Keep Your Team in Top Shape! 7 Tips to Reduce Employee Turnover and Absenteeism

It’s impossible to grow a business if your turnover or absenteeism rates are sky-high. Focus on the seven areas to keep them low.

January 18, 2023
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Turnover – employees leaving their jobs – and absenteeism – employees not turning up for work when they should – can have a huge impact on your business’s bottom line if they’re left unchecked.

Let’s start with the price you’ll pay for a high turnover

The direct cost of replacing an outgoing employee comes in at around 20% of their salary. But that’s only a fraction of the total cost when you consider:

  • The drop in productivity you can expect from an employee working out their notice period.
  • All the knowledge and experience the outgoing employee takes with them (and potentially to a competitor).
  • The lost productivity during a gap between an employee leaving and their replacement starting (and the affect the strain of picking up that slack puts on the rest of the team).
  • The time it takes to get your new hire up to speed (and the costs associated with training them).
  • The hit to your team’s morale (if the outgoing employee was a valued member of the team).
  • The impact a high turnover has on your company culture.

Then there’s turnover’s close cousin: absenteeism.

That costs US businesses roughly $3,600 per year for each hourly worker and $2,660 each year for salaried employees. The total annual costs related to productivity lost through absenteeism each year in the US? $84 billion.

Read on to discover the seven areas you should focus your attention on if you want to keep turnover and absenteeism as low as possible in your business. 

How to reduce turnover and absenteeism in your business

Reduce employee turnover and absenteeism by making sure you hit these seven marks:

Give your people engaging work to do

If one of your teammates’ work doesn’t engage them then they’re probably not going to stay a teammate for long. And when every workday is a total slog, phoning in sick becomes a lot more tempting.

The employees who stick around and only take days off when they actually need to are the ones who get to spend their time doing work they’re good at, enjoy, and makes use of their unique talents. So, make sure to regularly check on whether your people are enjoying their work through engagement surveys and asking the right questions in one-to-ones

One thing to keep in mind here is that even if someone finds the work they do a bit boring sometimes, it can still be engaging if they’re invested in your organization’s values and purpose. Which is why creating a compelling company vision is so important.

Book a demo of Assembly to get access to all the tools you need to boost employee engagement in one place.

Make your employees’ health and wellbeing your priority

As an employer, you’ve got a responsibility to look out for your people’s wellbeing. 

And even putting that to one side, an effective employee wellbeing strategy will do wonders for your turnover and absenteeism rates.

Don’t believe us? When respondents to the UK’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development 2022 Health and Wellbeing at Work survey were asked what their organization's employee health and wellbeing activity has achieved:

  • 25% said it’s lead to lower sickness absence,
  • 26% said it’s reduced work-related stress,
  • 24% said it’s improved staff retention,
  • 27% said it’s improved productivity.

Organizations that invest in employee wellbeing reap the benefits of a happy and healthy workforce. That means a more productive, effective, and profitable team who take less days off, stick around for longer, and engage with their work.

Just beware that looking after your employees isn’t a case of giving them free fruit, a ping pong table in the breakout room, and beers on a Friday. While these are all thoughtful touches your teammates are sure to appreciate, they’re not going to make much of a difference to your retention or absenteeism rates unless you’ve already created a company culture that makes your team members feel comfortable opening up about their struggles in one-to-ones with their manager. Be sure to make that your focus before moving onto the ‘nice to haves’.

Give your people opportunities to grow

Your employees are going to start thinking about jumping ship – and might even start taking a few more sick days than really needed – if they feel like there’s nowhere for them to grow in your organization. In fact, a massive 41% of workers say they’ve quit a previous job due to the lack of progression opportunities.

Provide your teammates with ample learning and development opportunities that support their career goals, on the other hand, and they’re likely to stick around for the long haul.

The most effective tool at your disposal when it comes to making sure you’re supporting your staff with their career goals are one-to-ones, where you should be regularly asking your reports what direction they want to head in. 

Try Assembly to see how easy it can make taking the pulse of how your employees feel about their career opportunities at your company.

Train your managers

82% of people have thought about quitting a job because of a bad manager.

And it’s no surprise why that number is so high when you think about how most organizations pick their people managers.

You’d never hire someone with no experience in sales, hand them a phone, and ask them to get dialing. And yet, according to one study:

  • 26% of managers have never received any management training
  • 39% only received management training when they first became a manager
  • Just 35% of managers receive regular management training

Fail to give your managers the training and support they need to navigate the complexities of keeping their reports happy and productive and your turnover and absenteeism rates will suffer. On the other hand, the companies that invest in this area see a huge return on their investment.

Watch out for burn out

If you regularly put your employees under the strain of unreasonable demands then they’re a lot more likely to call in sick – and almost certainly planning their exit route.

But the unfortunate truth is that burnout is the default for so many employees. In fact, 77% of workers say they’ve experienced employee burnout at their current job – with more than half saying they’ve felt burned out more than once.

Given those numbers, chances are that you’ve got at least a few overworked teammates. Make sure you check in with your people about whether they can cope with their workload in every one-to-one to prevent burnout and keep your staff around.

