Life of a Fire Wife

Turnover (Not The Apple Variety)

Every organization has “employee turnover.”  Some of it is good, and some is bad. But which is which?   Here are my thoughts:  (Disclaimer:  These are MY OPINIONS)

Turnover GOOD ( you must use your best cave-man impression when you say this.)

  • A bottom performer leaves on their own (avoiding the need to terminate them).
  • A bottom performer is terminated (showing that the performance management system worked.)

Turnover BAD (Don’t forget the cave man!)

  • A  top performer, critical team leader or manager or innovator leaves with little or no advance notice.
  • An individual with extensive contacts and experience moves on and takes those contacts with him/her.
  • A high-potential individual who leaves due to a lack of development opportunities.

And then there’s the “Uh oh.  Something is wrong and we better take a long look at this” category.

  • Turnover of a top performer or a key individual that goes to a direct competitor. OR one who leaves having no other leads at all.
  • When more “good” employees are resigning than “bad” employees you are terminating.
  •  When a significant number of your staff is on a leave of absence for “stress” at any given time.
  • When an employee’s physician writes a letter to human resources suggesting they hire an industrial psychologist to “assess the health of the organization”.  (That’s a BIG ONE, by the way!)

During this economic downturn it hasn’t escaped my observation that some employers seem to be using it to their advantage.  Jobs are scarce and good employees are plentiful, causing the employee to think that he/she is better off staying in a job they no longer believe in or put up with lousy company management simply because they have bills to pay and mouths to feed.  I have been in that position a few times myself, and realize how hard it is to just take that leap of faith.

A former colleague of mine made the following observation in her blog recently:  “In the past, the length of time that we expected to be in a job or a specific career was likely to match the timespan of the other commitments we wanted to make: we could plan to spend 30 years in a job, and also plan to spend 20 to 30 years paying for a house; 20 to 30 years raising kids; and 40 or more years in a marriage.”  This really isn’t the case anymore.  Why do you think that is?

I’ll tell you what I think (you knew I would, right?).  Employers are no longer loyal to their own employees.  They lack consistency, empathy and in some cases “common sense.”

Common sense?  You know… trusting their employees to do their jobs.  Sure, you have to weed out those who genuinely are bad employees, but that’s what a good supervisor does anyway.  Employees don’t perform when “Big Brother” or “Big Sister” are constantly looking over their shoulders, or walking through the office to note who is in their office and who isn’t.

Food for thought.  HAHA  Turnover.  Get it?


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