5 Ways to Turn Employee Turnover Into Opportunity

Identify great talent, onboard, develop, lose talent, repeat. It doesn't always have to be a negative cycle.

learn more about Andre Lavoie

By Andre Lavoie • Oct 7, 2014

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In business, there's nothing worse than hiring a stellar employee, taking the time to mentor them and foster their growth, and then watching them leave after a short time. There's a word for this: churn.

Churn is a measure of the number of individuals or items moving out of a collective group over a specific period of time. In other words, how often individuals move from one job to the next.

The influx of job-hopping young professionals today is giving many companies a headache. In fact, according to a 2013 Millennial Branding and Beyond.com study, 30 percent of companies lost 15 percent or more of their millennial employees in 2013. However, this doesn't have to be a negative occurrence.

Related: It's Inevitable That Good Employees Will Leave, So Plan for It

With a little tweaking, you can take employee turnover and use it for company growth. Your talent management strategy can't be effective in a vacuum. The key is to develop a process with visibility between departments to be successful with a high turnover rate.

Check out these five strategies for turning employee turnover into opportunity:

1. Learn what makes a top performer.

This is different for every company, and truthfully, every position. Find the qualities that make your best employees stand out and work to develop them across the company. Even when you lose employees, you'll have a stronger organization as a whole. Furthermore, once you find those qualities, you can look for them in future candidates.

2. Continuously improve hiring and onboarding processes.

If you find yourself consistently losing good employees, you might be hiring the wrong people. Qualifications aside, anyone who isn't a good cultural fit won't stay long. Would you really want them to?

Work to change your hiring and onboarding processes to only hire candidates who truly fit in with your culture. This could mean anything from recruiting in new and different places to instituting group interviews.

3. Evaluate appraisals and compensation.

If you want the best, you have to give the best. For the most part, you get what you pay for when it comes to talent. Evaluate your appraisals and compensation strategy on a yearly basis to make sure you're attracting the best talent in the industry.

Related: How to Stop Your Rock-Star Talent From Fleeing

4. Check out the competition.

Where are your employees going? What about the new organization tempted them to leave? The competitive landscape exists not only for your brand, but for your employees, as well.

Finding out what motivated your employees to go to a new organization may be humbling but is also an incredible opportunity for growth. Was it money? The office environment? Learning from your competition and making adjustments can slow your turnover rate and help you hold on to employees.

5. Value current employees.

Employees who feel undervalued or underappreciated are more likely to seek employment elsewhere. A 2013 American Psychological Association study tells us just over half (51 percent) of employees feel valued at work. The solution to this is simple: Keep employees so happy they don't want to leave.

Again, tailor this to your company. Don't break the bank, but do something that fits in with your culture. For example, at ClearCompany we have a monthly game night. Everything from poker to Cards Against Humanity is up for grabs, and it is a great way for everyone to unwind, socialize with other departments, and have some fun. Of course, a simple "Thank you. You're doing a great job," goes a long way.

The key to any successful business is recognizing challenges and learning from them. Employee turnover is one of these, and while frustrating, can be a great opportunity for growth. It's a process that takes time and research but is worthwhile in the end because, at the end of the day, a company is the sum of its employees and the work they produce. Make sure you're hiring the best and holding on to them.

What other ways do you recommend for turning turnover into opportunity? Tell us in the comments section below.

Related: The Hidden Costs of Employee Turnover

Andre Lavoie

Entrepreneur; CEO and Co-Founder, ClearCompany

Andre Lavoie is the CEO of ClearCompany, the talent-management solution that helps companies identify, hire and retain more A players. You can connect with him and the ClearCompany team on Facebook LinkedIn and Twitter.


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