OUT WITH THE OLD; IN WITH THE NEW—5 steps to minimize front office and administrative staff turnover

In my 30+ years of recruiting medical front office staff, executive and administrative assistants for Atlanta-based companies and law office staff, there’s never been a year when I haven’t seen an increase in turnover during the first quarter. I can’t say I know for certain what causes it, although I have my suspicions. What I can say is that I receive more resumes from potential recruits looking for new jobs during the months of January and February than I do any other time of year.

Competition for top talent is going to be fierce.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle reported in December 2016 that Atlanta ranks as the sixth best city for job seekers in 2017 according to findings from The NerdWallet study. With the cost of living remaining low and salaries up, people are already reviewing new options.

Take these simple five steps to keep your star talent happy and employed.

  1. Deploy an employee satisfaction survey. At the beginning of each year, it’s a good idea to prepare a “state of the union” address for employees to make sure everyone is focused on the right goals. But why not make it a two-way experience? Use an anonymous survey from a tool like Survey Monkey to ask employees what they value most, what they think needs to change, how they feel about their jobs, whether they’d refer a friend to your organization, etc.
  2. Take an honest assessment of your benefits package. I understand this is a topic few employers like to discuss. Benefits are expensive, and often times, employees lament that they’re not up to par. But I find that most recruits have little idea what benefits actually add to their overall compensation package. Your health insurance broker should be able to put together a statement that shows the financial breakdown of the benefits package for your employees. I highly recommend sharing that information with employees. Also, don’t forget to regularly promote the soft benefits your organization offers such as flex time, paid tuition assistance and corporate events for instance. Making a solid commitment to helping employees balance work and life will always be well received.
  3. Compare salaries against regional trends. It’s easy to get into the rut of offering a percentage merit increase each year to your employees. After all, employees expect it. But would you be surprised to know that a quick Google search of “average annual salary of executive assistants in Atlanta” returned 971,000 hits? Trust me when I say that your employees are verifying their salaries against trend, even if they never tell you. Make sure your salary and bonus packages line up with Atlanta averages.
  4. Conduct formal performance reviews. One of the most cited reasons for employee turnover is related to infrequent feedback about job performance. Employees like to know where they stand in your eyes because it minimizes self-doubt. Are they meeting the expectations of the role? In what areas could they improve? What are their strengths? Formal performance reviews don’t have to be a dreaded annual activity. Assuming you have prepared job descriptions for each role, you can leverage one of the many online tools for preparing performance assessments.
  5. Communicate potential advancement opportunities. Millenials, perhaps more than any other generation, are driven by the opportunity for advancement. They want the promotion. And, when they feel there is little room for one or aren’t even sure how to approach the topic, a natural impatience takes over and many move on to the next employer. How often have you done an exit interview only to discover the chief reason for an employee’s resignation was over lack of advancement opportunities? And yet, not once did that employee express an interest.

Never stop courting your front office and administrative staff.

As a recruiter, I’m often the first to know that an employee is about to leave the current employer. And, more often than not, that doesn’t need to be the case. Just as sales people nurture relationships with their clients, I encourage employers to nurture their relationships with employees.


Need help finding qualified candidates?

Let’s talk. You can reach me at 404.822.9392 or email me at rosemary@rgstaffing.net. For 30 years, I’ve been dedicated to helping companies, medical practices, law firms and creative agencies in Atlanta thrive by staffing them with the very best talent. I fill a variety of positions including executive assistants, receptionists, medical front office billing staff, as well as legal staff just to name a few. I look forward to helping you reach your goals.


Looking for a new opportunity?

Email your resume to rosemary@rgstaffing.net.