Employee turnover

Do you feel your business has a high turnover rate? Do you know what turnover is costing you each year? Most companies will answer yes to the first question and no to the second question. Why is that? To me, turnover would be one of the more frustrating things to have to deal with. If you don't know how much it is costing your business or why people are leaving, then you can never fix the problem. There are a few things you can do to get a handle on employee turnover and develop a strategy for tackling it:

Understand why people are leaving–perform exit interviews with departing staff and interview current staff to determine the main reasons for turnover. It could be pay (although not likely) or poor management or poor employee engagement. Whatever it is, knowing some facts will help put you on the right path for resolution.
Understand the cost–it is important to understand how much you are spending on turnover. A simple way to think of it is to combine your costs for hiring and training new employees, as well as the opportunity cost and lost productivity of having other employees fill in temporarily once someone leaves. The numbers will help raise the profile of the issue.

Being armed with reasons for leaving as well as the actual cost of turnover is much more powerful than just a percentage. It is fine to say "we have had an average of 12% turnover in the last three years" but it is much more powerful to say "we have had an average of 12% turnover in the three years and the main reason for that turnover was lack of employee engagement and that turnover has cost us over $3m per year." Which is the more actionable statement?

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