Qualified talent is one of the greatest commodities in business today. The more talented, hardworking, and sharp your employees are, the better your company operates and delivers to its clients. But, finding the right people isn’t always easy, especially when there’s more and more competition out there. 

When you do finally find those great people to fill your company, what if you lose them? When employees quit, it’s not only discouraging and disappointing, but it’s costly. The average employee exit costs 33 percent of their annual salary. So, it’s not only hard to get quality people, but it’s also very expensive if they leave. 

Avoiding employee turnover helps your business thrive, and there’s no peace of mind like that of knowing your employees are satisfied and enjoy coming to work every day. But how do you ensure you’re building a company that can keep its talent? 

Here I’ll share eight ways you can avoid employee turnover and retain your top people.

1. Streamline Your Hiring Process

Retaining employees starts with how you hire them. If your retention rate is low, it’s best to start with your hiring process and ensure how you hire people is the same across the board. 

Put a lot of time into how you put together your job descriptions. Are you clearly defining the role and thoroughly explaining the position? The better you are at describing what the position demands, the more relevant candidates apply. 

You should also do everything you can to ensure the prospect is a good fit for your company culture. Sometimes an employee can be perfectly skilled but a bad match for the environment. And while you can teach someone the skills needed for the job, you can’t teach culture. 

2. Keep Compensation Updated

Employees know their worth so, a company must know it too. If you are not paying employees the typical salary range for their position and region, they will not stay. There’s a lot of opportunities out there, and one promises more money, they will be absorbed by the competition.

Don’t just ask yourself what your employees are worth to you. Look at the national average salary for their positions and take into consideration location and the cost of living. Be reasonable, but also be mindful of your business’s means. 

3. Be Socially Conscious

It can be working in a soup kitchen or holding a fundraiser, but whatever kinds of initiatives your company does to give back will show your employees just how much you care about your community. Also, giving your employees a chance to participate in giving back is great for morale and adds to the greater good. Bring them further into the process by asking them to suggest organizations to get involved with or other ideas for giving back.

Showing prospects and employees that these kinds of initiatives matter to your company will make them confident that they’re part of an organization aimed at doing good and investing in others. 

4. Train Management Effectively

A recent survey found that lousy boss performance makes employees four times more likely to quit. You could have a robust and healthy company culture, but if your management team doesn’t know what they’re doing, people will get fed up and leave, especially if they do not feel they are being treated fairly. 

Make sure your management team finds a way to effectively support people and help them grow without breathing down their necks. Modern employees despise micromanagement and are likely to look for another position if they feel there’s a lack of autonomy. Instead, a routine check-in with positive reinforcement is your best bet.

Also, don’t be afraid to offer ongoing training and professional development for your management team. Just because they’re at that professional level, doesn’t mean they’re perfect. In actuality, it means they have to work harder to maintain that position and thrive in it. 

5. Be Flexible

Thirty-four percent of U.S. workers would take a pay cut of up to five percent to work remotely. It’s a huge benefit all around, both to your pocket and their freedom. If your employees work more efficiently from a remote location, be open to it. It shows that you have trust in them, which leads to a higher performance and more willingness to please.

Building a culture around a work remote policy doesn’t have to be scary or hard. Just make sure you enforce clear guidelines around doing so and establish any do’s and don’ts upfront, so everyone is on the same page. 

6. Ask and Listen

It’s never a bad time to survey employees. Asking people for input makes them feel heard. If you think it will yield a better, more truthful response, make your surveys anonymous and ask candid questions about satisfaction, job security, needed improvements, what they enjoy about the company, and what they wish they could change. 

Once you receive the results and have time to review them, take action on suggestions. When you show your staff that you take their input seriously and care about their feedback, you show them that you genuinely value them and that they can make a difference. Added bonus, surveying employees can also help to refine product development. After all, who knows better about what customers want than members of your sales or customer service departments?

7. Demonstrate a Path to Growth

Nobody wants to feel stuck in a position that no longer pushes them, challenges them, or that they’ve grown unhappy with. Management often lives by the “see no evil, hear no evil” motto. And while if no one is voicing their unhappiness, then things are probably fine, don’t underestimate your employees’ engagement. If it’s tough to speak to each person daily, a monthly one-on-one meeting can help uncover any dejection with growth opportunities. 

Make sure employees understand what type of promotional plan is available to them. Whether it is a higher role, more responsibilities, or a pay increase, there must always be clear goals set for advancement that they know about. 

8. Toss Out Performance Reviews

Does this idea scare you a bit? While performance reviews have been the go-to tactic for employee growth for years, they’re quickly becoming a thing of the past. Their effectiveness is dwindling, and they typically cause a great amount of anxiety in employees. In fact, studies show that only 44 percent of HR leaders find reviews to be inaccurate, and 80 percent of Gen Y prefer on-the-spot recognition.

It’s more successful to practice an ongoing dialogue with people about performance. Not only does this make it less stifling and awkward, but it allows any issues to be addressed quicker and more effectively. People are less on guard and more open to positive change.

Make sure you practice this idea for positive feedback, too. Recognize and reward employees when you recognize them doing something well. Consider creating incentive programs or small prizes to show people you are paying attention to them. The more specific the reward, the more it will mean to the particular employee.

Some employee turnover is inevitable, but if you find the rate rising, it’s imperative to address internal processes. Review how you are hiring and bringing in new talent. You may need to define the role further. Once you have a good team, listen to them, respect them, and help them grow.