How to Reduce Employee Turnover at Your Small Business

Written by: Abby Rosenberger
Originally published on October 16, 2014. Last updated July 13, 2020.

employee_turnover-1Small business owners, startup entrepreneurs, and human resource professionals all know that employee turnover can be an expensive problem for their company. Employee recruiting and retention is a vital part of thriving in today’s economy. For small businesses, startups, and nonprofits competing with large businesses with big budgets, this is especially important.

Depending on the employee’s role at the company, the real cost of losing an employee is estimated at anywhere between 16 and 213 of the employee’s annual salary. This article contains an overview of how you can reduce employee turnover by hiring the best candidates, properly training your new hires, and keeping your existing employees happy.

1. Hire the Best Candidates

Attracting the most desirable job candidates is a key part of any successful startup or small business. Making sure that your business is hiring the best fit for your company is a vital part of reducing employee turnover.

  • Make sure new employees fit into your exising culture. Having a well-defined vision, mission, and code of ethics will lead to hiring employees that are a great fit into the company culture. In addition to hiring the most desirable candidates, having a positive company cultures helps to improve your brand and reputation.

  • Use social media to your advantage. More small businesses are using online video tools, such as Skype and Google Hangout to conduct video interviews. In additon, small businesses are also using social media to screen their candidates. By viewing a candidate’s social media pages, you can learn about their work experience, interests, and connections. This is a great way to ensure a candidate is a good fit for your company culture.

  • Make hiring decisions a collective decision. Involve and engage their team members in the hiring process. This helps to foster new relationships as new employees are hired. This may involve including other team members in the interview process or implementing a referral program as an incentive for employees. Your employees are a great resource to help you assess whether potential candidates are a good fit in your company.

2. Properly Train New Hires

Training new employees is just as important as selecting the right candidate. An effective employee training program ensures that new hires are prepared in their new positions, giving them confidence and the resources they need. A well-structured hiring process will ensure that new hires feel welcome and ready to make an impact within the company.

  • Offer training content in a variety of forms. Training activities and materials can include: presentations, videos, formal meetings, manuals, handbooks, computer-based orientations, and team-building activities. Providing a variety of training methods can help to make the process more fun and engaging for new hires.

  • Delegate some of the smaller training tasks training to trusted staff members. This can help to free up time for you to focus on your primary role. While it is important for you to get to know your new employees, having the new hires spend one-on-one time with other staff members is important for fostering peer relationships among coworkers.

  • Not all training has to be formally planned. In fact, sess formal interactions are often less stressful and overwhelming than planned, strategic training session. Give new hires some real-world experience, such as shadowing a fellow employee, or sitting in on a meeting so that they may ask questions as they come up.

3. Keep Your Current Employees Happy

For small businesses, startups, and nonprofits competing with large businesses with big budgets, keeping your current employees happy is especially important.

  • Create a positive company culture. Creating a positive company culture is a direct reflection of your brand and makes your company stand out as an employer of choice. By making sure that your employees are engaged and having fun at work, you can boost employee loyalty and attract the best employee recruits.

  • Offer employee perks. Company perks are a great way to become an employer of choice. Non-monetary and low-cost perks can make a great deal of difference in employee satisfaction. Half-day Fridays, flexible work hours and casual dress codes are just a few easy-to-implement forms of employee perks that employees actually want.

  • Create a High-Feedback Environment. While no employee wants a manager hovering over their shoulder, completing a task or project only to find out they were on the wrong track is even worse. By clearly setting out realistic goals and providing feedback along the way, your employees will become more productive.

Download our employee retention eBook to learn how to keep your most valued employees without breaking your budget.
Originally published on October 16, 2014. Last updated July 13, 2020.


Additional Resources

View All Resources