Better Engage Employees to Reduce Turnover

Chris Shumaker, TEAM Software by WorkWave, CALSAGA Network Partner

Sourcing, recruiting and training new staffers is costly, which makes employee retention and turnover top-of-mind challenges in today’s tough job market. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 8.8 million job openings in July 2023. The unemployment rate was at 3.8 percent, while approximately 3.5 million workers left their jobs that same month.

The job market has been relatively consistent over the past few years. In early 2022, economists stated that the U.S. is at full employment. Currently, there are approximately one or fewer unemployed persons per job opening. However, reducing employee turnover could combat the challenge of hiring quality employees.

For security professionals, employee turnover is generally the highest business expense when compared to other labor costs. Security industry profit margins are reportedly thin, which makes reducing employee turnover even more of a relevant factor during this rough hiring period.

Research shows that companies with engaged employees tend to deliver higher service quality on contracts, leading to higher customer retention. In turn, by lowering employee churn, it’s possible to reduce labor costs related to employee turnover – estimated in some cases at 1.5 – 2 times the employee’s salary.

Earned wage access

Keeping workers engaged can take on different forms. For example, studies have shown that introducing earned pay models resulted in reductions in turnover as high as 90%, decreased hiring costs related to turnover, increased interest from job applicants and fewer employees experiencing financial stress.

Giving a workforce early access to money they have already earned is called earned wage access. This feature enables employees to take a portion of their pay as they need it, versus waiting for their regular pay cycle, and all of this happens without impacting the company payroll.

Employers who have implemented earned wage access have helped their workforce avoid hefty interest from payday lenders, late charges on bills and bank overdraft fees which have been reported as $35 billion annually in the United States. Engaging a workforce through earned pay encourages workers to stay longer, which can reduce hiring time, cut training costs and keep contracts covered.

Self-scheduling and self-service portals

Implementing time and labor management solutions can also help reduce employee turnover through increased engagement. These tools introduce a self-scheduling element, offering several benefits such as reduced overtime and improved employee engagement and retention. Additionally, supervisors can focus more of their time and attention on more important duties.

Self-scheduling enables staffers to offer their shifts to one another, and employees can make these scheduling changes without requiring support from a manager. Additionally, other staffers get to take advantage of the open shifts. All of this supports the company by keeping shifts filled and closing gaps without back-and-forth messaging from supervisors.

Another way that business owners have been keeping their workers engaged is through employee self-service portals, which allow access to paystubs, time off requests, schedules and W2s. By removing the legwork to request that type of information from supervisors, self-service software offers transparency and encourages engagement.

Become an employer of choice

Employee engagement also means speaking with workers directly through meaningful conversations and following up on issues raised during those meetings, which helps managers better understand the challenges and motivations their workers face while showing them that their concerns are valued.

Regular conversations with workers can also provide insights into what they need to do their jobs better and why they value their work. Another transparent way to do that is to give them access to data collected via quality assurance tools, such as checkpoints, audits or inspections. Employees could benefit from being able to better understand their on-site performance.

Without regular conversations and actionable feedback, it can be harder to improve or streamline the work they are doing to earn even better results. Also, an employee benefits program related to performance can engage employees and reduce turnover.

The future of employee retention

Some professionals hold onto the misnomer that it’s easier to find new workers to do the same job, instead of retaining quality employees. Hiring requires advertising, interviewing, background checks, onboarding, training and employee support. Altogether, hiring one employee can cost between $4,000 to $20,000, not including salary and benefits, according to 

To continue learning more about reducing employee turnover by engaging employees through software tools, such as earned wage access, employee portals and self-scheduling resources, visit

Chris has been supporting customers for the bulk of his entire career. He joined TEAM Software by WorkWave in January 2023, and since then he has built connections with customers by understanding their needs, educating them on the software and promoting value through customer experience.