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Employee turnover can be deadly. Look inside. Is your workforce empowered and enthusiastic, or do they look like beaten dogs? Are people coming and going so quickly that you can’t remember all incumbents in a position for the last three years? Some turnover is inevitable, and indeed, beneficial. New ideas and expertise refresh operations and open new opportunities. Yet when turnover becomes excessive, everyone suffers.

The Impact:

Turnover is costly. A new employee can take weeks or months to get up to speed. Trainers’ productivity plummets as they invest time in the new hire. And when the new hire quits, the investment is lost.

Indirect costs can skyrocket. Human resources personnel slog through a sea of paperwork and record keeping requirements. Hiring managers devote hours evaluating candidates. Internal and external relationships are broken with each employee turnover.

Beyond this, every employee who leaves your organization knows your internal operations – the good, the bad and the ugly. Departing employees, especially dissatisfied ones, can take this knowledge to a competitor, or possibly to governmental agencies. You’re giving away a competitive advantage. And whistleblower claims, whether valid or not, can cost time, legal fees and disruption.

Stop the Employee Turnover Bleed:

Strong employment practices mitigate employee turnover and its related costs. Consider the following opportunities to build a powerful platform for staff retention.

Hire for Success:

  • Be honest in hiring. Know the requirements of the job thoroughly – the plusses and minuses. Be truthful to yourself and to candidates, and openly discuss the drawbacks as well as the advantages of the position. A social extrovert may be highly recommended, but a poor fit for a job which requires heads down, detailed number crunching 40 hours a week.
  • Hire and promote managers who know how to manage. Someone may dazzle their superiors, while being abusive to subordinates. You cannot afford an abusive manager.
  • Hire the right skills for the right position. Evaluate both hard and soft skills. On-the-job training is fine for entry-level positions; managers and directors need to have better credentials.

Know Where You Stand:

  • Know where your pay ranges stand in the broader marketplace. You may compare favorably within your industry, but many jobs are transferrable between sectors.
  • If your pay scale is lower than that in the broader market, consider what you can offer to offset the financial difference. Consider a more comprehensive benefits package, or flex time, or the opportunity to work from home. For high achievers, promotion opportunities or performance bonuses can be highly motivational.
  • Monitor turnover. Ask the right questions. You may need to adjust the hiring process, or modify orientation and training programs. Or you may need to counsel, coach, and if necessary terminate an ineffective manager.
  • Be open to feedback. Not all complaints and concerns are cause for action, but a pattern of issues raised can help pinpoint opportunities for improvement.

Structuring employment practices is an art as well as a science. Be aware, be proactive and develop the foundation for a strong staff and a competitive organization.