Managing Voluntary Turnover

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the current voluntary turnover rate for private industry is 1.4 percent compared to 2.5 percent 10 years ago. Given the economic downturn, voluntary turnover has been of little concern to employers. The philosophy of “Where are they going to go?” has been the dominant (and unfortunate) retention strategy of many employers. However, the tide may be about to turn. And, the waves could have a devastating impact on employers. 

According to recent research by BlessingWhite, and as predicted by multiple research studies over the past few years, a disproportionate number of employees who have become disenchanted with their employers have started looking for outside employment opportunities. This is concerning because the exit of any one employee can cost an employer anywhere from 30 to 400 percent of the employee’s annual salary.

Is it too late to do anything or has the damage already been done? Employers and organizational leaders who desire to keep their talent would be well advised to reexamine their leadership and management practices by:

·         Identifying strategies for acknowledging the contributions of employees at every level. It’s easy to recognize the top sales person, but how well does your organization recognize the work of those who play supporting roles?
·         Engaging managers in their development of their interpersonal and relationship skills. There is a difference between managing and leading. Do your managers know the difference?
·         Reexamining your corporate culture. Is it one that facilitates trust and open communication or gossip and fear?
It’s not too late to reengage your employees and recommit to a workplace where people want to stay.