Everyone Quits and It’s Okay

Jul 09, 2019

Everyone Quits

We focus a lot on the importance of retaining your top employees. It reduces cost, increases productivity, builds trust and camaraderie – and the list goes on. However, we rarely discuss the elephant in the room: everyone eventually quits, even your best employee. At some point they have learned all they can and given all the value in their role. Once they get to that point, it’s time to move up within your company or on to another company. Either way you’re going to have turnover beyond your control. But as a manager, you can choose how to frame it within your company culture.

A Culture of Quitting

Some turnover is good, especially if it’s an employee who’s overstayed their welcome. A top performer can quickly become a bottom performer if they stay in a role they are no longer satisfied with. They will start to lose motivation, become unengaged, and eventually the cost to retain them will exceed the cost of turnover. Turnover can also open the door for beneficial new ideas and skills. Maybe your team is in a rut and is caught in a cycle of groupthink; having new talent enter the picture can really help you gain new perspectives.

Unfortunately, many businesses view turnover as an extreme offense. Instead of being afraid to talk about it, reframe the way you and your employees look at turnover. Embrace it, don’t fear it. Remind yourself, “I know that my employees will eventually move on, and there’s nothing wrong with that.” Turn it into a positive as part of a healthy business relationship instead of a dramatic bridge-burning breakup. When you embrace a culture of quitting, instead of ex-employees, you have alumni. This is a mutually beneficial relationship that opens the door to future opportunities.

The tenure a good employee stays on may vary, but there are things within your control that have been proven to drastically reduce the frequency of employee departures. The number one thing you can do to slow down the inevitable cycle of turnover is to provide development and advancement opportunities. Most employees leave because they don’t see a clear path to further their career, they don’t feel challenged, or they don’t feel like their skill set is being put to good use. As their manager, you have the power to change that.

Focus on Growing Top Talent

Instead of fighting to keep top talent, focus on growing top talent. Strive to be known as the company creating leaders and subject matter experts instead of status quo employees. Doing this accomplishes several things. It keeps your employees engaged, it creates top talent within your company, and it becomes a valuable recruiting tool when word gets out that working for you will result in career development.

By providing development and advancement opportunities, you’ll also reap these strategic cost-saving benefits:

  • Succession planning to promote from within.
  • An increase in in-house expertise and fewer skill gaps.
  • More challenged, better engaged employees.

The moral of the story: spend money today to save money on turnover later. Eventually you will have turnover. Instead of shedding former employees, think about how releasing highly skilled alumni into the workforce will come back to benefit you.

Pave the Way for New Revenue Streams

A common misconception about turnover is that once a great employee leaves your company you lose all ROI. You spent money training and developing them – now they’re gone and you have nothing. On the contrary, when you embrace turnover and send alumni on their way with a positive attitude, you leave the door open for future revenue.

  • Positive Brand Image: Highly trained employees that leave and go elsewhere become a positive brand image for your company. They increase your reputation within the market and become a walking billboard of their great experience with you.
  • Referrals: They might become a client or send you customer and candidate referrals as they make new contacts.
  • Talent: Just because they left, doesn’t mean they are gone forever. Maybe they were ready for more responsibility at a time when there were no openings at your company. Although they found an opportunity elsewhere, they may still come back when you have an opening that aligns with their career goals. They’ll bring with them even more experience and a broader skill set.

As a leader of your company, you set the tone on how turnover is perceived in your culture. Your actions speak volumes louder than your words. Make sure those actions align with a culture that values retention, provides advancement opportunities, and promotes the development of their people even if that means they need to move on.

ZERORISK HR is a leader in pre-employment assessment and employee development. If you are interested in providing leadership development training for your team, we offer a customized manager development program  and individual contributor program that can be done in the comfort of your office. Rather than being a one-size-fits-all approach, our unique programs will help develop your current and future leaders. Contact us to learn more about leadership development programs for your team.

ZERORISK helps organizations build great cultures by identifying, developing, and retaining top talent. The ZERORISK Hiring System blends a revolutionary behavioral science with state-of-the-art technology to reduce unwanted turnover and improve employee performance. For more information contact us at (800) 827-5991.

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