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Losing an employee is never easy — but it happens. People change industries, find “better for them” jobs, or go to work for themselves. But many organizations don’t realize how costly employee turnover is!

First, losing an employee hurts your bottom line. Period. Experts estimate it costs at least twice an employee’s salary to find and train a replacement. Josh Bersin from Deloitte believes the cost of losing an employee can range from tens of thousands of dollars to two times the employee’s annual salary. You read that right. Some HR managers I know say it takes them longer than finding the right person to fill a position than it took for them to find their own job!

Another way losing an employee can cost you is by negatively impacting your company morale. Consider how other employees feel (and what they’re thinking) when an employee leaves your company. Even if the employee left on “good terms”, this still sparks some thoughts of curiosity, worry or even doubt in other employee’s minds. I’ve had many people tell me that the first thought they have when a colleague leaves to go elsewhere is “Should I see what else is out there, too?”

So, how can you avoid the cost of employee turnover? I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that it’s inevitable. There isn’t a company out there with zero turnover — not even Google! The good news is I am going to share a few strategies you can implement in your own company to reduce the likelihood of losing your employees.

Want to learn more? Read our case study from Zappos:

A Culture of Success through Customer Service


Improve Your Recruitment

It might sound simple, but one big strategy is to look at who you’re hiring. Are you targeting the right prospects who will commit to a long-term career with you? Will they be a good fit in your company culture? I offer a variety of assessment tools that help ensure you extend job offers to only the best of the best!

You can try a sample test from eSkill, the leading skills assessment software, which allows you to fill any job position with qualified and dependable people.

Host Employee Orientations

Not only is recruitment an important part of decreasing turnover, but so is an employee’s first day. An employee always remembers their first day at your company. Just like any first impression, you want to give them the tools and materials they need to succeed from day one. Do they understand your expectations and the company culture? Are roles and responsibilities clear and accurately designated? Does the employee feel welcomed and valued? I’ve heard way too many employees tell me they received no training and not even any introductions on their first day — making them feel like they had to fend for themselves to fit in and adjust. Not a good way start — for the employee or the company!

Consider Your Management and Leadership

People leave managers and supervisors more than they leave companies or jobs. If any of your employees are not happy with the relationship they have with their supervisor, manager or team leader, they are more likely to leave, even if they think everything else about your company is awesome! It’s good to routinely consider your leadership team. If five employees have left in one year, and they all were working for the same supervisor, maybe it’s time to investigate that supervisor’s role in their decision.

Company Culture

When it comes down to it, we all have the same human needs. All employees, regardless of level, role or department, want to be valued, appreciated and feel important. Do you promote a healthy work-life balance, or do you expect your employees to respond to 11 p.m. work emails? Are you flexible with employees’ time-off requests? Do you reward employees for meeting goals or just a job well done? This is a major factor in retention — after all, there’s a reason “love and belonging” are third on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

A few simple strategies—hiring the right people, welcoming new employees, ensuring your company leaders cultivate positive relationships, and promoting a healthy company culture—will put you on the path to excellent employee retention.


If you’re interested in speaking more about these real-life workplace challenges, go to www.powerhouselearning.com or email Brandie Hinen directly at brandie@powerhouselearning.com.

Measuring Quality of Hire: You Can’t Improve What You Can’t Measure

Quality of Hire metrics can help you make better hiring decisions and improve the performance of your staff overall. Developing metrics that accurately track applicant skills and employee productivity will help you implement standards and processes that best meet your company’s unique needs. It’s the first step to building the best possible staff for your company.

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  • Matilda S says:

    I really liked your last point from the article. We need to create a company culture that promotes love and a sense of belonging. These values are close to people’s hearts. You know that saying: “People don’t leave companies, they leave managers.

  • Sally says:

    This is a problem we can’t really avoid, and your article reminded me of the simple things we can do to keep our employees productive and engaged for the long run.

  • Colby says:

    I liked your article. It is indeed very difficult to predict a person’s behavior and how long he or she will stay with the company. The strategies you mentioned are worth trying and implementing.

  • Kristina says:

    I love to see company’s use their culture as a recruiting tool! There are some risks in that depending on the culture, but I also think its great that as an organization you get to define your culture, you don’t need to copy someone else’s culture. I also encourage companies to own the “ugly” of their culture in their recruiting and orientation events, because if you try to hide it your new employees won’t trust you when they find it themselves.

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