Employee Turnover: Better, But Still Costly

April 16, 2024
Workplace Weekly
Engagement & Retention
Talent Management
Read time: 2 mins

In today’s highly competitive talent market, employers are not only challenged to recruit but also retain their top talent. Well, employers can breathe a small sigh of relief for the moment. According to MRA’s annual Turnover Survey, the overall turnover rate dropped 2.6% this past year, after seeing a 5-year high of 25.8% in 2023. MRA’s 2024 survey results show overall turnover at 23%. Within the 5-state region that encompasses MRA’s footprint, most states are on par with the overall average as well:  Iowa (23%), Illinois (25.6%), Wisconsin (24.6%), and Minnesota (20.1%).

This is a win we need to hold on to. Employers can take proactive steps to help reduce turnover. By understanding why employees leave in the first place and identifying potential issues, organizations can take the necessary steps to address underlying concerns.

Managing employee turnover is essential, but figuring out where it started can be challenging. According to MRA’s survey, the top reasons for employee turnover are:

  1. Better salary
  2. Retirement
  3. Due to performance

If these are the top reasons, then employers are in luck! All three have fairly easy proactive measures employers can take. Periodically benchmark your salaries to stay competitive. Consider offering bonuses, incentives, and other benefits to help ensure an employee does not leave for a better salary, but also to attract and retain top talent in the first place.

While there may not be a lot we can do about retirement, organizations can and should always plan ahead. Have a succession plan in place. Utilize mentorships so your retiring employees can share their wealth of knowledge with your emerging leaders.

Last, but not least, performance. To that I would ask, was a skills assessment done to begin with, training provided, a performance review conducted? What training and development measures were taken to address performance-related issues?

Coming from a higher education background and now serving members as an employer association leader, I may have a slightly biased outlook. However, proactive steps can be put in place in each of these situations to reduce turnover and increase retention.

Additional survey results included the top three actions organizations are taking to reduce turnover. They include:

  1. Conduct exit interviews 66%
  2. Conduct compensation and benefits review 62%
  3. Invest in employee training/development 60%

By prioritizing efforts to reduce turnover and creating a workplace where employees thrive, organizations can successfully retain the employees they worked so hard to find in the first place.