Keeping employees happy and engaged should be a priority for any company, as having the right staff is essential to meeting business goals. There are many reasons why a high level of staff turnover can be harmful to your firm, so it’s an issue that must be addressed.

The costs to businesses of a high churn rate can be wide-ranging, but are often hidden. Few of the problems that arise as a result of this can be easily quantified on a balance sheet, and much of the real damage comes from the loss of vital skills and experiences that are not possible to replace quickly.

The costs of churn

Firstly, there’s the lost productivity that high churn can lead to. Particularly in highly-skilled industries, having vacant positions can result in an immediate and noticeable impact on operations, as businesses struggle to make up for their missing staff’s expertise.

This can also lead directly to problems with staff morale if remaining employees frequently find themselves having to take over from their former colleagues. This can leave them feeling overworked and impact their own productivity and effectiveness. If this goes on too long, it can ultimately drive even more employees away, leading to a vicious circle of staff churn.

What’s more, the processes involved in hiring and training up new employees to the required standard can also be hugely costly and time-consuming.

A 2014 study by Oxford Economics estimated that the average cost of replacing staff comes to £30,614 per employee. This is primarily made up of two key factors – the cost of lost output while a new hire is brought up to speed, and the logistical expenses associated with recruiting and training a worker.

So what can firms do to keep staff churn to a minimum and therefore avoid these costs? Here are five things enterprises need to be thinking about to ensure they are fostering a positive working environment that encourages and rewards their best staff.

1. Engage your workforce

If employees believe they have a personal stake in the company and a voice in its decision-making, they are likely to be more loyal. Strong social interactions have a key role to play in this, so tools such as Yammer can help ensure staff have their views heard and get the support they need. British Airways, for example, uses the software to help its staff communicate with each other and share knowledge and suggestions.

Through this, the airline can quickly understand feedback from customers, react swiftly to market changes, and keep all employees engaged in delivering the group’s vision. This is just one example of how Yammer can help liberate firms and encourage free-flowing communicate across all levels of a company.

2. Offer the right benefits

Many businesses assume that compensation and perks should revolve around pay, but often this is not the case. Instead of focusing on monetary benefits, firms should look for more creative ways to reward employees and keep them motivated. Asking workers what they value and communicating effectively can help with this. It’s also important to remember that not all employees desire the same things, so offering staff members a choice of benefits can pay dividends.

3. Provide a strong vision

Employees will be more likely to be loyal to a firm if they believe their company is an innovative, cutting-edge organisation. By keeping staff up-to-date on what the enterprise’s plans for the future are and detailing what the company’s vision is – beyond simply turning a profit – employees will have a much greater sense of purpose and recognise that their efforts are making a difference.

4. Understand how they want to work

Today’s employees expect to be able to do things very differently than in the past, whether this is being flexible with their hours or using personally-owned devices for work. According to Gartner, more than one billion smartphones were sold last year and if companies do not have the right tools to allow these in the workplace, staff will start looking for employers that do. The ability to access documents from outside the office also plays a key role in supporting employees’ desire to work flexibly.

5. Offer staff opportunities

A lack of opportunity for advancement is frequently cited as one of the key reasons for employees to abandon a company, so it’s important firms address this issue. They should not only provide options for personal and professional development through training schemes or qualifications, but ensure all employees are aware of what is available, and what they need to do to take advantage of these opportunities.

Reaping the benefits

Having engaged staff is essential to a successful company, and understanding what you need to do to keep them motivated and excited about the company is key. The right technology can be hugely helpful in improving engagement and creating a positive working environment. Trusting in this can lead to significant rewards.

Ensuring that employees feel they are part of the company’s decision-making and overall strategy can lead to tangible results for a company. Benefits include a better ability to retain talent, stronger client relationships, more resilient employees, and sustained revenue growth.

To see for yourself what a difference strong technology solutions can make when it comes to keeping staff engaged, try out Yammer for free today.

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