How to Effectively Predict and Improve Staff Retention

How to Effectively Predict and Improve Staff Retention

Fed up of employees suddenly leaving and ruining your staff retention rate?

As an employer, trying to guess when one of your top members of staff is going to hand in their notice is like trying to predict the British forecast! (Impossible.)

Nonetheless, it can often leave you in a predicament – resulting in further stress and unwanted recruitment bills.

According to a recent survey, the average UK staff turnover rate can exceed 75% in the first year of employment in London alone.

That’s a staggering amount of unsatisfied professionals.

So, what’s the problem?

Here’s everything you need to know.

The formula for predicting staff turnover

In recent news, a major tech company just announced that they’ve found a way of using artificial intelligence (AI) to predict which of their employees will voluntarily wave goodbye to their company within the next 12 months.

Scary, huh?

However, there are a lot easier ways to do this without having to splash out on fancy technology. In fact, it’s just a case of asking your current employees two simple questions:

  1. Would you be willing to discuss a career opportunity if it bettered your current situation/role?
  2. Are you currently looking for another job – if so, how long have you been looking for?

In general, you’ll find at least 90% of people will say yes to the first question and no to the second. While this doesn’t exactly make things clearer, it does teach you that most employees have a level of dissatisfaction (however small) with their current position.

The question is; how do you find out what the root of this issue is?

Use a simple satisfaction survey

It may not come as a major shock to you, but to prevent staff from leaving, you need to reach out via a survey.

Useful areas to cover include:

  • Management satisfaction – are your staff happy with their managers?
  • Type of work – is each individual getting a balanced mix of work to keep them mentally interested?
  • Cultural change – has there been a negative change in your company’s culture?
  • Career growth – are you offering enough training and progression opportunities to keep staff motivated?

The answers to these questions will undoubtedly give you a better insight into areas you need to improve and pinpoint reoccurring issues with certain staff.

Assess your employees’ progress

As well as using surveys, you can do a bit of analysing for yourself as well. In fact, it only takes five minutes to see whether there are any problem areas you could address in your next one-on-one.

Employees who are “at risk” of leaving are the ones that:

  1. Haven’t had their job title changed in over a year
  2. Haven’t received a salary increase in over a year
  3. Received a high appraisal in their last couple of performance reviews
  4. Have a commute over half an hour
  5. Experienced a significant life change in the past year

If you don’t know the answers to any of these questions, it’s important that you take some time out every so often to listen to your employees.

Let each and every one of them express their thoughts – it might just help you get to the bottom of your staff turnover problems.

Remember, each of the five examples can be remedied. For instance, if an employee is going through a tough time at home, offer one-on-one guidance or time-off. Or if they live too far away, allow them to work remotely some days or see if they’re interested in relocating.

Conduct exit interviews

Stopping people from leaving isn’t always possible. However, instead of resting on your laurels, you can turn this negative into a positive by conducting exit interviews.

Not only is it free, but departing employees will feel more comfortable sharing their true feelings – providing you allow them to.

You’ll be able to gain valuable insights into the day-to-day work environment and culture which you may not always be around to experience for yourself.

Once you’ve discovered the missing gaps, you can find a correlation and make serious changes.

Whether it’s staff burnout, a lack of career growth opportunities or something completely different, having the knowledge will allow you to act on it immediately.

It helps bring closure to your relationship with the employee too, thus eliminating the chance of them taking to Glassdoor to debunk your company’s reputation!

You can read more about how to implement this plan in our previous blog: ‘4 Reasons Conducting Exit Interviews Will Help You to Improve Your Business’.

Final thoughts

Overall, to predict staff turnover is to create an environment in which your staff feel comfortable sharing their true thoughts in.

Don’t be afraid to open up the channel of communication and always be there to listen. Unexpected departures only occur when you stop paying attention to the people around you.

Everybody has bad days and general concerns, so it’s your job as an employer to give them the platform to express them, instead of bottling them up.

Use the formula and you’ll be able to predict and reduce staff turnover more effectively than any high-tech AI software.

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