It’s no secret that staff turnover is costly. When employees leave, productivity and morale suffer, and employers must spend time and resources to find and train employees to replace them. Depending on the job, it can cost at least $1,500 to replace a minimum wage hourly employee, and with rising labor costs, that number is trending higher.

The ongoing labor shortage makes retaining employees more critical than ever. It’s harder to fill roles, so many employers are increasingly interested in how they can inspire loyalty in their current teams.

So what makes people stick around? High wages? Fun job perks? Great benefits? These things certainly help. But another factor is emerging as increasingly important for employee retention: communication.

Workplace culture is a huge draw for employees, and communication is the foundation of a healthy culture. While light industrial and manufacturing work may not feel like a job that requires a lot of communication, it’s important to remember that all employees are first — and foremost — people with problems, personal lives and professional goals. The more a company’s culture recognizes employees’ human needs, the easier it will be to encourage current employees to stay with the organization. As humans, communication is the greatest tool we possess to connect with others and build a shared goal. So how can you build a company culture based on open communication to decrease turnover in your organization?

Consider these tips for strengthening communication, improving company culture, and retaining talented employees:

Employees Who Feel Seen and Heard By Their Supervisors Stick Around

Employees who don’t feel like what they do makes a difference aren’t going to feel connected to their work — or their workplace. And disconnected employees often look for other opportunities. Employee engagement is vital to retention, and one of the best ways to engage workers is to reach out to them on a personal level.

As the primary source of communication, supervisors have an enormous impact on workers. By empowering them to be leaders — not just job experts — you enable them to get to know their teams and learn what’s important to them. When supervisors communicate respectfully with team members and are good listeners, employees are more likely to remain loyal to the organization.

Consider creating more opportunities for workplace communication, such as:

  • One-on-one conversations. Getting to know the people who work for you can help you understand what motivates them to do their best work — and stay on the job. Use this opportunity to practice your listening skills, not just frame your response. Your employees want to be heard.
    • Peer discussions. Creating connections between employees can help strengthen ties to the team. Provide opportunities for your employees to share their skills, learn from each other, and create personal connections through mentorship or informal discussions.

Transparent Employers Retain Better

A key component of workplace culture is honest and transparent communication. In a study by Paychex Worx, employees working for transparent employers were 30% more likely to stay with their current job. Sharing information can build trust, strengthen ties within a team, help with goal setting, and make leaders more approachable.

  • What kind of information do employees want to know? Whenever possible, help workers feel like they are “in the know” by sharing information on the following topics:
    Company decisions
  • Changes that affect their jobs
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Promotion opportunities
  • Job expectations

Workers today care about having a purpose. They want to know how their work fits into the organization’s larger mission and feel like their work has meaning. By keeping the lines of communication open and sharing information about what is going on throughout the company, you will help your employees understand their importance within the organization, making them feel valued.

Employee feedback = better culture

Want to know if your employees are happy at work? Why not ask them? You don’t have to put workers on the spot in a one-on-one conversation, although you certainly can. Many employers conduct “stay interviews” to identify reasons top employees remain on the job. A stay interview can help employers learn what their employees love about their jobs while identifying opportunities to improve engagement and culture.

Another way to get great feedback from workers is through anonymous surveys. Ask employees what they enjoy about their jobs — and what they dislike. After all, there’s no point in creating solutions for problems that don’t exist. By using survey feedback to better meet employees’ needs, you’re showing workers that you value their opinions and want them to be happy with the organization.

Prioritize transparent communication, connecting with employees, and incorporating feedback to improve retention in your organization. Does this sound like a tall order? Partnering with a staffing agency can help you identify strategies to attract high-performing workers and inspire them to remain on the job.


The Important Link Between Training and Retention Amanda Usen is a copywriter for Haley Marketing Group. As a multi-published author and voracious reader, she’s spent most of her life immersed in words. She enjoys using her creative writing experience to craft impactful messaging and tell HMG’s clients’ stories.