Employee turnover is always looked upon as negative.  It’s costly, it’s time consuming, it can hurt morale, and it just doesn’t seem good for business all around.  For those companies that hire that great employee and take the time to train, mentor and buildup in hopes of creating a lasting relationship, it can also be a crushing blow, leaving the company wondering perhaps what they are doing wrong that this employee didn’t want to continuing working for them.

When it comes to employee turnover, the Millennial Generation is leading the charge and creating a vastly different workforce, which creates new issues in employee engagement and creating an attractive work environment.  With prior generations, there seemed to be sense of loyalty to a company, and people would stay for sometimes 40 years or more with the same company.  According to a Millennial Branding and Beyond.com survey, millennials are leaving jobs due to better offers, different career goals and lack of opportunities…all things that are fixable.

When you look at the issue on a deeper level, employee turnover doesn’t have to be a negative thing.  As noted above, companies might be left to wonder why an employee left.  They checked out great on their background check, they have a long employment history, their education and experience match up well with the job, and yet, they left to go to a competitor.  So instead of wondering why employee turnover is continuing, take the opportunity to examine internal processes and external factors that might help the next time a hire is made.

When an employee or employees leave, it’s an opportunity to see what it is that the best performers do in your company that makes them a top performer.  Maybe the hire that you thought would be the winner just didn’t fit that model that would make them a top performer after all.

One of the big buzzwords right now is “culture.”  Every company has a unique culture.  Not everyone can be Google or Yahoo, so it’s important to define and embrace the culture.  If employee turnover is a problem, it could be linked to the lack of a cultural fit.  Sometimes an interview, background check or reference check won’t give you a full understanding of whether or not the person hired will be a fit with the culture.  This really isn’t know sometimes until they are engaged with the company.  When employees leave as a result of this, it’s important to review hiring and onboarding procedures to make sure the new hire fits the culture and has an understanding of what the culture is all about.

Obviously one reason employee turnover happens is compensation.  Attracting the best talent means paying top dollar, or providing an incentive package that is an attractive option over the competition.

One of the biggest issues is that employees don’t feel valued.  Employee turnover happens when employees feel undervalued or underappreciated.  So if employees are leaving, one other area to examine is how companies make their employees feel appreciated.  Create something that works within the culture of the company.  Let employees know they are a valued part of the team and they will want to stay because they feel like a solid, appreciated contributor.

Employee turnover is a huge challenge, and can be quite costly.  If this is an issue for a company, an evaluation of these and other aspects of the work environment is important to decrease turnover and make the company THE place to work.

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