Dealing with Voluntary Employee Turnover of Key Talent in Startups

“Hey boss, I wish to leave the team next month.”

Employee churn is a nightmare for every organisation, especially early-stage startup. Known for high attrition rate, retaining the best minds to stay on the team has always been major challenge for startup founders. Needless to say, running with short funds and little perks often pose several issues related to employee development for startups and small-enterprises alike.

It is true that the startup team is typically filled with young-spirited individuals who seek to enrich personal experiences rather than a huge paycheck. While financial benefits are not always the main concern, working for a startup can be frustrating and exhausting. Owing to lean team size, startup employees are often required to undertake multiple responsibilities and move along tight deadlines.

Finding and fetching the best talents to join your unicorn company is not enough. It is crucial for leaders to engage and retain them for longer term. Compared to other bigger and established brands out there, your company might be just minor participant within the larger industry. If they choose rigidity in workings, the key talents have a good chance to leave the organisation and gun for working with giant companies.

Regardless of your business type or industry, employees are the biggest asset for your startup. Owing to which, it is imperative for leaders to keep them actively engaged and highly motivated in their jobs. If you find that your key talents are jumping ship voluntarily, then here are some strategies for you to deal and cope with voluntary employee turnover:

  1.       Evaluate your hiring efforts

Every startup has their own recruitment style and method. Some would prefer hiring through popular job portals such as Glassdoor or Indeed, while some others meticulously participate in career fair and recruit talents from there. You should always pay good attention to your recruitment strategy.

Hire only the best individuals who understand the startup’s core values and missions. When your top performers are leaving, you should look back and evaluate your hiring efforts. Find out which methods are leading to high voluntary employee turnover and address the issue accordingly.

  1.       Foster positive culture

For small businesses, keeping employees happy holds the key for high employee satisfaction. One effective strategy to boost employee morale is by fostering positive and friendly culture. Workplace culture will reflect your company’s values. By creating a fun-loving workplace environment, your employees will feel happy and motivated to show up work. Facebook and Zippos are among successful examples of how great culture helps attract and retain the best talents.

  1.       Reach out to your employees

Sometimes, employees are leaving due to unresolved miscommunication within a team. Therefore, it is crucial for a startup founder to prioritise implementing honest and open communication within the organisation.

When you notice one of your employees show less enthusiasm or lower productivity, you should reach out to them and encourage them to share their minds with you. Not only take time to listen, you have to follow-up the meeting and take immediate action.

  1.       Provide clear career paths

A study conducted by PwC has emphasised that opportunities for career progression is top aspect that will make an employer attractive for Millennials. There are times when people decide to leave startup because they cannot see any opportunities for them to grow and scale up if choose to stay.

Owing to which, you should always provide clear career pathways to both existing employees and potential candidates, such that they know what to expect for the next period in time.

  1.       Offer continuous training

The above listed PwC survey also notes that opportunity for personal development is one of the major reason why Millennials accept a job offer. Great minds always seek challenge and improvement. Therefore, you should cater to their needs for development by offering continuous training and learning opportunities to hone their skills and knowledge. After all, this will help your organisation thrive in the fiercer business competition.