How Improved Communication Leads to Lower Employee Turnover

Employee turnover can have a significant impact on your bottom line. Employment professionals estimate that turnover costs between 1.5 to 2 times an employee’s salary. For every employee that quits who earned $100,000, your company could spend $200,000 in hiring and training costs—not to mention the lost productivity from other employees who need to pick up the slack.

How Improved Communication Leads to Lower Employee Turnover

Turnover is a natural part of running a business. However, you don’t want fixable problems driving your best team members away. Consider the value of communication in your business and how it affects employee satisfaction and in turn, the cost of turnover.

Communication allows you to support and listen to employees

The first step to reducing turnover in your organization is to look at why people leave. According to this survey, money is the biggest issue, followed by an unpleasant working environment and an unsupportive boss. If you do pay competitively, you need to look to communication as a potential reason for loss of employees.

Clear communication comes in many forms, so evaluate how you share information within your company. Also take a look at where you could be failing to support your team. A few examples include:

  • Do managers provide clear instructions related to an assignment?
  • Are leaders available to answer questions throughout the day?
  • Are employees given clear, timely feedback on their work?
  • Do managers and leaders listen to concerns, questions, and ideas from the staff?

If your team feels like you aren’t supporting them with good communication (both in listening and speaking) it’s easier to become frustrated. In time, those bad feelings could grow into something more, leading to turnover.

Employees disengage when they don’t feel heard

You might be surprised by how few employees feel like they have a respected voice within their organization. According to a global survey from The Workforce Institute at UKG, 86 percent of employees feel like they aren’t heard fairly or equally. In addition, 63 percent of employees feel their voice has been ignored by their manager or employer.

Two things happen when employees don’t feel heard: they can quit or they can quiet quit. Disengaged employees won’t live up to their potential. Instead, they will do the bare minimum to get by in the workplace (quiet quit). This limits your company even more than team members who simply leave.

It’s up to you and your management team to develop and maintain a culture of open communication and listening. Let’s remember that a third of employees would rather quit than voice their concerns to management.

Unheard employees will take their ideas elsewhere

All employees, from seasoned veterans to brand-new interns, have ideas. These ideas may help you identify ways to save money, offer better services, or complete work faster. Unfortunately, poor communication can limit the sharing of these ideas. When your employees don’t feel heard, they’re more likely to leave your organization and bring their ideas elsewhere.

According to this research paper, half of employees say they aren’t regularly asked to share their ideas. Forty percent of employees don’t feel confident sharing their ideas, which means they stay silent.

If you don’t create space for open communication, your company is left with disengaged workers who don’t speak up. Even worse, you may start to experience high turnover rates with top employees will taking their ideas to your competitors.

Employees don’t want to advance in a poor company culture

In a perfect situation, employees would get hired, grow their skills within your organization, and advance up the ranks into leadership roles. This is what both employers (to keep turnover low) and employees want. In fact, according to the University of Phoenix’s Annual Career Optimism Index, 68 percent of employees say they would stay with an employer if they made an effort to upskill them.

However, half of employees don’t know where to begin with upskilling. They aren’t receiving communication from management and don’t feel safe asking for support. This causes them to either stay in their position longer than they want or leave for another job.

Additionally, few employees want to advance in a culture that treats workers poorly due to bad communication. Your team members might be ready to grow but aren’t sure about taking on new projects within your organization. Communication makes up such a big part of your company culture that it can either keep your team members engaged or leave them feeling isolated until they leave.

Clear communication starts at the top

The leadership team within your organization can’t sit back and wait for employees to communicate what they need, want or are thinking. It’s up to you to create a culture of open conversations, employee empowerment, and consistent listening.

When your employees have a space to speak up, they’re more likely to stick around, reducing your turnover rates—and the expenses that come with each employee who walks out the door.

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