How Managers Can Drive Down Turnover

You’ve likely heard the saying, “people don’t quit companies. They quit bosses.” It turns out there’s a lot of truth to that adage. According to Gallup, perhaps the biggest reason for employee turnover may be that supervisors aren’t putting forth enough effort to get people to stay. 52% of exiting employees say their manager or organization could have done something to prevent them from leaving their job.

Don’t let that happen at your community or company. Instead, here are six suggestions to drive down employee turnover among your team.

  1. Speak to them Every Day

This may sound like an obvious suggestion, but let’s face it – work life is more hectic than it’s ever been for many of us. Many teams are running short-staffed due to vacant positions or employees out sick, which means everyone’s workload is heavier. In spite of your best intentions, it may be true that a day—or even several days—can go by without interacting with each of your employees. When that happens with frequency, employees can start to feel unimportant, undervalued, and even invisible. They may begin to think they wouldn’t be missed if they left. To avoid that, make a point of speaking with every one of your employees daily, even if it’s simply a brief greeting.

  1. Schedule Regular, Recurring One-on-One Meetings

Meet with each of your direct reports on a regular, recurring basis. Depending on the team, this may be weekly, semi-weekly, or monthly. Don’t use the time together just to run through a list of tasks. Instead, check-in on what’s working well and what’s frustrating to your team member. You may need to prompt the conversation; if so, here are some good questions to ask:

  • What’s the biggest roadblock you are encountering at present, and how can I help you clear it?
  • What can I do as a manager to improve your job or make it easier?
  • Is there a situation where you’d like more help from me?
  • What skills would you like to develop?
  • What professional aspirations do you have for yourself, and how may I help you achieve them?
  1. Get Personal

Let your team member know that you see them for more than the work they do by showing an interest in their life outside of the office. Pay attention to the things that matter to them, such as their families, passions, and hobbies. Try to find common ground. Perhaps you’re both baseball fans, or you enjoy the same podcasts, or you are die-hard kombucha drinkers. Look for ways to connect with your associates beyond your common to-do lists.

  1. Connect their Efforts to the Mission

People are more likely to leave jobs when they feel like their contributions don’t matter. Help your associates make the connection between their everyday efforts and the organization’s goals. Regularly talk about how their performance has helped the community or company meet its objectives, whether that’s resident satisfaction, occupancy, financial performance, or otherwise. Consider yourself the organization’s “hype man” (or woman) whose job it is to help your team members see their efforts are both noticed and impactful.

  1. Build Opportunities

Most team members are hungry to grow in their careers, and a good manager will help them make progress towards their goals. First, you must know what their goals are, of course – which is a great topic of conversation for your regular meetings. Help them identify the steps they need to take to get to where they want to go and chart a course for completion. Providing development opportunities is a powerful way to prove to your employee that you are invested in their future—and earn their tenure.

  1. Offer Regular Recognition and Encouragement

Finally, be on the lookout for your team’s successes to celebrate. “Good news” should be an agenda item for every team meeting. Create a culture of positivity by celebrating professional accomplishments and wins both large and small. Encourage everyone on your team to get on board by sharing praise and recognition with their peers. Employees who feel supported by their supervisors and coworkers are more engaged, enthusiastic, and eager to give their best efforts.



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Employee turnover is a significant concern for businesses of all sizes and industries, but we know it is particularly distressing for the rental housing industry.