How to reduce turnover by building relationships

Employee retention is on the forefront of most HR managers’ minds. Though turnover remains relatively consistent throughout the years, the uptick in the economy has brought with it an increase in employee turnover as there are more options for employment. In fact, a recent study of more than 4,000 companies found that 59 percent of employers list retention as their top concern in 2013.

There are many things that can help to decrease employee turnover, such as getting compensation right from the time your employees are hired and continuing to monitor market trends, but studies have shown that another major component to employee loyalty is their connections to their co-workers and managers. The fact is, people are loyal to people, not companies. When employees have leadership and co-workers who are engaged, they’re more likely to stay at a job. As an HR manager, you have the power to develop a culture of strong workplace relationships, which lead to loyalty and low turnover.


Employees who are loyal trust the people they work with.
That trust often comes from managers who are willing to not only be leaders, but also partners, and co-workers who are not only focused on their success, but also the group’s success. This shows they are invested in supporting each other. While trust isn’t the only characteristic of healthy workplace relationships, it is one of the most important. Think about all the relationships in your life, from family, to friends, to partners. If you don’t trust them, you’re probably not fully committed to them.


Part of being supportive means helping employees grow and develop.
You may not consider a commitment to growth a component of building a relationship, but the best relationships are those that encourage us to better ourselves. Providing opportunities for growth and career advancement keeps employees engaged, connects employees to those helping them develop and decreases turnover. Since 32 percent of employees who leave their jobs do so to pursue career advancement or promotional opportunities, this is essential to retaining employees.


First comes trust, then comes communication.
When employees trust co-workers and leaders and see that they are invested in the success of their career, it opens up opportunities for communication. This is often where the most genuine connections are built. You can help your managers communicate better with employees by setting the standard in your company for transparent, consistent communication. This may mean changing the culture of your corporate communications, but it will pay off. Employees who feel that their company is honest and open with them are more likely to remain employed there. Additionally, when you and other leadership set the standard of frequent communication, your managers will be more likely to follow suit.


It’s vital that managers communicate with employees because to in order to effectively lead, managers need to understand their employees. Since characteristics and motivations vary greatly from person to person, managers must quickly find out what each employee needs, which is a part of building that loyal relationship.


When it comes to reducing turnover by building relationships, the focus is on a mutual loyalty between leaders, employees and their co-workers. Employees are loyal to those who are loyal to them. Building trust, being invested in employees’ success and creating open communication can all lead to solid workplace relationships that save your company time and money in the long run.


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