Employee turnover has never been a bigger issue than it is today. With the advent of the Great Resignation, it is essential for organizations to minimize ‘quits’ as much as possible. And a crucial element of any employee retention plan is a high-quality, effective L&D program.
What Is Employee Turnover?
Employee turnover is the rate at which workers separate from a company over a certain time period. A company’s turnover rate includes both voluntary and involuntary separations. In the language of employment officials, voluntary separations are called ‘quits’.
Involuntary separations result from firing and layoffs. No organization wants to let go of workers (except seasonal ones), because this reflects a problem with the business and/or the hiring process.
But voluntary separations are more of an issue because many quits are, in theory, preventable. The rate at which people willingly leave their jobs varies over time. Since December 2000, the lowest quit rate has been 1.2% (August 2009), while the highest has been 3.0% (November 2021).
Why Is Employee Turnover Important?
Voluntary separation is often sudden, as some countries (such as the US) do not require prior notice. This increases financial and operational disruption in the following ways:
When a large number of employees quit, there evolves a sense of “a sinking ship”. Employees who remain begin to wonder if they should follow suit (and even spend time looking for a new job while at the workplace). They search for the reasons behind the turnover, which can turn into a “blame game” and reduce trust in management. When an important staff member is missing, it can be stressful for the other workers to cover their activities, regardless of overtime rates. Finally, high turnover can damage a company’s reputation and ability to hire new employees.
Replacing a worker is expensive. Costs include recruitment, administrative efforts, background checks, and resources required by the interview process. In addition, companies must factor in the loss of productivity while the replacement is being trained and acclimatized. In all, it is estimated to cost between USD 25,000 and USD 100,000 to replace one employee.
When an employee leaves suddenly, a business is often not prepared to cover their output. Instead, workers in the same role must be paid overtime rates until a replacement is hired, trained, and gets up to speed.
Preventing Employee Turnover
In view of the damage that employee turnover can cause, it is important to examine its causes and if they can be mitigated.
The top reason for employee turnover is often a lack of career development opportunities. (This partly ties in with a recent GrowthSpace survey which found that the highest priority for employees at work is help with career progression.)
“Lack of career development” can include many factors, such as no space for advancement and a poor fit between the employee and the organization. However, major aspects of this issue can also be attributed to:
Filling advanced positions by hiring and not promotion
At present, companies hire approximately 80% of employees from outside the organization. This means a lack of upward mobility for existing workers and the sense that promotion is only possible by going somewhere else. In fact, promotions are less common than they once were, with workers staying in the same position for 50% longer compared with 2008.
A deficiency of L&D programs
In many organizations, the training opportunities go to senior people because of political factors and the ease with which their success can be tracked. In 2020, 65% of companies tended to provide skills training to team leaders and managers, while high potential employees were given significantly fewer opportunities to increase their soft skills. Organizational preferences like these result in lower-level employees not receiving the skill training that they need in order to advance.
GrowthSpace Works Against Employee Turnover
Opportunities for advancement, as discussed, often rely on development. But simply enabling L&D programs is often insufficient. Lack of effective learning results in wasted resources and employees who do not have the skills to rise up.
GrowthSpace solves this issue by allowing companies of all sizes to implement L&D programs that succeed. With a technology that provides exact matching of skill requirements to top experts, GrowthSpace L&D solution empowers organizations to follow through on their mission of reducing turnover through training.