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Stopping the Revolving Door of Employee Turnover

If you were to take a survey of CEOs and HR managers and pose to them the question of what are the key human resource challenges they face, employee retention and the problem of employee turnover would no doubt be one of the primary answers. Around the world, employee turnover and voluntary attrition rates are a matter of great concern as companies struggle to meet this challenge head-on. It is not that just an employee walks out that door when he/she puts down the papers. With it, you lose your secrets, scarce skills as well as invite the bother of looking for a replacement and the uncertainty that comes with it. Studies have proved conclusively that the economic and business cost of losing an employee is much higher than the salary that was being paid to the departing employee.

High employee turnover is an indicator that there is something wrong with the company and acts as a great de-motivator for other employees as well. It may be interesting to note that any company, which has far too many farewell parties, is certainly not a great place to work for. HR managers would do well to analyze the causes of the problem. One way to go about stopping the trend of high employee turnover would be to conduct an employee satisfaction survey and go about addressing issues of concern. While there could be some critical issues in terms of compensation and leadership too, it could help if the CEO, team leaders and functional heads spoke to their teams and tried to nip the reasons in bud that drive people to leave their jobs with the company.

Employee attrition is an inevitable part in any organization and some bit of turnover also helps bring in fresh blood. The problem becomes acute when your rate of attrition is much higher than the industry average. You may be benchmarking with your competitors on best practices, compensation and employee engagement measures and yet, if your attrition is far higher than the average, it certainly is a matter or alarm and calls for urgent and concerted action on the part of not just HR but the senior management of the company too. Open houses, employee forums and focus groups could be some of the effective ways of establishing a two-way communication channel with employees. Employees who are the closest to the ground could be a valuable source of pointers as to what is going wrong and what could be the measures to plug the gaps.

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