How managers can slow employee turnover by building trust

28 September 2022 4 min. read
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Chris Mullen is an Executive Director with HR and payroll firm UKG. He explains how building trust with employees can save companies time and money amid the Great Resignation.

As the Great Resignation continues to wreak havoc on business owners, and their employees continue to have to pick up the extra slack – what steps can managers take to put an end to this ongoing threat?

Reducing high employee turnover is crucial to businesses, it not only saves businesses money, but enforces a healthy company culture and image. As well as this, businesses with high-turnover will place mounting workload on existing employees and will only deter potential prospects from wanting to work for the business.

Chris Mullen, UKG

When it comes to employee satisfaction, there is no ‘silver bullet’ to prevent staff from leaving. But there are practical steps managers can take to build trust between themselves and their employees to mitigate the risk of high employee turnover. Ignoring these steps and taking employees for granted will likely leave businesses vulnerable to the effects of the Great Resignation. 

Clear communications

Higher wages are no longer the primary change being demanded by employees. Although pay is typically the number one reason. Now it is pay and or pay plus. More employees are now prioritising their mental health and work-life balance over the promise of more money.

Introducing an open line of communication for employees to have access to is key to building trust. Employee surveys, ‘town hall’ meetings, and an open-door policy are all positive steps managers can take to ensure their employees do not feel left out in the cold. On a more personal level, one-to-one employee engagements has also been found to be an effective and confidential way of communicating with staff. 

Preparation is key

The ‘boomerang’ employee has also risen to prominence in recent months and the Great Resignation has seen a swathe of boomerang activity across different industries. The latest research from UKG has shown that of boomerang employees, 77% felt managers fostered an environment in which managers allowed them to cultivate their frustrations. Compared to 64% of all job quitters who felt differently. 

Rather than being reactive as a manager, the proactive approach will more than likely see employees less disconnected with their working environment and therefore likely stay. Being proactive, opening communication lines, and not burning relationship bridges contribute to a positive employee experience. 

Trust is a partnership

It should be noted that managers cannot be expected to carry the full burden of building trust by themselves. Employees must also chip in and co-operate with their managers when it comes to successfully building trust.

If a manager opens the correct communication lines for their employees to sit down and discuss any issues they may have – the employee must allow some time for change to be implemented. The chance is that the manager wants to keep key talent onboard, but may take a few weeks to implement the change, depending on the situation. Employees should consider this and remain patient rather than potentially burning a critical bridge and not allowing any change to be introduced. Ensuring that employees are heard, rather than simply spoken to, otherise know an as ‘actionable listening’ could be the difference between losing and retaining key team members.

Looking forward

Successfully building trust across a workplace will improve your business’ chances of not only improving company culture, but also avoiding the costly effects of the Great Resignation as well.

At the moment, high employee turnover is affecting many businesses, placing retention at the top of the priority list. The discussed steps are simple yet effective ways for managers to build trust and better understand their employees’ concerns, which will not only help improve employee experience and retention, but overall business operations as well. Both managers and employees should always remember that transparency is key to building trust and with it, can often come a better working environment for everyone involved.

About UKG

Born from a historic merger that created one of the world’s largest HCM cloud companies, UKG deploys an innovative approach to HR, payroll, and workforce management solutions. It helps more than 70,000 organisations around the globe and across every industry to meet their employees’ needs, beyond just work.