FAQ Series: Reducing Turnover - Grace Hill
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FAQ Series: Reducing Turnover

Posted on February 27, 2018

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“How can I reduce turnover in my organization?”

Employee retention is an ongoing challenge for property management professionals. According to our recent Benchmark Survey, turnover was up last year for most property roles. What can you do to keep good employees with your company longer? Let’s take a closer look at the actions known to have the biggest impact on turnover.

Start retaining employees early

Onboarding is your first and best opportunity to establish expectations and give employees a better shot at high performance.

Studies have shown that fast onboarding is critical to retaining employees. Early and thorough onboarding can make the difference between an employee who is floundering uncertainly in your organization and one with a sense of purpose and belonging.


Onboarding includes all of the usual paperwork associated with a new hire, but it also includes acquainting the employee with your organization and its priorities. It’s an opportunity to familiarize an employee with what’s expected not only for the particular role but for members of the organization as a whole. What matters most to your company? How will the employee know whether he or she is performing well? These are important questions that should be answered during onboarding. Taking the time to train a new employee on these important expectations demonstrates your company’s investment in the employee’s future and gives him or her a better chance of success.

Give employees a path for the future

Career paths show employees what a future with your company could look like.

In this year’s Benchmark Survey, respondents reported career paths as a top-three way to improve turnover. Career paths give employees a clear goal and a sense of their future within your company, both of which make them more likely to stay. Career paths include designing, implementing and communicating a process for employees to advance their careers within the company. Career paths should be specific to individual roles and should answer the following questions:

  • Which roles will naturally follow this role if the employee performs well?
  • What skills will need to be built in order to progress along the path?
  • What performance indicators will be assessed to determine whether an employee is ready to progress?
  • What training is necessary in each role along the path?
  • How will employees receive feedback about where they stand regarding performance and progress?


Offer clear and frequent feedback

Feedback helps employees feel the importance of their contribution to the company.

Another important way you can decrease turnover is through performance management. Companies manage performance in a variety of ways, from sophisticated performance management platforms to simple in-person evaluation. Regardless of the approach you use, what matters is that you’re giving employees feedback—early and often. Employees want to know where they stand. They want to know that what they do and how they do it matters and that the company is invested in their good performance. Feeling like no one notices or cares how they perform is a big reason many employees move on.


The great thing about actions that improve turnover is that they simultaneously improve performance and morale. Communicating expectations, giving employees a sense of purpose and offering feedback create high performers who make their career with your company.

Amy McClellan
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