Book a demo of Assembly to see how easy it can be to burnout across your company.

Offer flexible working options

Last but not least, today’s employees expect remote – or at least hybrid – working options.

In fact:

  • 71% of employees open to looking for a job aren’t happy with how flexible their current organization is willing to be
  • 56% of remote workers would look for a new job if their company asked them to the return to the office
  • 75% of workers would make flexibility the deciding factor between two jobs with identical pay

If you fail to embrace telework then don’t be surprised if they start leaving for more flexible jobs and taking more sick days. On the other hand, if you let your staff work when they want and where they want then you can quickly become one of the most attractive places to work in your industry.

The final word

It’s impossible to grow a successful business if you’re constantly losing your best employees and your staff regularly don’t turn up for work. Focus on the seven areas we’ve highlighted here to make sure your employees want to stick around for the long haul and actually enjoy coming in to work each day. 

And when you do lose an employee, be sure to ask them why during their exit interview so you can get an idea of which of these aspects of your company culture you need to focus on most.

Browse our Free Employee Recognition Guide

Get the foundational knowledge on creating an employee recognition program that boosts employee engagement and helps them feel valued.

Explore Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Assembly SOC 2 compliant?

Yes, at Assembly, security is a top priority. Each quarter, we have ongoing security work that is everyone’s responsibility. While we maintain a strong security posture, it was important for us to prove to our customers that we do everything we claim to do. This led us to pursue a SOC 2 Type II report that would provide evidence of our compliance with industry gold-standard security practice.

What's the ROI for employee recognition?

There is study after study showing that employee recognition leads to increased engagement. This in return creates an environment where employees are happier and more motivated which increase productivity and reduces voluntary turnover significantly. In order to filled critical roles, companies tend to spend nearly twice the value of an annual salary. Assembly is an investment in your employees that supports your bottom line.

Does Assembly offer longer-term contracts?

Yes, we will offer contracts for companies with longer-term agreements to help larger customers have more certainty around future costs.

The minimum agreement term is a 12-month subscription.

Does Assembly offer onboarding support?

We do and for FREE! Any new customer needing further support to get started with Assembly to ensure you're set up for success can request custom onboarding support. Improving your employee experience is about much more than just using our amazing software; it’s about transforming your business to create a workplace that people love. That’s much easier to do with the personal support and advice from our passionate people experts.

Is there a free version of Assembly?

Yes. We offer a completely free plan for up to 50 team members. This plan is intended for teams or organizations that are looking to get started with an employee engagement tool. Keep in mind, this plan is limited in features.

All customers can open an Assembly account for free and get started without a credit card. Then you can change plans as necessary.

How much do rewards cost?

At the time of redemption (when your employees exchange their points for a paid reward) you'll pay face value. If a reward is a $10 Amazon gift card, your cost will be $10. All paid rewards are billed for on a monthly basis.

The good news is that you don't have to pay for rewards upfront because we only charge you when points are redeemed, not when they're earned.

Does Assembly offer discounts?

We offer discounts or educational or charitable organizations. In order to secure a discount, you'll first need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

For all other organizations, we are willing to consider longer-term agreements in exchange for discounts. To set up annual plans or longer, you will need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

How do I cancel my plan if needed?

If you're on a month to month plan, you can go here and cancel anytime. If you're having concerns or need help setting up your account for success, you can always book a demo with a customer support specialist.

If you're on a longer-term custom plan, you'll need to reach out to your customer support specialist to cancel your account or email us at

What customizations are available?

Great question! You can customize your core values to match your organization's to boost and track alignment. You can change your currency from the 🏆 emoji (our default) to any emoji of your choice. You can swap our logo for your own. You can also set up company culture rewards such as, "Lunch with the CEO," "Buy a book on us," and so much more!

Who can give or receive recognition?

While we recommend a peer to peer set up where anyone in your organization can give or receive recognition, you can set up Assembly however you want. If you need to limit the people who can give or receive recognition, that's perfectly fine and can be done from your Admin, here.

What integrations are available?

Assembly connects to the tools your employees use every day to offer an easy, seamless experience with minimal change management.  

Assembly has integrations with HCM/HRIS systems like ADP, Google, Office 365, and Slack. We also integrate with communication tools like Slack and Teams so you and your employees can access Assembly wherever they work now.

What's your average adoption rate?

That depends on the company's permissions set up. That said, over 90% of the employees on Assembly's platform are recognized on a monthly basis. That means nearly every employee across all of our customers are receiving regular recognition from their peers, managers, or leadership. We're extremely proud of this.

Must rewards be set up to use Assembly?

They are not required. You can use Assembly without having rewards set up. However, we don't recommend it if you intend to have a high adoption and usage rate. You can always keep the costs down by offering internal culture rewards that are fulfilled by you internally.

Are points required to use Assembly?

No, you can remove allowances from anyone or everyone. It's up to you but we do recommend using points whether they're worth a real dollar value or not. Companies that use points have a much higher engagement rate even if those points don't exchange for real dollars.

Could find the answer you are looking for?

Please schedule time with an expert and we will help you to get all your questions answered