Recruiting, Talent

The High Cost of High Turnover

Make no mistake: High employee turnover impacts the day-to-day operation of your business. It also sends a message to prospective job candidates, and the message isn’t “work here.”

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President Trump, known for the phrase “you’re fired” in the reality television show The Apprentice, has fired quite a few people since assuming office. Other staffers have resigned.
It seems like there have been a lot of changes, but how much turnover has there been, really? A full 43 percent of top-level positions in the White House have seen turnover during the first 13 ½ months of the Trump presidency, according to NPR. And since that analysis, other people have been fired or resigned.
A new administration, much like a startup company, has to find its footing. Yet, ongoing high turnover becomes problematic for any organization, for a number of reasons.

Operational Issues

For one thing, few employees hit the ground running. Even seasoned professionals require time to acclimate to the job and the organizational culture. Ongoing churn creates an environment where people are always new. This doesn’t allow for employees to become familiar with their jobs, or for workplace relationships to develop and synchronicity to occur.
Then there is the impact an inordinate number of firings and resignations have on employees who remain. When so many coworkers are exiting an organization, the inclination is to wonder who will be next. Upheaval and uncertainty have the potential to impact employee morale, job satisfaction, engagement, employee health and well-being, and overall job performance.

Employee Retention

Moreover, high turnover compels others to rethink their employment situation. Why wait for the axe to fall? Why not find a new job?
It’s no coincidence that widespread firings and resignations fuel additional resignations.

Candidate Attraction

Finally, there is the issue of candidate attraction. High turnover reflects poorly on an organization’s employer brand. People who have exited the organization aren’t likely to serve as brand ambassadors, at least not in the way you want.
Granted, the more high profile an organization is, the more likely word will get out about widespread firings and resignations. However, even if you are a small company, former employees will likely share their stories – on social media and review sites, and when face to face.

Assess and Address

Why do some organizations have such high turnover? Any number of reasons may come into play, including approaches to leadership, differences in management style, unclear objectives, and shifting priorities. In addition, some people may not be qualified for the positions for which they were hired.
If your employee turnover is unusually high, you may want to take a close look at these and other aspects of your organization—before you attempt to fill open positions.

Paula Paula Santonocito, Contributing Editor for Recruiting Daily Advisor, is a business journalist specializing in employment issues. She is the author of more than 1,000 articles on a wide range of human resource and career topics, with an emphasis on recruiting and hiring. Her articles have been featured in many global and domestic publications and information outlets, referenced in academic and legal publications as well as books, and translated into several languages.