How to Improve Employee Retention (And Why That’s Important) – Part I: Your HR Sucks

Employee retention: the rate at which your employees leave your business. Low retention means that your employees are staying in the business longer and the cycle of hiring and finding a replacement is low. High retention means your employees are not staying long and you have to spend a lot more money and management effort to train new employees.

Some people believe retention doesn’t matter, and as a small business owner, I think that’s ridiculous. We will get to why later.

The heart of this blog posts is for business owners who have high retention rates and wants to bring them down.

Large businesses have a lot more power and resources to not only offer their employees more in value, but to also sway the economy to stifle small business employment. So small businesses are working at a disadvantage and it’s our responsibility to bridge that gap by being more creative and dedicated in what we can offer our employees.

This is a 3-part series, so be sure to check back next week and the week after for more reasons why your retention rate sucks!

Your HR Sucks

While not every business has or needs an HR department, your business must have an organized, fair, and transparent way of making sure that any conflicts within the business are handled promptly and appropriately.

Too often we see small businesses that refuse to support their employees or help through problems that may arise, instead firing them or forcing them into a position where they have no choice but to leave.

Research from LinkedIn shows that 25% of people who leave their jobs leave for personal reasons. This could be anything from changing family dynamics to not being a good fit in the office culture, or being unable to meet the demands of a certain job while the employee is going through a difficult time of their own.

While it can be easy to brush off personal reasons as an outlier that shouldn’t count negatively on a business’ retention rate, the fact remains that it still affects your business and there are steps you can do to avoid this.

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask your employees what’s wrong and if there’s anything you can do to help.
  2. Manage as a mentor, not an authoritarian
  3. Look into getting Employee Assistance Programs to help your employees navigate through any personal issues
  4. Be lenient and sympathetic, and know that personal issues don’t last forever. Give your employee space they need to recover and they will come back to you working harder and more loyal than ever.

Concluding Thought

Retention is one of those problems that has its hands in every aspect of your business. You might find that if you focus on improving employee retention, every aspect of your business becomes more efficient, better organized, and more stable. That’s why retention is important enough to warrant a 3-part series.

So be sure to check back next week where we explain why your benefits suck and how that’s more important than you may think.