The APQC Blog

Top 10 Ways to Prevent Turnover

Tight Labor Market Signals It’s Time to Step Up Retention Efforts

Much attention is being paid to the possibility that automation will spur joblessness. This makes it easy to lose sight of the fact that there are too few workers to fill job openings today.

If you employ workers in the United States, you can expect that competitors will try to lure your talent away (if they haven’t begun to do so already). This means it’s time to revisit and refortify your retention strategy. APQC’s Open Standards Benchmarking data regarding the top ten employer-reported reasons for unwanted employee turnover reveals where to focus retention efforts. Let these top ten reasons for unwanted turnover be your top ten ways to retain valued talent amid tough competition.

Top 10 Reasons for Unwanted Turnover = Top 10 Ways to Retain Valued Talent

  1. More prestigious position
  2. Higher compensation
  3. Better benefits
  4. Advancement opportunity
  5. Move to a more attractive location
  6. Training and development
  7. Better perks
  8. More challenging projects
  9. More flexible hours
  10. Opportunity to work with more advanced technology

APQC’s Open Standards Benchmarking Database, 525 Organizations Responding

Here are ideas for putting some of these retention approaches into action.

Advancement Opportunities/Training and Development/Challenging Projects

Help employees see the opportunities that exist within your organization and give them the tools to grow and advance. Document and communicate about career paths (even potential lateral career moves). Offer self-service access to career path information, career planning tools, and associated development opportunities. Make sure employees do not have to leave your organization to take control of their careers and pursue professional development.

Higher Compensation/Better Benefits/Better Perks

Provide employees with accurate information regarding how their compensation is determined. Tell them how the value of their compensation package compares to the value of compensation packages offered by other employers. If there are steps that employees can take to increase their compensation, let them know what these are. It is important that employees understand that they do not necessarily have to leave the organization to increase their pay.

When communicating with employees regarding the value of their compensation, don’t forget to highlight the value that benefits and perks add. If your organization offers a higher-value, total rewards package make sure employees know this so they can accurately compare their current situation with possibilities offered elsewhere.

More Prestigious Position

Offer prestige to employees so that they need not seek it at another company. Find ways to convey prestige even when advancement to a new position is not possible. Publically recognize employee accomplishments and expertise. Awards and designations for acquiring skills or expertise are effective. Offering experts formal roles in communities of practice or social networks are additional ways to provide a sense of prestige. Giving employees exposure to senior leaders for visibility and learning is yet another approach.

Preparing for a future where some workers may be left behind by automation is important. Yet, employers must not lose sight of current workforce dynamics. This means having an immediate focus on keeping jobs filled today. Check out APQC's Knowledge Base for further reading on retention tactics.