Turnover and safety: How to prevent it

fishery workers are catching fish in nets; preventing turnover is a safety concern

Turnover and safety: How to prevent it

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

High turnover can be a safety concern. When there is a revolving door of employees coming in and out of the organization, this can create issues when it comes to sustaining a strong safety record. Because new employees come in without deep knowledge of the job, they are more likely to get into accidents. And it is not their fault — new hires are still gaining experience and training. You are only as good as the people on your job site, and if this is constantly changing, this can create safety boundaries. A small degree of turnover is warranted and keeps the culture stronger by weeding out people who are not a great fit, but if too many people are leaving, this is a sign something is wrong.

Turnover and Safety: For more on the costs associated with turnover and what industries are most impacted, please see blog one in this series.

Managers who understand the value of retention and the consequences of turnover can take steps to keep employees from leaving in order to outperform the competition.

Consider the following tips for reducing turnover:

Hire the right people in the first place.

Great hiring practices that are rigorously developed using scientifically sound methods lead to better retention. Turnover can be avoided by selecting people who are a better fit with the company in the first place.

Take a close look at your management.

Poor management is a reason why many individuals start looking for other jobs. Invest in your leadership as a way to make the company healthier and safer.

Compensation isn’t cutting it.

In some circumstances, you might have people leaving your company because they see their role as a “steppingstone job”. It is very painful to train an employee, watch them grow into a great part of your system, and then see them leave because they can get better pay somewhere else now that they have experience. Although this is easier said than done, paying people well keeps them around longer.

The job is too rigid.

People perform better when they have flexibility and autonomy with their work. Whenever possible, allow people to have control over some aspects of their work (whether it is how, when, or what work is done).

Offer realistic job previews.

A way to ensure you’re hiring people who are a good fit for the job is to really make sure they understand what they’re getting into. This might require a day where they shadow someone in the same role they are applying for. Too often employees might start a job and realize they were not a perfect match once it is too late.

Make people feel safe.

Great employees have a strong safety “why” – and they feel strongly about wanting to come home to their loved ones. Support your employees’ safety by giving them everything they need to do the job safely both psychologically and physically. If you take care of your people, they are more likely to stick around and take care of your company.

Not only does maintaining a stable workforce without high turnover make great business sense, but it’s also the right thing to do. These steps above also create a sustain a healthier and happier workforce.

At Propulo Consulting, we care about the health and wellbeing of all workers. We partner with you to improve the world of work using the latest insights from research. Our team has the expertise to help your business build a safer and healthier culture.


Improve Your Safety Culture Today: Part 4 of Five-Part Blog Series


Convincing Someone to Work Safely