The Difference Between Good and Bad Turnover

Published on
Feb 27, 2023
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Every growing business knows that losing team members is inevitable. But instead of viewing it as a negative, companies should embrace healthy turnover as an opportunity to build a stronger team.

In this post, we’ll discuss what healthy turnover is and why it’s important, as well as share some strategies for embracing it.

What is Healthy Turnover?

Employee turnover is often viewed as a negative thing, but not all turnover is bad.

In fact, healthy turnover can be a sign of growth and progress within a company. Healthy turnover is when employees leave your company to pursue better career opportunities or to explore new challenges.

This type of turnover is healthy for several reasons: it allows your team members to grow and develop professionally, it can bring fresh perspectives and new ideas to your company, and it can create room for new hires who can bring diverse skill sets and experiences to the table.

Not to mention that it can have positive brand effects for your business.

As Bryan Adams writes in his Harvard Business Review article "Companies Need to Normalize Healthy Turnover"...

...some of your performers will want to invest more than two, three, or four years at your workplace. However, they won’t stick around if you can’t offer them mobility. To build a foundation for greatness, you must validate that you’re serious about recognizing solidly impressive work. This means promoting from within whenever possible or, in some cases, rehiring former employees who have upped their skills, credentials, and networks — or who maybe even regret their decision to leave. The more predictably dynamic the talent flow through your company is, the more new hires will realize that your employer brand as a springboard for long-term career success and support is earned.

Why is Healthy Turnover Important?

Healthy turnover is important because it helps you build a stronger team. When team members leave, it creates opportunities for other employees to step up and take on new responsibilities.

This can help your team members develop new skills and gain experience, which can make them even more valuable to your company in the long run.

Additionally, healthy turnover can signal to potential hires that your company is a great place to work, where employees are encouraged to grow and develop professionally.

Strategies for Embracing Healthy Turnover

There are several strategies you can use to embrace healthy turnover and build a stronger team:

  1. Promote from within: This can signal to your team members that you value their contributions and are invested in their growth and development. It can also help you retain top talent and reduce the cost and time associated with recruiting and training new hires.
  2. Stay in touch with former employees: They may be interested in returning to your company in the future, or they may be able to refer qualified candidates to your team.
  3. Encourage employees to pursue new opportunities: This can help them grow and develop professionally, and it can also create room for new hires who can bring diverse skill sets and experiences to the table.

Combatting Unhealthy Turnover

While some turnover can be healthy for an organization, unhealthy turnover can be detrimental to both morale and the bottom line.

Unhealthy turnover occurs when top performers leave because of job dissatisfaction or lack of growth opportunities, and are not replaced by similarly skilled employees. This can result in a talent drain, decreased productivity, and increased costs of replacement.

Some signs of unhealthy turnover include...

  • High levels of employee absenteeism
  • Low employee engagement and satisfaction,
  • Frequent exits from critical roles

When talented employees leave in droves, it can also damage the company's reputation and make it difficult to attract new hires.

To combat unhealthy turnover, companies need to invest in their employees' development and provide clear growth paths.

This includes offering regular feedback and coaching, continuous performance review, providing opportunities for learning and development, establishing transparent career frameworks, and promoting when possible.

By creating a supportive work environment and fostering a culture of growth and development, organizations can reduce unhealthy turnover and retain top talent for the long-term.

Change Your Approach to Employees Leaving

In conclusion, healthy turnover is an opportunity for growing businesses to build a stronger team. By promoting from within, staying in touch with former employees, and encouraging team members to pursue new opportunities, companies can embrace healthy turnover and create a culture of growth and development. So instead of viewing turnover as a negative, embrace it as an opportunity to build a stronger team.

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