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5 Strategies for Dealing with High Employee Turnover High turnover can also lead to decreased morale among remaining staff, inconsistency in service quality and, ultimately, a negative impact on the bottom line.

By Dave Ragosa

Key Takeaways

  • Simply put: Show your team you care about them and what they bring to work each day.
  • Treat them like you would treat a customer, and they'll keep coming back.
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Do you sometimes feel like your employees are on a fast-moving conveyor belt out the door, and you're on a sluggish treadmill as you try to hire and train their replacements? You're not imagining things, and you're not alone. Aways an unfortunate fact of business life, employee turnover has only gotten worse – as high as 24% above pre-pandemic levels, according to Gartner, Inc. But you can take steps to minimize it or at least lessen the harm it does.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), citing a study by the Work Institute, says employee turnover adds up to some $680 billion in training costs and lost productivity. High turnover can also lead to decreased morale among remaining staff, inconsistency in service quality and, ultimately, a negative impact on the bottom line.

Even more frustrating, SHRM believes three of four workers who quit could have been retained.

As a restaurant, Ford's Garage is certainly not immune to turnover problems. We employ various strategies to retain employees, including offering competitive wages and benefits, fostering a positive work environment, providing opportunities for advancement and skill development, implementing recognition and reward programs and actively soliciting employee feedback to address concerns and make improvements.

Related: How Employee Retention is Impacted by Various Leadership Styles

Here's what we've learned about the best ways to manage rising resignation rates and try to reduce them:

1. Don't ignore it

While some turnover is inevitable, excessively high turnover rates indicate underlying issues that must be addressed. Take a look at working conditions, compensation, staffing levels and other factors that may be leading team members to head for the door. You may be unable to fix everything, but ignoring the situation cannot be an option.

Related: Here's Why So Many Companies Are Losing Employees Shortly After Onboarding

2. Take care of your remaining employees

Staff members left behind will have higher workloads, at least temporarily, and may suffer from stress and low morale. It's crucial to prioritize communication, transparency and support for them. Providing opportunities for recognition, professional development and work-life balance can help mitigate the harmful effects of turnover. And don't forget your managers, especially those at mid-level. If you have a seven-day operation, as most retailers and restaurants do, think about rotating local managers so they can take off one or two weekends a month.

3. Remember, it's not always about the money

Pay and benefits undoubtedly play a significant role in employee resignations, but they're not the sole determinants. While competitive pay and benefits are essential for attracting and retaining talent, good working conditions, such as a positive company culture, opportunities for growth and development, and work-life balance, can compensate for slightly lower compensation in some cases. Bear in mind that while flexible work arrangements can be a valuable retention tool for businesses that can offer them, it's essential to balance flexibility with operational needs and ensure clear communication and accountability to maintain productivity and teamwork.

4. Foster a culture of continuous improvement

High-performing team members leave an even bigger hole than most of their colleagues, so they need special attention to keep them motivated. Are you offering them assignments that excite and challenge them? Does their work align with their career goals? Ask them what keeps them returning and how you can help them achieve their goals. They need to be driven and motivated to see the growth and how they contribute to it so they don't leave.

Related: Attract Top Talent: Show Them You Have What They Want

5. Stay positive

I'm not saying you should "look on the bright side" of losing longtime employees, which can have potentially harmful effects on everyone. However, employee turnover can have some positive outcomes. It's an opportunity for workers to step up and show what they can do, revealing talent you never knew your team had. It can also foster innovation and fresh perspectives. Just be careful how you present this attitude to your team; don't give the impression that you think it's great news.

Making work worthwhile

Individuals seek opportunities that align better with their personal and professional aspirations. However, other factors such as job dissatisfaction, lack of growth opportunities and workplace culture play significant roles, so make sure you address all of the above-mentioned to keep your employees motivated and keep them with your company.

Dave Ragosa

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Vice President of Franchising and Development

Dave Ragosa is Vice President of Franchising and Development at Ford’s Garage, a 1920s garage-themed burger and craft beer restaurant franchise. He is a seasoned restaurant industry expert with 20+ years of helping national restaurant brands expand in new markets across the country.

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