Stay ahead of the turnover tide


Most employers are well aware of their turnover rate. They try to lower it by offering more sick days, paid vacations, flexible hours and a variety of other benefits. To really stay ahead of the turnover tide, however, an employer has to be well aware of the intangibles associated with specific turnovers, and create solutions tailored to those insights. 

This deeper understanding will help you direct your efforts because, although the national overall turnover rate remains steady, the number of “quits” is increasing across industries. One in three nurses leave within the first three years (that’s a 33.3 percent turnover rate in just one portion of the healthcare industry).

With over two million Americans voluntarily leaving their current jobs each month, it’s important to identify strategies to prevent your company from bearing the high cost of turnovers. On average, it costs 150 percent of an employee’s salary to replace them. Additionally, a 2012 Allied Workforce Mobility Survey (PDF) showed that almost 30 percent of companies reported that it takes a year or longer for a new employee to reach full productivity. These are just the obvious monetary costs – what about the intangible costs of the employee that wants to quit?

  • When an employee leaves, his or her peers are losing a co-worker that they leaned on for support, bounced ideas off of and considered an important part of their every-day experience.
  • The small tasks they used to take care of are no longer being taken care of.
  • The culture of your company is affected because the contribution of the employee that quit is now missing until it is replaced by the different energy of your new recruit.
  • You have to spend a great deal of your energy (and money) on recruiting, screening and interviews.
  • It takes away from your ability to focus on moving the company forward because you’re playing catch up.


So, what can you do to stay ahead of the turnover curve? Trust that you can at least decrease if not prevent the number of potential “quits” by being proactive while they are a part of your team and even before you officially hire them. When offering the position, ensure that the benefits you are providing to your employee are aligned with his/her real needs. If the prospect is a Millennial, understand those needs by taking a glance at the Millennial Benefits Study. Are they willing to participate in a 401k or would they be happier if you helped contribute to their student loans?

  • Once they have been on-boarded, conduct “stay interviews” to frequently ask for their feedback and help them believe that they are a valuable part of your team.
    • If it comes to negotiation during a hiring or “stop-from-leaving” conversation, recognize that in order for a counter-offer to be truly effective, it must be strategically negotiated to ensure that it is really responding to the person’s employment needs. These conversations cannot be cookie-cutter and your employee will feel heard and understood if you can offer benefits that are relevant to them.


You’re familiar with the bread and butter of HR but today, it is recognizing the attitude changes within the workforce and capitalizing on them by being proactive that will prevent your company from being hit by turnover waves.

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