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Are You Losing More Than Employees? How the Cost of Employee Turnover Burns Through Your Budget

Employee turnover—it's a common challenge that organizations of all sizes face. While it's easy to assume it is what it is, turnover is something that can (and should!) be addressed. Have you ever stopped to consider the actual cost of employee turnover and how it may be impacting your budget? What if we told you that ignoring employee turnover numbers could potentially be costing your company hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.

The financial implications of turnover can be subtle yet significant. It's not just about the direct costs associated with recruiting and onboarding new employees—there's a ripple effect that affects your budget in more ways than one.

Direct Costs

  • Recruitment Expenses: The most obvious cost includes expenses related to job postings, recruitment agencies, and background checks. These costs can add up quickly, especially for high-demand positions.

  • Onboarding and Training: When a new employee joins your team, there's a need for onboarding and training. This involves dedicating time and resources of current employees to get them up to speed, which can impact productivity. Imagine the amount of time dedicated when new team members need to be trained for the same role… over, and over again.

Indirect Costs

  • Lost Productivity: When an employee leaves, there's often a gap before a replacement is hired and fully productive. During this period, your team may be working short-staffed, affecting overall productivity. Between employees filling the gap before someone is hired and then dedicating time to onboarding, this significantly impacts business functions.

  • Customer Impact: Frequent turnover can lead to inconsistent service and dissatisfied customers. Long-term relationships with customers can suffer; customers often prefer dealing with familiar faces, and frequent staff changes can erode trust and loyalty.

  • Employee Morale: As employees witness their peers leaving regularly, it can lead to decreased overall employee engagement and job satisfaction, perpetuating a cycle of turnover.

Long-Term Challenges

What many organizations fail to realize is that the costs of turnover extend beyond the immediate financial hit. The longer-term consequences include:

  • Reputation Damage: High turnover can tarnish your company's reputation, making it harder to attract top talent in the future. How’s your Glassdoor score?

  • Loss of Institutional Knowledge: Every employee, especially those with long tenure, accumulates valuable knowledge and expertise about your organization's processes, culture, and customers. When they leave, this institutional knowledge can be lost, making it more challenging for new hires to acclimate and excel in their roles.

  • Decreased Organizational Stability: High turnover can create an atmosphere of instability within your organization, making it challenging to execute long-term strategic plans and initiatives.

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Pretty discouraging, right? If you read that and are thinking, “well what the heck am I supposed to do, now?”-- don’t worry!

We have some strategies we recommend bringing in to your organization to reduce employee turnover:

  • Workplace Culture: Perhaps the most important factor in mitigating employee turnover is by fostering a positive workplace culture that emphasizes inclusivity, diversity, and a sense of belonging. Cultivate a culture of continuous improvement where feedback from employees is actively used to enhance work processes, address concerns, and make meaningful changes. Change starts at the top– no, not with your senior managers, but with the CEO and executive team.

  • Data-Driven Insights: Utilize data analytics to identify trends and patterns related to current employee satisfaction and employee turnover. This can help you pinpoint specific areas or departments with culture gaps and high turnover rates, allowing you to take targeted actions to address ongoing issues.

  • Exit Interviews: Conduct thorough exit interviews with departing employees to gather insights into their reasons for leaving. Use this feedback to identify areas for improvement and make necessary changes to reduce future turnover.

  • Mentoring and Coaching Programs: Implement mentoring and coaching programs to provide new hires with guidance and support as they settle into their roles. This can help them feel more connected and engaged from the start, reducing the likelihood of early turnover.

  • Flexible Work Arrangements: Offer flexible work options such as remote work or flexible hours to accommodate employees' needs. This can improve work-life balance and make your organization more attractive to prospective and current employees.

  • Performance Management & Regular Feedback: Implement effective performance management systems that provide constructive feedback and opportunities for improvement. Prioritize open and honest communication channels with your employees, through regular one-on-one meetings. Employees are more likely to stay when they feel valued and see a path for growth and improvement.

  • Competitive Compensation & Benefits: Continuously assess and update your compensation and employee benefits package to ensure it remains competitive in your industry. Compensation should align with industry standards and reflect the skills and experience of your workforce, and benefits should include health benefits, retirement plans, and additional perks like wellness programs or child care assistance.

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By implementing some or all of these strategies, you can not only reduce turnover, but increase engagement of current employees and positions your organization as more competitive when it comes to recruitment.

What is the employee turnover at your organization really costing you?

If you ever have a question about turnover, retention, or recruitment, get in touch and we’re happy to help!

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