Do you know what your company’s turnover rate is? Should you? Does it really matter?
Over the years we have become slaves to the magical annual turnover figure. Many hours have been spent by HR conducting exit interviews and analysing exit data and trends and reporting it back to a largely uncaring business.
In recent years as turnover has crept up across most industries, HR have invented another way of measuring turnover to make it more palatable. We call it regretted attrition. Or put another way, how many have we lost that we really didn’t want to lose i.e. a rock star?
That’s a more valid measure perhaps but is it that relevant?
And how do we feel knowing that most people who leave our organisations are not regretted? Have they made such little impact?
The world of work has changed and continues to change. In New Zealand it is becoming the accepted norm that if you want a big salary increase or significant new challenge you have to move jobs.
The reality for all of us in HR is that our precious employees are more mobile, connected and actively sourced by others than ever before. They are also more discerning about who they work for, how they work, where they work etc.
The other reality is that most organisations over a certain size will have turnover somewhere between 15-25 per cent every year.
Even Google, whose recruitment methods, working conditions and benefits are supposedly second to none, have an incredibly high turnover rate and median staff tenure of around just 12 months.
So perhaps we should just accept that high turnover is something we can’t do much about?
I once used to work for an executive who told me that he didn’t mind people leaving, so long as they left for the right reasons.
And I think that’s probably the best measure. Focus on those who are in the organisation not on the way out. Challenge your managers to know their people, their aspirations and therefore their flight risks.
Make it as easy as possible for people to succeed in their role, make sure they are continually challenged and learning and provide the working conditions that make it enjoyable to come to work every day. And if they are good, reward them well and show them the next step they can take with you.
Now doesn’t that sound more sensible than talking to them when they’ve already opted to take their talents elsewhere?