The employee attrition rate can be a problem for businesses of all sizes. It leads to lost productivity, decreased morale and increased recruitment costs. While you’ll never get the rate to zero, you can take reduce attrition significantly by taking steps to recognise and address the reasons employees leave.

Provide competitive pay

When paid fairly, employees are more likely to feel valued, engaged and motivated to perform at their best, and they’ll stick around. It’s not just about the money, but it’s still a significant factor, alongside wellbeing programs, generous leave, flexible working hours and other perks.

Offer a clear career path

High-performing individuals characteristically focus on their professional growth, so if you can provide training and development programmes, mentorship opportunities and career advancement paths, they’re more likely to stay. While not all businesses can accommodate an entire career, you can offer options that help them develop their CV.

Optimise incentives

HR surveys regularly show that what appeals to one staff member doesn’t appeal to another. Survey your employees every couple of years to find out what they want, and make sure you act on your findings. As lifestyle trends and economic factors change, what may prove desirable now might not be a few years later.

Some may prefer work-from-home options, more time off or flexible schedules, while others will just want higher pay.

Attract the right people

Make sure you’re hiring the right people in the first place, so the employees you recruit understand the working environment. Accurate job descriptions, using an agency experienced in your industry, and taking the time recruit, test, and expose candidates to the company culture will help avoid a mismatch. 

Develop a robust onboarding process

Set up a robust onboarding process to foundation for continued growth and employee development. It ensures new employees are set up for success from day one, leading to better retention rates, improved job satisfaction, and a more productive workforce.

Build a relatable culture

Employees who feel valued, respected and supported will likely remain with the company. Encourage work-life balance and show appreciation for good work.

Provide opportunities for employees to socialise and bond outside of work, no matter how you’re structured. For example, create a virtual area using your preferred video conferencing tool, where people can swap stories or grab a virtual coffee, opens in new window and doughnut, opens in new window to replicate the in-person experience that may be lacking.

Be efficient

You can do several things to make it easier to help your employees adjust and remain productive. Video conferencing apps help keep the human aspect intact and remind people they’re part of the team. In addition to face time:

  • Set up a shareable daily work log for ongoing project progress reporting.
  • Utilise a project management system (for messaging, task assignment, and project monitoring.
  • Determine key success indicators (e.g., daily, weekly, or monthly goals) and communicate them clearly.
  • Conduct regular performance reviews.
  • Use chat platforms to enable instant messaging and presence detection.
  • Establish clear contact points for employees to seek help.
  • Schedule regular virtual social events to maintain a sense of community and team bonding.
  • Encourage screen sharing to facilitate collaboration on projects.

Use the right tools 

Providing your staff with the necessary resources to fulfil their duties is essential for employee well-being, from the best equipment and gear, vehicles, safety, technology and industry-specific requirements. There is nothing worse than a poor standard of tools which break or fail regularly. 

Here are some suggestions in the office to keep people productive:

  • Use virtual whiteboards for collaboration and brainstorming.
  • Enable online video calling
  • Run webinars
  • Use a centralised document management system
  • Use task management software to allocate tasks and track progress.
  • Utilise chat platforms to enable instant messaging and presence detection.
  • Provide a monetary allowance to spend on a suitable desk, chair, or other necessary equipment to create an excellent work-from-home space.

Make sure you’re on the same page

Employees are more likely to stay if they feel their work is appreciated. Offer feedback, recognition, and incentives through performance evaluations, feedback, team meetings or thank-you notes.

It’s also important to address performance issues and what will happen when they meet goals (or don’t) to keep them motivated. Providing employees with a detailed job description outlining responsibilities, tasks, and targets ensures clarity and accountability. Consistency is key, and any changes to a job should be discussed, providing an updated job description and benefits for taking on more responsibilities.

Engage and excite

Asking an employee to buy into a job is like asking a customer to buy into your product. After all, they invest a significant part of their life into the role. If you want them to continue, make the workplace meaningful and the company fun.

Conduct exit interviews

Offer departing employees a chance to provide honest feedback about their experience. This will help you identify any underlying issues contributing to their decision to leave. As a result, you get a chance to improve retention rates, enhance employee engagement, and build a better workplace culture.

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The information contained in this article is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, NAB recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. NAB recommends that you seek independent legal, financial and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.