If you want a successful, thriving company with high office morale, employee retention should be a core focus.

A high turnover rate severely impacts your company – financially and emotionally. When an employee leaves your organization, it affects work productivity, time and your bottom line.Employee turnover is costly; just look at the average turnover costs your company will pay:

  • 30-50% of an entry-level employee’s annual salary
  • 150% of a mid-level employee’s annual salary
  • 400% of a high-level or highly-specialized employee’s annual salary

Some managers believe employee turnover boils down to money. But that’s not the main reason employees stay or leave. While money often plays a factor, money isn’t what buys loyalty.

Common Reasons Employees Leave:

  • Inadequate or technologically outdated equipment or resources
  • Lack of opportunity for growth and advancement
  • Employee workspace doesn’t fit how your staff prefers to work: Open areas for collaboration, adjustable desks for standing or sitting, walled-in offices and conference rooms when privacy or quiet is needed, inadequate lighting
  • Not respecting employees’ work/life balance

Employees want to be treated fairly, feel appreciated and work in a healthy, productive workspace. When you make workplace and workspace decisions that are better for your employees and office productivity, your employee retention numbers will remain consistently high, year after year.

Is the Workspace Working for Your Employees?

If the work environment is contributing to employee retention issues, it can help to revisit the office layout. Is it based on the types of employees you have and their work preferences?

The open office has become the go-to design for many companies. This layout supports collaboration and creativity amongst your employees. It allows for more natural light, which means healthier and happier employees, and it’s the cheaper design route to take.

But not everyone is on board with an open office. Many oppose it. They feel it doesn’t allow for privacy, and because of higher noise levels and other distractions, it’s harder for them to focus on their workload.

Check out our infographic, How We Use the Office Today.

You know your employees – their preferences and what factors allow them to be productive – so as you design or redesign your office, focus on making it the right space for the types of roles and personalities you’re employing.

If You Don’t Know, Ask

A great place to start improving your employee retention strategies is an employee survey. An anonymous employee survey is an effective tool for receiving useful feedback from employees, especially those who may be too shy or scared to voice their opinions and true feelings.

The survey answers should clarify whether your workspace is hurting employee retention and inform which direction to take your employee retention strategies.

Here are 10 questions you should ask your current employees. (Tip: Using a scale of 1 to 5 provides more insight than a “yes” or “no” format.)

  1. How happy are you at work?
  2. Does the office workspace provide an effective balance of focus and collaboration?
  3. How would you rate your work-life balance?
  4. Do your supervisors take your feedback and suggestions willingly and use them?
  5. How would you rate the level of respect among coworkers?
  6. Does the company provide the tools and resources you need to perform your job effectively? If not, what’s lacking?
  7. Are ideas and responsibilities clearly communicated? What would you change for more effective communication?
  8. What three words would you use to describe the company culture?
  9. Is your workspace efficient and comfortable? What would you change about it?
  10. If you were to quit your job, what reason(s) would you give for doing so?

Once you have these answers in hand, you’ll be that much closer to providing a work environment where your employees feel comfortable – and that will help them stick around longer.

What If … ?

Besides surveying your current employees, exit surveys are another way to gather feedback about your company culture and workspace. They might even be the most valuable, because when employees are leaving they’re more likely to be honest with you about what they liked, what they didn’t.

One EventBoard customer, a leading online travel agency, is so proactive about improving their workspace that they have their facilities department do a 15-20 minute exit interview with every employee who leaves to determine the impact the workplace had on their decision and get ideas on how to improve it.

Whether you’re asking current employees or those who are on their way out the door, be sure to take every employee’s feedback seriously.

If they’re not happy with the company culture, take steps to change it. If they don’t have the resources they need, implement new technology. If they’re not comfortable in their current physical workspace, redesign your office layout with your employees’ preferences in mind or provide different spaces that allow different personalities to work to their full potential.

When employee retention is one of your top priorities, you’ll cultivate a healthier and more productive workspace that recruits, retains and delights employees – which saves money and ensures you have a team who will turn out high quality work.