How Staff Turnover Affects Your Business

How Staff Turnover Affects Your Business

How Staff Turnover Affects Your Business

Free demo

The only HR Software without Limitations

Staff turnover has a range of effects on a business’s general wellbeing. While there are instances where staff turnover works for a company, one should generally diminish its presence as much as possible.

Staff turnover has a range of effects on a business’s general wellbeing. While there are instances where staff turnover works for a company, one should generally diminish its presence as much as possible.

An organization's performance can be negatively impacted by employee turnover over a period of time.

Knowing why employees leave can help employers devise initiatives that help reduce turnover and increase employee retention.

The process of involuntary turnover, where employees leave of their own accord, can affect your workforce's overall morale while increasing general stress. Every business leader should learn to identify the signs of potential staff turnover and whether this situation is unfolding in their business.

What Is Employee Turnover?

The employee turnover rate is the percentage of workers leaving an organization, expressed as a percentage of total workers over a defined period (typically year-over-year).

Leavers, voluntary or involuntary, include retirees, former employees, resigning employees, and those made redundant, and thus described as overall turnover or 'crude' turnover.

Additionally, specific turnover data can also be calculated, such as redundancy-related turnover or resignation rates, the latter of which can be used in assessing the effectiveness of people management practices.

Are There Different Forms Of Staff Turnover?

As a whole, "employee turnover" is perceived as a negative term. Employers and human resources professionals are viewed as obligated to minimize the cost of employee turnover at all costs. However, different types of employee turnover impact the working environment differently, some negatively and others positively.

Positive Employee Turnover Types

Employee turnover is beneficial when new employees bring fresh ideas and perspectives and replace workers terminated due to poor performance. This desirable turnover works by adding new talent to an organization, increasing productivity and profitability.

This degree of turnover assures quality over time for companies in dire need of a workforce revamp. Of course, if many employees are being asked to leave due to reduced company productivity, this "desirable" turnover could mask professional flaws in a business's operation.

Investing in recruiting and selection processes for new and fully engaged employees can be expensive. Ultimately, however, employers receive a return on their investment in replacing a stagnant workforce.

There are other benefits to employee turnover that we should explore that provide a more desirable organizational performance.

Erases Complacency

While many companies will happily tolerate the worst-performing employees, those with moderate to high workforce turnover ensure that they consistently work hard.

Suppose it wasn't clear in a candidate's job description that your business expects nothing but an employee's best performance. In that case, your high deal of turnover and high-performing company culture will make the standard clear.

When employees know that slacking will not be tolerated in this culture of trust, they are generally guaranteed to satisfy their departmental managers' weekly goals.

Incentivizes Employees To Perform Better

Another one of the positive effects of functional turnover is a greater motivation for employees to work harder, for greater rewards and promotions.

Let's take, for example, a bad workplace with a moderate to high turnover rate, where bad managers only last for short periods of time. Said business is then likely to have many high-level positions open.

Indeed, many career prospects can be created by the aforementioned issue. Employees who have internalized their cultural impact and proven their loyalty will have a better average employment relationship and a better chance of being promoted.

Improves Company Morale

While we stated that involuntary turnover could harm a workforce's morale, the opposite can sometimes be true when a toxic employment relationship is present.

When employees that would otherwise negatively impact your staff's enthusiasm, progress, and even their mental health affairs leave, your organizational performance is bound to improve.

When unproductive employees are removed from your workforce through this desirable turnover, then your employment relationship can flourish, and your employees will enjoy safe and satisfying days of employment.

Despite the potential positive effects of avoidable turnover, the adverse effects of labor turnover generally outweigh the positive.

Negative Employee Turnover Types

Turnover is often seen as a negative factor: layoffs, business closures, and plant closures may be considered a negative turnover. Remember that layoffs have an adverse effect on workers and the community.

In some areas, losing jobs can adversely affect the economy of nearby companies in a downward spiral. For example, when workers suffer job losses due to a plant shutdown, nearby services, such as transportation, meals, and other services, also lose revenue.

There are many reasons why an employee may decide to leave your company, whether positive or negative. There are more reasons for turnover than just resignation or “being fired.”

In addition to finding out why employees leave, whether they are leaving voluntarily or involuntarily, retiring or being transferred, department managers should also establish their true motivation.

The general rule is that employees must retire at some point and that the company has a lack of control over this eventual deal of dysfunctional turnover. However, there are times when employees become disengaged and opt to retire early for various reasons, such as bad hiring procedures.

To engage and retain older and more experienced employees, organizations need to understand what led to this unexpected retirement and if bad hiring practices were present. A great way to discuss this is to hold exit interviews and behavioral interviews. Behavioral interview questions can determine whether employees enjoyed authentic opportunities, suffered a poor job performance, and whether they had a poor work-life balance.

