How to Reduce Employee Turnover with 7 Critical Leadership Skills

by  Annabelle Smyth  |  Leadership Development
How to Reduce Employee Turnover with 7 Critical Leadership Skills

Poor leadership is often at the root of high employee turnover.

In fact, according to a recent CMOE infographic, nearly 50 percent of employees were likely to leave their jobs if they didn’t feel recognized by their managers

While these types of statistics are disheartening, they also reveal an opportunity that the best leaders take advantage of. Developing specific leadership skills for the workplace can support employee retention by increasing performance, job satisfaction and a whole host of other factors.

Let’s dig into the leadership skills that managers can use to reduce employee turnover and enhance business results.

Recognize and Acknowledge

Reward and recognition has been shown to have a strong impact on employee performance and engagement. This may seem like a simple thing to do but many leaders struggle to do this effectively. To reward your employees for their contributions, you need to take the time to make note of their successes and find effective ways to let them know that they are appreciated.

Create Opportunities

It’s not uncommon for employees to leave a job because they feel that their growth has stagnated. A Cornerstone survey revealed a direct connection between lack of opportunities for development and high turnover. Good leaders will invest in their employees by creating new opportunities for education and career advancement.

Make Your Vision Contagious

Employees who feel like their work has meaning and are driven by a sense of purpose are much more likely to dedicate themselves to their jobs. Strong leaders know how to pass their vision on to their team and inspire them to achieve the goals that will bring them to realization.

Cultivate a Respectful Workplace

Demonstrating respect with your employees and promoting it between team members is invaluable. It is also a critical component of gaining the respect of your employees in return. You can achieve this in a variety of ways that include being responsive, admitting to your mistakes, demonstrating that you value their time and energy, and creating an inclusive culture.

Promote Employee Development

Great leaders know how to extract the highest amount of value from their teams by giving them the opportunity to develop their skills and education. This can be achieved by putting together a development plan for each employee, providing the necessary tools to meet these goals and cross training them to create more variety in their job roles.

Strategic Communication

The ability to communicate effectively to deliver messages and drive results is a skill that should not be underestimated. Poor communication is a common issue when it comes to employee dissatisfaction and high turnover. Consistent and clear communication should be a priority if you want to keep your workforce engaged for the long haul.

Clear Feedback

While solid feedback regarding past performance is a must, this skill also involves relaying information throughout the process. Letting your employees know what is expected of them and working with them to determine realistic timelines and results will eliminate negative surprises at the end of a project. If you leave them in the dark about their performance you can expect dissatisfaction and turnover to skyrocket.

Which of these seven skills do you consider most critical to reducing employee turnover? Tell me about it in the comments!
Photo Credit: IQoncept/123rf

About The Author

Articles By annabelle-smyth
Annabelle Smyth is a freelance writer who covers everything from HR to technology and leadership. Her most recent work involves partnership marketing with BambooHR where she has had the opportunity to learn about the relationship between employee engagement and successful businesses.

What People Are Saying

Jane  |  06 Jan 2017  |  Reply

This article has excellent coverage of high impact factors that influence employee satisfaction and long term retention. I could go down the list and give examples of what I’ve witnessed in my own experience over many years. Good job on this Annabelle!

Jerry Abdouch  |  08 Jan 2017  |  Reply

I am a retired Ind Tech. teacher and now have a part time job at Lowe’s. I really love what I do working mostly in Hardware and sometimes in plumbing, electrical and paints.
A few months ago we just completed and Employee Opinion Survey. After viewing the results our store manager reviewed the results with us. To keep it brief, he said that the managers need to do a better job of listening to those working under them, and to explain the “why” of things.

We have “Voice “meetings once a month where we can bring up issues, successes and suggestions on improving things. I attend those meetings and feel that they are taken seriously. I find that you article is especially appropriate at this time for me. I plan to share this article with HR and others. It is especially timely since our store manager is being transferred to another store in the Omaha area, and we have to “break in” a new one. (Just kidding on that one.)

Richard Danks  |  16 Jan 2017  |  Reply

It appears that 6 traits stem from a respectful workplace. So if I borrow from Maslow with a “hierarchy of leadership,” respect is the base of the pyramid. This leads to authentic communication which includes three traits that should be self-evident. Leaders have a vision for the future. Part of that vision must include future opportunities and staff development. This leaves the top of the pyramid for the recognition piece, which I have found is related to self-realization. I believe even the most self-assured person needs recognition, or the assurance of knowing where they stand. The lack of recognition over an extended time is toxic to the work environment. I am confident that if the leader has the other six traits, the recognition will be virtually automatic.

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