Companies are finding that turnover rates are rising with more millennials in the workplace and more baby boomers retiring. According to a recent Gallup poll, millennials are the most likely generation to switch jobs and move from company to company. This is partially due to the fact that they feel less secure in their jobs and also because they don’t feel that they have compelling reasons to stick around.
Keeping Millennials in the Workplace
With this is mind, how can employers and HR professionals best prepare for turnover? What can you do to be ready for employee departures and how can you minimize your turnover rate?
Cross-Train Your Employees
Cross-training is key to making sure employee churn doesn’t dominate the day-to-day operations in your business. Encourage your employees to learn the ins and outs of other jobs in the company. Not only will this help your employees acquire new skills, but it will also ensure that your business isn’t left in the lurch if someone leaves unexpectedly.
With some jobs, employees can simply train each other. But for more complex positions, you may need to send employees to specialty seminars. The investment is worthwhile because it prepares you for churn and encourages staff members who like to feel challenged to stay in your organization.
Create Employee Manuals for All Jobs
Each job at your company should have a detailed manual that explains the daily requirements of the role and how to perform the job efficiently. Don’t wait until an employee is planning to leave and then have him create a manual in his last two weeks.
Instead, have all your employees create manuals for their positions. Explain that this will help others step in if they need to go on vacation or call in sick. With a proactive rather than reactive approach, you’ll end up with higher-quality information that your employees can take pride in.
Keep Control of Valuable Information
Many employers are concerned that millennials will take their trade secrets and confidential information with them when they leave for another job.
There are several ways to address this issue. You can have your employees sign nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) as part of their contracts to ensure that they won’t share confidential information with competitors. If you’re worried about trade secrets being lost to the competition, you can include noncompete clauses in employee contracts that prevent staff from working for direct competitors within a certain period of time.
You’ll need to consult a lawyer about how such agreements will fit within your business. But remember, stringent noncompete agreements can also backfire and make it harder to hire top talent.
Focus on Retention, Not Just Attraction
Although it’s important to attract high-quality employees, it’s equally important — or even more so — to retain them. Review your benefits and compensation plans every year to make sure you’re keeping up with current trends. But remember, non-compensation factors are sometimes even more important for retention.
Offer incentives and promotions. Encourage employees to attend conferences that will boost their skills. Focus on employees’ needs: offer flexible scheduling and even telecommuting, if possible, to help cover tough circumstances such as needing to stay home to tend to a sick child. Show employees, through the work environment, that you care about them and their future. This results in loyal and happy employees, who are less likely to leave.
Focus on Prevention
When it comes to employee churn, the old saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” is quite applicable. Look for proactive ways to make sure your company won’t be left in the lurch by unexpected departures. At the same time, make sure you’re doing everything you can to retain quality talent.
Do you have other ideas for dealing with staff turnover that we didn’t mention here? Let us know on Twitter.