Transferring within an organization usually involves moving into a new position. There may be other intentions behind the move, even if this type of turnover is a sign of a healthy work environment and good organizational performance.

Is their interest in another department's role genuine, or are they trying to escape lousy department managers?They might also harbor a high level of distrust toward their colleagues.

Employee turnover is primarily caused by:

  • Voluntary needs
  • Involuntary commands

Typically, employees leave their company voluntarily. Volunteer turnover occurs when employees resign, retire, or leave for other personal reasons.

Attrition occurs when the number of employees at a company dwindles after a period in which many people retire or resign without being replaced. It is often considered a less disruptive way to reduce the workforce and payroll than layoffs when staff is reduced due to attrition.

Calcuting How Staff Turnover Affects Your Business

Unhappy employees sometimes cause higher voluntary turnover rates, but there are times when employees do not resign because of their working conditions. Some causes of labor turnover for reasons unrelated to work include:

  • Employee leaves a job to travel
  • Students who return to school after leaving the workplace
  • Stay-at-home parents choose to leave the workplace for personal reasons
  • In any organization, there is the possibility of the occasionally exasperated exit

Employees who leave on their own are considered involuntary leavers. A company usually terminates an employee when it makes budget cuts, undergoes structural reorganization, or takes similar actions.

Involuntary turnover and terminations may erode the company culture and lower staff productivity. Department managers should take the time needed to establish the actual turnover causes in their companies.

What Are The Top Reasons For Employee Turnover?

Employees departing an organization are often the ones who decide to do so. A company can also initiate employees' searching for alternative career paths in a variety of situations. What can be done to reduce the turnover rate within the company if the company is at fault?

Asking the right question is the first step if you want to improve. Some common turnover causes are:

Salary Is Unsatisfactory

A company that provides low wages and is reluctant to offer raises is likely to have employees constantly looking for a higher-paying position. These low job satisfaction levels apply to everyone, from nursing assistants to department managers.

However, companies cannot always keep up with others by offering competitive salaries. Nonetheless, the managers ought to examine alternative methods of rewarding their employees for maintaining workforce motivation.

During your hiring process, you can help to avoid this scenario by discussing the potential of future pay rises. You won't altogether remove this leaving reason, but you will be able to prevent high employee turnover.

Remember that paying your employees fairer wages will never match the cost of turnover.

Growth Opportunities Are Limited

People don't like feeling stuck in their professional or personal lives with a lack of career opportunities. When a person feels like their growth is being stunted, they are liable to seek a more receptive company with a culture of trust.

According to one study, 70% of employees might be prompted to seek a new position that provides better development and training. So, do not be shocked when staff members leave if you do not offer them career development opportunities.

Companies need to develop a growth mindset and establish whether there is a lack of opportunity for their staff. Employees need to recognize an opportunity for growth within your company for greater employee retention.

Toxic Work Culture

Employees are more likely to leave a company where there is constant fighting. Very few types of people can tolerate an unwelcoming or even hostile working environment, and the younger generations like Millennials and Gen Z have a low tolerance for negative coworkers and high stress levels.

Healthy and stress-free working environments are preferred and seen in a positive light. Being rewarded with your employees' loyalty is not about making everyone your friend but rather creating an atmosphere of acceptance and understanding for them to feel integrated.

Much management time must be dedicated to easing the daily stress of employees, as well as physical issues such as physical exhaustion that block any employee's path for career growth.

Team Members Are Treated Differently

It only takes a short amount of time for other employees to become angry when somebody gets treated differently from all other workers. Playing favorites is not the only way to perpetuate inequalities, however. Different stereotypes exist that may unintentionally shape our perceptions of fairness.

Individual employee experience and employee recognition are paramount to reducing high turnover rates. Although managers should recognize top performers, other employees should not be neglected or shunned.

A lack of gratitude could lead an underappreciated employee to look for a new job on Linkedin in no time.

Overworked Employees

Employee burnout and stress are often caused by overwork, which is always a concern for organizational justice. Employees who are overworked and burnt out often jump ship for companies who understand the value of work-life balance.

Reduce Staff Turnover with great onboarding

This struggle can be remedied by employee engagement and helping poor performers with a lack of employee purpose. When managers take a humane interest in their employees' working standards, demands, and obstacles, a workforce is bound to be more optimized.

The Pandemic

COVID-19's progression has had a significant impact on many companies. The pandemic has caused businesses to have to let go of many great employees and led to them searching for other job openings.

The effects of government-mandated lockdowns and reduced business efficiency and operation have pushed many employees and managers to seek out more manageable and enjoyable positions.

Clashes With The Boss

Contrary to what managers may believe, many employees who leave their company voluntarily aren't doing so to earn a higher salary. Sadly, many managers directly contribute to their workforce turnover rate.

According to Gallup Business Journal, at least 75% of voluntary turnover reasons can be attributed to managers. Company culture is one of the things that impacts this voluntary turnover push factor, as managers are usually working by the rules and regulations of the company.

