In a competitive hiring environment, you don't want to give employees a reason to look for another job. And even in a more employer-friendly market, you still don't want the hassle of interviewing, hiring, and on-boarding workers.
One way to limit employee turnover is with a positive workplace environment. That sounds easy, but creating a workplace (or work culture, if you have remote employees) that the vast majority of your staff will enjoy can be a challenge. Still, if creating a positive culture is important to you, there are two ways to make it happen.
Secrets and a lack of openness can turn into poison in an office. You can't share everything with everyone (maybe a potential new hire has asked for discretion because of that person's current job). But you would be shocked by how much you can actually share.
Hold all-hands meetings where you update employees of all levels on how the business is doing. Even when things aren't great, be honest. If you are, then you're making your staff part of the solution. And, yes, sharing that things are going well may result in more people asking for raises, but that can be solved by having a clear procedure for granting pay increases.
You should also talk formally and informally with people on a one-on-one basis. Make this a practice up and down the company hierarchy, where managers regularly chat with their direct reports, and everyone works to casually interact with everyone else.
In the formal meetings, ask the work questions and find out what issues the employee may have. Make it a safe, open conversation -- without fear of reprisal -- where a worker can share any unhappiness with a boss or any plans to look elsewhere.
Besides telling your employees what's going on and making time to meet with them, you also have to make sure you listen. If, for example, employees tell you they want to leave, listen to their reasoning. Ask questions about what you might do differently.
That could lead to learning something that can help you hold on to the employee. In other cases, you'll at least benefit from not being surprised by the departure.
Focus on the details. Ask how each person thinks the job can be better; find out what your employees want from their time at the company. Listen and discuss progress when you next meet (and if there's something that's unrealistic or you can't make happen, communicate that, too).
It's about communication
As the manager, you have to make sure everyone is included. That means making an effort with more-quiet employees or ones who don't trust the idea of sharing.
Creating a positive office culture requires commitment and vigilance. Don't just do these things sometimes, but bake them into your company's daily operations.
The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.