turnover-new-opportunity.pngEmployee turnover and retention was, according to a Society for Human Resource Management and Globoforce survey, the biggest workforce management challenge companies faced in 2016 — and a concern many expect to see in the future.

A Robert Half survey published last week contained an alarming employment prediction: More than four in 10 workers plan on leaving a job in the next 12 months. Young workers, in particular, were eager to look for a new employer; 68 percent of respondents age 18 to 34 said they plan to seek out a new position within a year.

With an average $4,129 cost-per-hire expense, according to SHRM’s Human Capital Benchmarking report, losing workers can be a pricey proposition.

The negative conditions that prompt voluntary turnover can build quickly. Employers may not notice the initial signs of employee dissatisfaction.

However, to prevent turnover from becoming an enterprise-wide issue, eradicating employee retention risks early on is crucial.

How can you tell when a worker is about to jump ship? The following factors may be an indication:

Expressing frustration over a lack of advancement opportunities

Recent research indicates workers feeling stagnant in their current role is one of the biggest catalysts for leaving a job. Even after controlling for pay, industry, title and other factors, Glassdoor found employees who remain in the same position without a title change are significantly more likely to accept another job.

Appearing disinterested in work

Employees want to advance — but they want the journey to the next level to include challenging, interesting assignments. Not surprisingly, recent Robert Half research found job boredom was one of the top causes of employee turnover. Fittingly, more than half — 61 percent — of the creative executives the company spoke with said the most turnover they experienced involved entry-level employees, who are, in many cases, some of the most likely to receive mundane tasks.


Working unreasonably long hours

Forty-six percent of HR leaders cited burnout, caused by elements such as an unreasonable workload, excessive overtime or hefty after-hours work requirements, as the reason for up to half of their employee turnover in a 2017 Kronos Incorporated and Future Workplace survey. Employees who work too much can get fatigued, even if they enjoy the work they’re doing. Keep an eye on which ones are consistently working at night and on weekends, and try to adjust their workload to a more manageable level.

If you haven’t noticed any of the above scenarios, but are concerned about employee turnover becoming an issue, you can combat retention concerns in several ways.

Increasing engagement can reinforce employee retention efforts. Some organizations have found fostering a culture that includes a strong sense of company pride has helped engage employees. If you’re not sure your value proposition is compelling enough to encourage employees to stay at your organization, consider these tips to help you compete with companies that offer big work perks.

In addition, you may find employee exit interviews are a helpful way of assessing what elements are affecting employee retention. Once you know what workers aren’t happy with, you’ll be able to correct those practices — and prevent workers from fleeing in the future.