaches. Shifting from a managerial mindset to a coaching one improves employees' quality of life within the organization, increases productivity and loyalty while developing their skills.

Companies serious about reducing regrettable turnover understand the value of creating an environment that supports the growth of their employees. Someone misaligned with company values and mismatched with culture will negatively impact those around them and destroy great companies.

Originally published by Heidi Lynne Kurter at



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Heidi Lynne Kurter

Forbes senior journalist, workplace culture consultant, leadership coach, domestic violence advocate, workplace bully activist and Corgi mom!