Managing Voluntary Turnover
Voluntary turnover is a type of turnover that occurs when employees willingly choose to leave their positions. Employees might choose to vacate their jobs for a variety of reasons. They may feel dissatisfied with their position or their compensation, they may be seeking a career change, or they may have accepted another offer. While involuntary turnover usually involves employees being let go for unsatisfactory performance, voluntary turnover often involves competent employees leaving their positions. As a result, voluntary turnover can be very expensive for an organization because of the costs associated with recruiting and hiring a new employee.
One way to limit the voluntary turnover rate is to put forth effort in the hiring process to determine an applicant’s “job fit” or job suitability for a particular position. Employers should try to assess the likelihood that their future employees will feel satisfied and fulfilled in their positions. For instance, companies can administer pre-employment personality tests to job applicants to see if their personality traits are compatible with the demands of the position. Some personality characteristics are more compatible with certain types of jobs. For example, applicants who are more extroverted may feel dissatisfied in a role that involves limited personal interaction. Taking “job fit” into account when making hiring decisions may help reduce voluntary turnover for an organization overall.
Hardworking human resources departments expend a lot of effort trying to fill an open position with the right job candidate. Once this position is filled, the hope is that the new employee will prove to be a hard worker who stays with the company. All too often, job positions open again when an unsatisfied employee takes another job. This can be a frustrating chain of events, but there are steps you can take to reduce this type of voluntary turnover.
- Create an environment that encourages trust and communication. Give your employees new tasks or greater responsibility with their current tasks. This demonstrates that you trust your employees and feel that they are competent to complete the assignment. Communicate to them what your expectations are and what the time line for the assignment looks like. When the task is completed, give them feedback.
- Give employees a goal, and recognize a job well done. You can do this by helping your employees develop a career plan. Ask them where they would like to be professionally in one year, two years and five years. Then help your employees set goals to reach these professional levels. When goals are accomplished, let your employees know that you have noticed. Set up a small rewards system to add incentive. This helps your employees to feel more invested in and happy with their jobs, causing them to be less likely to leave.
- Invest in training your employees. Provide the professional training and tools they need to succeed. If an outside training course is needed or new office equipment would increase efficiency, make the investment. This action on the part of the company makes the statement that your employees are valued. When people feel appreciated, they are more apt to stay.
- Remain competitive with other companies. Voluntary turnover can arise from an opportunity for a better job. Examine your benefits package — your company’s 401k plan, health insurance coverage and vacation. Make it equivalent to or better than similar companies to reduce turnover. Also, look at what you are paying your employees. Determine whether your starting salaries are competitive and whether promotions and raises are in line with or better than your competitors.
- See to it that you do not overburden or stress out your employees. Sometimes companies add too much responsibility or pressure to existing employees instead of hiring new people to share the load. This attempt to save money can unintentionally backfire, causing dissatisfaction in your current employees. Dissatisfaction in a current job leads to looking elsewhere. Instead, keep your employees’ workload and deadlines at a challenging but attainable level.