How To Avoid A High Turnover Rate

Turnover. It’s one of the biggest challenges that employers face. According to, turnover costs U.S. businesses an average of $11 billion every year. That number might seem high but think about it. When you hire a new employee, you have to pay them to be at work to train them. And who’s training them? Another one of your employees who you also have to pay. Keep in mind that these two employees are on the clock and neither of them are producing at a high level during the training period. If the position is one that requires training materials or special equipment, add that to the tab. If the position involves a benefits package, there’s something else to consider. As you can see, that number has the potential to add up rather quickly. 

So how do we reduce or eliminate turnover? One of the questions that I ask every applicant that I meet with is, “What’s something that brings down your morale or makes it difficult for you to go to work every day? What’s something that demotivates you?” It might surprise you to know that I’ve never once had anyone say that they wish they were paid more. If it’s not compensation, then what it is? 

Today I’ve decided to share a few of the more common answers that I’ve received in response to this question. Take a look:

1. The number one answer that I hear over and over again is lack of teamwork or team cohesiveness, low morale amongst team members and toxic work environments. What do I mean by a toxic work environment? People don’t enjoy going to work and fighting or disagreeing with the same person every day. They don’t enjoy walking into a room to have it fall silent and know that they were the topic of conversation before they walked in. No one likes to ask for help, only to be ignored or denied the help that they need. These are all things that are happening in the majority of workplaces in today’s society, which contribute greatly to the high level of turnover that most organizations are facing.


2. Lack of support from management falls in second place. Have you ever worked for someone who always second-guessed your work? Or maybe they didn’t support you when you needed it most? Maybe they brushed off a complaint about a fellow co-worker that you felt seriously needed to be addressed? We as leaders or “bosses” are supposed to be setting an example for our employees. If we set the precedence that mistreatment is okay, it then leads to a toxic work environment and a lack of team cohesiveness.

3. Working in the healthcare industry, this is an answer that I hear far too often: working short-staffed. It’s an epidemic, and even though I’m referring to healthcare specifically, it’s something that many sectors/industries are struggling with on the daily. This, in my opinion, is the hardest thing to fix out of the three. Why? Because it costs money. It doesn’t cost anything to be kind to your co-workers. It doesn’t cost anything to be a good boss. But providing adequate staffing, that’s something entirely different.

It all comes down to the bottom line: the more staff on the floor = the more you’re paying, meaning that less ends up in your pocket at the end of the day. But wouldn’t it be worth it to know that you’re providing your employees with a safe, happy work environment to come to every day? Sure, it might be an added expense, but if you look at the grand scheme of things, it costs much less than having to train someone new when your employee decides to move on to something better.

In March I will be writing another blog on ways that I, as a Plan A owner, aspire to reduce turnover in my own business and inspire my pool of healthcare professionals to be the ones to initiate change and positivity when they are working on our team. Stay tuned!  

~ Tessa Anderson, Owner/Operator of Plan A York

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