Man behind a desk wearing a white sweater stands up to shake the hand of a woman sitting on the other side of the desk.

This page contains affiliate links to products on Amazon and other affiliate partners. We may earn a small commission if you make a purchase through one of these links, at no additional cost to you.

High turnover rates are more than just a statistic—they reveal a dynamic force that is molding the contours of your daily operations and impacting the growth and success of your business. For one thing, they indicate a significant financial loss—yes, even on a small team.

Just consider the expense of training new hires. Let’s say you spend 20–40 hours training a new hire: that’s 20–40 hours you can’t spend on other revenue-generating activities. Assuming an average value of $200 per hour for your time, that’s $4,000–8,000 lost per employee. 

This may not be the end of the world, but with high turnover of employees, that’s a substantial cut to your revenue—and especially in critical stages of growth, cutting costs like this can make all the difference.

Ultimately what will save you, in more ways than one, is revealing and addressing the source of your high turnover rates.

Of course, reinventing one or multiple aspects of your business to address the root cause of high turnover rates is a complex and involved process that will take time. And while you can’t often rush this internal shift, you can take meaningful steps in reducing the negative impact of high turnover rates on your business:

By streamlining your employee onboarding process, you can save yourself substantial amounts of time on every new hire, while also—and here’s the real gold—improving your workplace to increase employee retention and more sustainably address your high turnover rates. 

One highly effective tool in streamlining your onboarding process, and in the process reducing high turnover rates, is the SOP, or standard operating procedures

A man wearing a blue and white plaid long sleeve shirt uses a pen in his hand to point at a laptop screen while a woman wearing a blue long sleeve blouse sits at the laptop with her hands on the keyboard.

How SOPs Streamline the Process of Onboarding to Save Time & Money

When I say SOPs, I am referring to the instructional tools used to break down business processes into clear, actionable steps, but I am not referring to thoughtless templates created with the sole intention of restrictive standardization. 

When SOPs are approached as a tool in sustainability and a resource for empowering your team individually and collectively, they aim to do much more than standardize, and ultimately can be a powerful tool in addressing high turnover rates. 

By delineating strategic goals, best practices, helpful resources, and process details all in one place, SOPs form a link between your business’s big picture and its day-to-day operations, so that every team member has the context and resources to be fully informed, engaged, and invested in their work and in your business.

When you get in the habit of writing SOPs to capture best practices and refine procedures over time, you not only ensure that your current team remains resourced and aligned toward your goals, but you inadvertently create a pool of onboarding resources that expedite and improve each new hire’s training experience. 

When these continuously and collectively updated SOPs double as training materials, new hires are guided along an informed pathway into the company, equipped with comprehensive instructions that reflect the company’s strategic direction and standards of quality. 

This streamlined onboarding not only saves time and resources in the short term but also strengthens a culture of engagement by integrating new hires into active, collaborative workflows, rather than leaving them with stagnant, out-of-touch training processes. And this is crucial to lowering high turnover rates.

Turning Two Jobs into One 

Instead of starting from square one for every new hire, SOPs allow you to provide new team members with current, comprehensive instructions for every process, without demanding one-on-one training time from you or your managers. 

You can define project goals, employee expectations, and step-by-step instructions once and reuse them for every new team member. 

Not only does this free up your time for revenue-generating activities, but it allows you the flexibility to move your team around as you bring on new team members too: by centralizing process information, SOPs ensure that any team member can access the knowledge needed to effectively complete new projects without extensive training time.   

Individualizing for Optimal Efficiency

In the realm of learning, one size rarely fits all. SOPs enable a self-directed approach to onboarding, allowing new hires to navigate procedures at their own pace and tailor their integration into your business. This not only allows for a more expedient onboarding process, but it encourages new hires to be more actively engaged in the learning process and sooner able to deliver high quality work for your business. 

As all-in-one resources that can easily be adapted and expanded to accommodate various types of learners, SOPs enable neurodiverse team members to grasp concepts swiftly and confidently. 

onboarding checklist

SOPs can be offered in written form or recorded via Loom video; they can provide checklists, step-by-step instructions, or visual maps; they can be read once or referenced frequently. Once you have the framework for writing SOPs, they can easily be adapted to cater to the learning preferences of the individual, so that you can accommodate and benefit from the strength of a neurodiverse team

A group of five sit at a long wooden table in discussion with laptops, notebooks and coffee.

How a Streamlined Onboarding Process Improves Retention Rates

A thorough, up-to-date, and accommodating onboarding process not only streamlines the integration of new hires, but it positions them for success from day one, improving their overall experience to support employee retention and minimize high turnover rates. 

Establishing Clear Responsibilities and Expectations 

An SOP-streamlined onboarding process helps new hires seamlessly acclimate to and fully embrace their roles by establishing clear responsibilities and expectations. SOPs provide structured and consistent yet intentionally evolving guidelines that not only outline the tasks at hand but articulate the overarching goals and strategic purposes of each process. 

When employees are adequately prepared and informed, their confidence and sense of purpose are strengthened, encouraging fuller engagement in their roles and a stronger investment in the organization—and ultimately reducing high turnover rates. 

Creating a Pathway for Engagement

By immersing newcomers into the company’s culture, values, and objectives, a strong onboarding process establishes a foundation for continued growth and engagement. 

When SOPs are used to collectively develop and share best practices, they help to facilitate a cycle of feedback and continuous improvements. By integrating new hires into this collective process during their onboarding, you can safely and effectively invite their feedback, demonstrating that their ideas and insights are valued and setting the tone for multidirectional constructive feedback.

When employees feel heard, respected, and empowered toward meaningful growth, the result is enhanced performance, higher job satisfaction, and better retention that will make a dent in your high turnover rates. 

Supporting Neurodiversity in the Workplace

By using SOPs to personalize training and accommodate various cognitive strengths, you can better support neurodiverse employees and promote their retention on your team. 

SOPs provide clarity and consistency in communication, enable multiple modes of information processing, and enable self-directed learning—all of which contribute to a more secure and supportive working environment for neurodiverse workers. 

This is especially important during the onboarding process: by demonstrating curiosity, adaptability, and respect right from the start, you can help ensure that neurodiverse employees feel valued, supported, and safe to invest in your business.

These employee retention strategies will not only lower your high turnover rates in general, but it will help cultivate workplace inclusivity to attract strong, neurodiverse talent and contribute a pathway to employment for neurodivergent individuals.