If the constant battle to reduce employee turnover makes your head hurt, you’re not alone. Business leaders are looking to HR to deliver big results, but sweeping statements from the boardroom, like “REDUCE TURNOVER OR ELSE,” leave your team with an enormous task ahead of them.
The first thing to understand is that not all turnover is bad. By focusing on one facet of turnover, rather than all turnover, you can have a much greater impact on your organization’s turnover rate—and more importantly—on the quality of your workforce.
3 Types of Turnover
- Desirable: When you lose a bottom performer, or even a toxic employee.
- Okay: When you lose an employee in an easy-to-fill job, a short-term contract job, or a job with a short learning curve.
- Regrettable: When you lose a top performer or a high-potential employee, especially to a competitor.
How to Stop Regrettable Turnover
Most regrettable turnover can be traced back to poor job fit and poor culture fit. Fortunately, job fit and culture fit are HR’s wheel house, and there are several things you can do to improve the way you match people to jobs.
- Define what it means to be successful in your company. What do top performers have in common? Which aspects of your culture are essential for success? Look for these qualities in new hires to ensure a strong fit.
- Encourage strong employee/manager relationships. A top reason people leave a job is because of poor managerial relationships. When you have the right managers in place, and use analytics to improve team dynamics, you’ll see less turnover across your workforce.
- Ease the transition from one job to the next. Job transitions are danger zones. Make sure your employees are equipped with the skills and competencies they need before moving into their new role.
- Foster employee growth and development. Top performers are most at risk of turning over when there’s a lack of development opportunities. And this is a widespread problem—according to an engagement survey, only 25% of workers feel they have ample opportunities for career growth.
- Be transparent about employee development. Oftentimes, companies keep their list of high-potential employees confidential. But if you never tell a high potential they’ve been identified, how will they know what to focus on? Communicating your development plans shows that you’re invested in employee growth, and that you have long-term plans for keeping people challenged and engaged.
So while there are several types of turnover, regrettable turnover is the one you should be focused on. This is where you’ll have the most impact. To learn more about measuring turnover and building an strategy to reduce turnover, watch our webinar: Why Turnover is the Most Misunderstood Metric in HR.