High turnover is a big issue for companies. Not only does it affect the company’s ability to deliver its product and take on new projects, chronic understaffing overloads the remaining employees, reduces their morale, and can encourage them to resign as well. If your company is suffering from high turnover, it’s important to identify the causes and take steps to correct them.
What is High Turnover?
The overall turnover rate is about 38 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but numbers specific to the information technology are hard to come by and complicated by the large number of short-term contract workers used in the industry. The BLS calculated IT turnover at only 31 percent, lower than the overall number, but other surveys come back with higher figures. One survey suggested Google has a turnover rate as high as 90 percent.
While it’s useful to compare your own rate against surveys and statistics, the fact is, if you’re losing more employees than you can easily replace and it’s impacting the company’s bottom line, your turnover rate is too high.
What Causes High Turnover?
While some employees leave for personal reasons that have nothing to do with their job satisfaction, perhaps because their spouse accepted a job transfer, most people who leave jobs do so either because they think they will be happier with the work, the benefits, or the pay at a new employer. The best way to identify the cause is to take exit interviews seriously. Common reasons for leaving include:
- Dissatisfaction with the nature of their job. Sometimes people end up in a position that just isn’t a good fit for their skills or interests. A developer who wants to be hands-on may be pressured into taking a leadership role they aren’t comfortable with. Others may want the opportunity to work with new technology that isn’t used by your company. Employees may feel either too challenged by their position or not challenged enough.
- Feeling unsupported by the company. Employees need to feel the company supports them. Failing to provide necessary tools makes it difficult for employees to achieve job success. Failing to provide training and opportunities for advancement makes it difficult for employees to envision growing with the company in the future.
- Feeling unrewarded. Rewards come in the form of salary and benefits, as well as less tangible reward like praise and recognition. Even the most loyal employee expects to be rewarded and eventually will look elsewhere if the company doesn’t provide them.
How Can You Reduce High Turnover?
Once you recognize patterns in the data from your exit interviews, take steps to address them. If the main reason is dissatisfaction with the nature of their job, you may need to review your hiring procedures to ensure the people you hire are a better fit. If the main reason is feeling unsupported by the company, make sure you address the specific issues, and train your managers in ways to use praise to support workers. While problems with salary and benefits can be difficult to address due to budget reasons, it’s important to review your rates against industry standards to remain competitive.