CHURNOVER: THE REPETITIVE POSITION TURNOVER PROBLEM

Organizations have the on-going task of attracting, retaining and developing their talent.  Today more than ever employees view jobs as temporary.  Gone are the days of joining an organization and staying for an entire career.  While it does still happen, most employees tend to change jobs and companies many times throughout their careers.

Turnover is inevitable.  Companies that recognize this build talent pipelines and bench strength for each and every position.  They evaluate turnover monthly, dig into the root cause of why people leave and try to improve the organization’s ability to attract and retain great people.  At Groove Management we define turnover as a position opening created by someone leaving the organization either at will or because they were terminated.  Turnover does create opportunities for advancement in organizations for other employees and it provides an opportunity for hiring managers to Forwardfill the position and improve the quality of their teams.

Churn is a much worse type of turnover.  Churn refers to a cycle of continuous turnover.  If an organization has high turnover, they experience churn.  If the turnover occurs in the same position multiple times, we refer to that as Churnover. 


Churnover defined:  A recurring opening in the same role or position in an organization due to the fact that new people hired into the role do not stay. 

The root cause of churnover requires research and analysis.  Some root causes may include poor working environment, low pay, poor management, undesirable hours, job fit mismatch, etc.  Getting to the root cause is an important step towards eliminating churnover.  Churnover is a lot like the cliché definition of insanity; trying the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.

Organizations that experience high turnover typically improperly focus their attention on fixing the problem rather than the root cause.  The organization quickly goes back out into the recruiting market to replace the open role.  The cycle continues until the organization chooses to determine the root cause.

If your organization experiences Churnover there are some clear steps to eradicate the problem:

Step 1:  Analyze the turnover data to determine patterns.  Does turnover occur after certain lengths of employment?  Is there a gender, age or racial bias in the turnover data?  Is the turnover voluntary or performance based?  By looking for patterns in the data a root cause might become clear.

Step 2:  If the turnover is voluntary conduct exit interviews with those who left the organization.  Seek to understand not only why the person left, but what had initially attracted them to the company and the job?  This can often lead to where things soured along the way.

Step 3:  Identify the knowledge, skills, abilities and behaviors of your most successful employees.  Work to understand what differentiates those that are engaged and successful in your organization from those that leave.

Step 4:  Change your approach to hiring.  Hire people that fit a different mold.  Provide a realistic preview of the job duties and responsibilities in advance of making hiring decisions.  Create incentives and implement tools to recognize and reward performance.

By implementing these four steps most organizations can improve their churnover rate.  The cost of any turnover can have a dramatic impact on the bottom line, but churnover is by far the most costly.  Organizations that recognize the importance of creating an inclusive and collaborative culture tend to have lower attrition rates, better customer service and overall better business results.