Employee turnover may happen in an organisation from time to time. This turnover may be precipitated by unstable economic conditions in a country or a desire by employees for more opportunities for growth. It is a common practice for the most valuable staff members to start weighing up their options, in search of greener pastures. In some cases they end up at your competitor. The company may also be in such a position that it is not possible to take on an additional headcount. When this happens, the challenge becomes how to keep the remaining valuable employees happy, and how to motivate other employees to assume the additional workload.
Firstly, hire the right people that will fit in with the organisational culture from the onset. An individual who does not fit in with the prevailing culture of the organisation will most likely find assimilation difficult. It is therefore important to ascertain that an individual blends in well with the organisation by conducting personality assessments for example, before engaging someone in employment. This will help both the employer and prospective employee in determining organisational fit. Hiring the right candidates from the onset will help in reducing future cases of turnover within the organisation.
Reducing even more turnover of the remaining employees should become an organisational priority in times when employees start leaving the organisation. Employees may feel they would be better off in other organisations, taking into account the qualifications they will be bringing to the table. Others may feel overwhelmed by the additional workload, without a substantial increase in salary and therefore opt for a way out. There needs to be a balance between the increased workload and employee earnings. Once employees feel they are being rewarded for their work, they feel obliged to stay in the organization and take on the additional workload.
Designing and implementing incentive schemes is another option. This may not seem ideal taking into consideration prevailing economic conditions. An employee will only be happy in the organisation if they are satisfied with their remuneration, as money is one of the top extrinsic motivators in the workplace. In an economy where it is not ideal to take on an additional workforce, it is important to retain old talent and avoid costs that will be incurred through training and developing new employees.
An employer should find out what motivates employees. Employees are motivated by different factors as they come to work every day. It is important to take note of these motivating factors and use these to keep employees happy. Are employees seeking career progression in their current role? Challenge them to take on more projects that lead to more development, and show appreciation of their efforts. The goal here is to create an encouraging, positive work environment. When employees feel respected, acknowledged, desired, and motivated, they are more likely to stay and work harder to prove themselves.
Furthermore, allow for a work-life balance by creating flexible working conditions. Employees should feel they are able to have a life that goes beyond the workplace and have time for their families. When employees are happy and satisfied with their working conditions, they are more likely to be happy in the workplace and stay within the organisation.
Employee turnover cannot be completely eliminated, however it can be managed by creating an ideal workplace for employees.
Lindah Mavengere is a Business Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a business management and human resources consulting firm.
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