As someone who works in the HR world, you know how much energy it takes to recruit, hire, and train a new employee. You spend hours looking for the right applicant, conducting interviews and vetting checks, dealing with the legal and paperwork side of everything, and conducting new employee orientation sessions.
So there are few things more frustrating than that hard-won employee then suddenly quitting—or performing so poorly that you have no choice but to let them go. Then you’re back to starting that whole intensive (and costly) process all over again.
Part of this is just part and parcel of the HR field. But if this sounds like all you ever do, your company may have major issues with hiring and retention that aren’t simply going to solve themselves.
So does your company have an unusually high employee turnover rate? Here are some less-than-obvious causes for excessive worker churn:
Employees don’t know what they’re doing—because you haven’t told them
We can’t tell you how many workers experience needless frustration that at its core comes down to poor communication. Your employees may not know what their responsibilities are—or may be receiving different (and conflicting) expectations from different supervisors. They may not understand their role in the company and are working with a series of misconceptions that discourage them or cause unfounded resentment of others in the company.
And if there’s no way to measure progress, a worker who’s falling behind may have a false sense of security, or your most productive employees may go home feeling like they’ll never keep up with expectations.
To avoid this kind of job-endangering frustration, your team will need to set up clear job descriptions and measurable expectations for each position, and then communicate these through new employee onboarding programs as well as periodic training sessions. Consider regular progress reviews for employees so that they never have to wonder where they stand and how they can improve.
You don’t know what you don’t know—and don’t have a way to find out.
Training is done, everyone appears to be happy, and you congratulate yourself on a successful employee onboarding. But the next thing you know, the employee is giving you their two-weeks’ notice. What went wrong?
Yes, an exit interview can shed some light on why an employee is leaving, but there’s a chance they won’t tell you the whole story—and by then it’s too late to do anything about it, anyway.
If there are systematic problems that are causing high turnover, you’ll need to have a systematic way of identifying these problems.
Implement regular anonymous surveys to keep a finger on the pulse of the company, and to identify hidden frustrations or troubling trends in your company culture. Set up quality assurance reviews to measure and document progress, and conduct audits to identify inefficiencies and problems before they get out of hand.
You’re not getting the right applicants to begin with.
Your HR department do everything correctly, and your employees may be trying their hardest … but if a person isn’t the right fit for your company, no quantity of best practices can make him or her fit, and all of your efforts will be for nothing.
This is why it’s so important to find qualified applicants that are well-matched to your company at the start of the process. If your HR team doesn’t have the time, connections, or resources to tap into in order to find the right people, consider hiring a professional staffing agency.
If you do have a staffing agency and still have high employee turnover, then it’s possible the agency is simply passing along resumes without understanding what you’re actually looking for. It may be time to sit down with your agency and have a heart-to-heart. If your agency isn’t willing to change their process to give you better applicants, it may be time to find a relationship-focused staffing agency rather than a merely transactional one.