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How to Address High Employee Turnover
By Sonya Buck, Australia

The other day I was asked why a certain business had a high turnover of staff and it made me mull over the overall situation.

When you take into account recruitment, training and loss of productivity, high rates of staff churn are expensive for your business.

There are many different reasons for staff separating from your business and your actions will need to address the cause of the turnover. Reasons include:


  • Staff may resign to pursue other career opportunities, avoid internal conflict or lack of advancement, etc.
  • Staff is terminated because of poor performance, security breaches or many other negative reasons.
  • An organisation may just let low performing staff leave of their own volition, saving the complications associated with termination.
  • Staff may be lost during or after organisational restructure. They may leave after a restructure if they are unhappy with their new duties or the organisation’s new direction.


If you are lucky, you may be able to easily identify a trend of why people leave voluntarily and you can focus on addressing this. Exit interviews and inviting regular honest feedback is a must for any organisation.

Consider the following:

Get it right from the get-go
Interview candidates carefully, not just to ensure they have the right skills but also that they fit well with the company culture, managers, and co-workers.
Find out their career aspirations and think about if your company will provide these for them in the future.

Keep them happy
Provide adequate and relevant training.
Ensure you provide benefits and flexible work schedules which ensure staff has work life balance.
Show your appreciation and give praise where it is due and provide recognition of achievements.

By mindful of your workplace culture
Are you close enough to your day to day business to recognise if bullying or harassment is taking place?
How well is your team performing together?
Is there anyone dominating or ‘riding roughshod’ over others?

Be fair
Ensure all employees are treated fairly and with respect. Perception of fairness or unfairness can lead to frustrated, unhappy employees.

Provide advancement opportunities, where possible
A well planned human resources structure is a road map to where your employees can take their careers. Ensure staff have a copy of your organisation chart and know how they can work towards achieving the next rung on the ladder.

Consider internal promotion first before pursuing external recruitment.

If you have been in the workforce for a long time, you may remember when people stayed in a job for life, receiving their gold watch at the end of their career with one employer. We have to keep in mind that a long tenure is far from the norm now and that staff will leave more frequently to advance their careers.

Having said that, you need to keep an eye on your staff churn rate, as sometimes it will lead you to issues that need your immediate attention within your business.