Team working skillsPerformance management

Recruiting top talent is a priority for any hiring manager, but what do you do when this talent heads for the exit? Attracting star candidates can only take you so far – it’s what you do to keep hold of them that makes the difference.

According to the Chartered Institute of Personal Development (CIPD), headquartered in London, England, the average costs associated with the turnover and recruitment of a role, is between £4000 and £6,125 ($7 500 and $11 500 CAD). 


When training and development of a replacement is considered, experts estimate the process can, in some instances, cost more than twice an employee's salary (The Wall Street Journal).

These statistics are frightening enough in isolation. Factor in on top of this the effect that employee turnover can have on the morale of the rest of the workforce and the retention challenge intensifies.

Employee turnover is a normal part of any business - people naturally come and go, move roles and progress as circumstances dictate. However, retention should ideally remain at a baseline rate that is consistent with your industry, role and organization.

Businesses will occasionally suffer a spike in the number of employees leaving, which can cause concern. The worst thing a business can do at this time is nothing. Do nothing and you risk the same thing happening time and time again. Discovering the reasons for your retention issues is the first step in holding on to your high performers.

How well do you know your people?

What's the difference between those that are staying and those that are leaving? What makes someone a high performer in your organization? We must start by analyzing the characteristics of the people within your organization.

Take a group of long serving employees and a group of employees that left the business within the first two years of employment. Think about the different behaviours they display, their different speeds of learning and the soft skills they display.

Analyzing characteristics, such as those highlighted above, could uncover a whole host of reasons for your employee turnover problems. It may show that a particular behavioural style is more suited to the organization, or perhaps those leaving have a faster speed of learning and therefore are getting bored and frustrated with their role.

Until you ask 'why', retention problems will persist and continue to damage the organization.

Apply your findings 

Once you've done the research on why your people are leaving, the chances of improving your retention levels is greatly increased.

Use the characteristics and patterns displayed by those employees that stay with your business to guide your people decisions. Start from the recruitment stage, through to on-boarding and development, to ensure you've got the right people in the right roles.

You may discover a group of employees displaying the behaviours associated with those likely to leave. With your newly acquired knowledge – make a change! Implementing training and development and having timely discussions about career progression and performance can turn someone from a flight risk into a star performer.

Don't forget to engage!

No matter how much you analyze why people leave or who you recruit to replace them, if your workforce is disengaged, you're automatically at high risk of high employee turnover.

Our simple employee engagement survey can help you identify areas where you are challenged and assist you in targeting your efforts in fostering engagement amongst the rest of your workforce.

Companies with high levels of engagement have a turnover rate 40% lower than their low engaged counterparts.

Engage for Success

People that enjoy the work they do, their role and the relationships they have, are far less likely to leave, so ensuring your engagement levels are high is critical in retaining your workforce.

When you get retention right, you're looking at a workforce with the commitment, skills and dedication to deliver and drive business success. Get it wrong and you're looking at high recruitment costs and disruption to the business.

Finding the right tools to measure what 'good' looks like, effectively motivating your people and raising morale are the first step in optimising performance and reducing attrition.