Tips for EAP Practitioners: Getting to the Bottom of High Staff Turnover | EAPA-SA

Staff turnover is inevitable, but it can be costly for your business. It is an element of change that directly affects your bottom line. As such, it is important to identify the motives of departing workers and devise an effective retention strategy. For the most part, high turnover is related to employee dissatisfaction with the job.  Specific reasons may include low pay, poor working conditions, long hours, not enough benefits or a negative atmosphere, especially from management.

High turnover can lower employee morale and cause a flood of people to leave because they see their peers doing the same thing. High turnover can also stress remaining employees because they have to fill in the gaps until a new employee is hired and trained. Here are four of the top reasons many good employees resign:

  1. They’re poorly managed

A bad manager can make any employee miserable. Even if your employees are completely committed to the organisation, if their immediate supervisor creates an uncomfortable work environment, they may consider leaving. Employees often voluntarily leave a job due to the relationship they have with their direct managers. Generally, if work relationships are positive and motivating, employees will accept an average salary or even highly stressful work. However, without a positive work relationships and environment, employees will look to leave.

  • Make sure new managers in your organisation have the tools and resources they need to succeed in their new leadership roles.
  • Provide training and development opportunities specially designed for your supervisors.
  • Be careful not to protect bad managers. They should always go through the same performance evaluation process as your other employees.
  • Make sure that your employees have appropriate ways to communicate feedback about their managers. Speak to them directly and include questions about their supervisors in performance reviews.


  1. They’re bored

High-performing employees need to be challenged and feel they are moving forward in terms of professional growth and development. Take time to meet with your employees and be proactive in discussing career and succession plans with them.

  • Be sure to blend in growth and development opportunities into your employees’ positions when possible. This could come in the form of assigning employees to a special project or putting them in an expanded role. It could also happen through building in opportunities for your workers to cross-train one another.
  • Ask yourself these questions:
  • Are the right employees in the right roles?
  • Are your people getting the feedback and recognition they need?


  1. They’re not engaged

Employee engagement may sound like another corporate buzzword, but engaged employees share a number of common traits, including:

  • They’re good at resolving and/or finding solutions to problems
  • They offer support to colleagues who are busy
  • They seek out training and development opportunities

There are many ways to boost engagement among your employees, and your approach should be based on what is right for your company culture. Here are some engagement-boosting strategies you may want to try:

  • Make sure everyone knows your company’s mission, vision and values. Keep them posted in a visible spot and make sure all new employees are inducted into your corporate culture.
  • Keep your employees excited about what they’re doing through team-building activities.
  • Communicate with your employees regularly and have an open-door policy.
  • Ensure your organisation’s leadership is engaged. Take a proactive approach to employee relations and make sure your managers do as well.
  • Create opportunities for your leadership to spend time together discussing goals, sharing success stories and providing feedback that reinforces your mission, vision and values.


  1. They’re motivated by higher pay

No matter how much someone loves working for you and believes in your organisation, if they are presented with a better offer, they will most likely consider leaving. Keep tabs on what compensation is being offered by your competition and be sure you’re offering comparable benefits packages. You can also conduct an annual salary survey to get insight into your employees’ outlook on their pay.


To receive more articles like this, directly to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here