The hidden costs of turnover

July 19, 2022

There's a reason turnover is feared among managers and business owners. It can be costly to lose (and replace) an employee. There are the obvious expenses, such as recruitment and onboarding of the new worker. But there are a number of other things that contribute to the negative side of turnover, including some that are intangible. It's important to keep good talent on your team, but even more important when you consider everything you lose along with them.

Remaining staff
Forbes urges managers to consider the remaining staff. They're picking up the slack of the team member that left, and that can administer a beating to morale. After all, one person doing the job of two people simply isn't fair, or sustainable. There could be tasks not in their original job description, they might need to work longer hours or take on more shifts, and anything else that comes along with the redistribution of responsibility. Employees may ask for raises you don't have the funds for as you search for someone else. They may also muster grumblings of dissatisfaction as they take on the additional work, which can make the overall atmosphere negative. A negative atmosphere will affect everyone on the team, which can lead to even more turnover, and the cycle continues.

Your employees should already be working at full capacity, so make sure that you acknowledge and reward the additional work that your remaining staff takes on, and take the time to make sure they know they are appreciated. You might also consider speeding up the hiring process as much as possible to mitigate this.

Lost knowledge
It takes time for a position to be mastered. It also takes time for an employee to integrate into a company, form relationships, and learn the nuances of a job that can't be taught in your standard operating procedure packets. Lost knowledge can be a major hit when talking turnover, according to LinkedIn. An employee who has been on the job for more than a year will have their own ways of doing things and a level of understanding that takes time to replicate (not to mention, be trained on). They also have their own unique skills and talents like any individual, that may have been suited perfectly to your team. For example, a charismatic personality and creative problem-solving skills, particularly in your field, are intangibles that can't be handed to a new hire. These are things you don't want to lose, if at all possible. When you lose an employee, you lose all the knowledge they carried with them. This is also a good lesson in making sure you have more than one person trained on tasks.

Considering all of these expensive negative aspects of losing employees, managers and business owners should do their best to create a positive working environment, keep employees happy and engaged, and do what they can to meet their needs. Of course, turnover can be inevitable in some instances, but reducing it can make a big difference in the bottom line.