How Do You Determine Staff Turnover?

Human resources are responsible for monitoring the annual turnover rate. Monitoring employee departures is crucial to minimize the causes of employee turnover so companies can identify and minimize reasons. HR can control turnover through several quantitative methods.

Your employee turnover calculation can be worked out using various formulas. You can use either the BDA or Schlüter formulas (you can download this helpful template here for your calculations).

There is often a difference in results depending on the reference value used in these two formulas. So when calculating and comparing your turnover rate over the long run, use the same formula every time. Obtaining reliable comparison values can only be accomplished through this method.

Here are some examples of the formulas, explained by way of a practical example. Your choice of time period is up to you. A monthly calculation of staff turnover is perfectly acceptable, or you could opt for a quarterly or annual analysis.

Let's now set up our example, where the employee headcount at the beginning of the period was 120.

The average employee headcount for the period was 119. There were 14 departures from the company during the period (voluntary departures). Twelve employees were hired during the period.

The BDA Formula

According to the German Employers' Associations Confederation, the BDA formula must be used. A classic method for comparing employee turnover with the average number of employees is used here.

It is calculated by multiplying voluntary departures by the average headcount for the period, * 100. The turnover rate is 14/119 x 100 = 11.76 percent.

The Schlüter Formula

This formula takes into account the employees at the beginning of the period plus any new hires (instead of using the average headcount). So, the headcount is considered to be a key data value.

Watch Calculating Employee Turnover - Part 1 [WEBINAR] >

The time period value is associated with employees leaving a company. You can automate the turnover rate calculation with innovative HR software solutions.

Workforce turnover rate = departures / (those at the beginning of the period + those hired in a subsequent period) * 100 Turnover rate = 14/(120 + 12) * 100 = 10.61%.

Staff Turnover Increases Costs

An organization can incur a lot of costs from employee turnover, mainly if the employee's resignation is voluntary and has to be followed by a replacement process where job seekers are interviewed.

Among these replacement costs may be searching for a suitable substitute, interviewing the successful candidate, inducting them into the organization, training them informally and formally until they achieve a reasonable level of performance that is equivalent to the person who quit.

Is Your Staff Turnover High or Low?

Monitoring and tracking employee turnover can help your business improve areas that may be causing employees to leave and gauge how attractive your company is to employees. In the absence of preparation for high turnover rates, your bottom line may suffer.

Ellen Mullarkey, vice president of business development at Messina Group, explains: "Keeping track of your employee turnover rate is a great way to see if your business is a good place to work if you hire several times a year."

It's imperative that your business clearly defines the purpose behind its turnover analysis, no matter which tool you use. A low turnover rate indicates high employee satisfaction. Your organization's goal should be to ensure employees' satisfaction and morale are constantly growing within the workplace.

Therefore, the best way to monitor the performance of your turnover rate is to compare it to a benchmark turnover rate. It is also possible to compare your company's turnover rates with those of other companies and industries.

A good retention program can help you keep your employees and reduce turnover costs regardless of which industry is your business. However, the standard rate of employee turnover varies by industry.

High Staff Turnover and Its Causes

Talented employees are often the key to a company's success. In spite of this, a company's efficiency and effectiveness could suffer if it experiences frequent turnovers.

In a similar fashion, an organization that maintains a consistent workforce could also grow through its employees' consistent performance. Your company needs to understand the causes and effects of turnover to create strategies and policies that increase the likelihood of retaining valuable employees.

Causes of High Turnover

Your employees will likely leave your organization if they don't feel valued, challenged, and well-compensated at work.

When managers provide feedback to their workers along with opportunities for professional skills development for their employees, workers know that they are valued. When an employee is not given the right environment for growth, whether it be challenging work, a career path, or other benefits, there is a possibility they will move to another company that meets those requirements.

How manager engagement affects Staff Turnover

Yet even if people are doing interesting work and have plenty of opportunities, if they suffer poor compensation or have no benefits, they will decide to leave their current position for one elsewhere to make more money and take advantage of company perks.

Effects of High Turnover

Having a high turnover in your workforce means that your company has people running it who are not experienced enough, even if they fit the job description and its requirements. You might then suffer a workforce that is not particularly motivated because their coworkers regularly leave.

The products and services you provide to your customers will be of inferior quality since they are manufactured and delivered by people who don't have enough experience in their roles to do them efficiently.

If a turnover occurs frequently, a business will face ongoing training costs because new employees will need to come up to speed and be forced to pay for the mistakes they will make due to their inexperience.

Also, you are not only losing the money from your new employees' training average cost but all the expertise and experience previous employees acquired in the past as well.

The problem arises when you are running a business that is heavily dependent on specific industry knowledge and training, and you allow others, maybe even your competitors, to take advantage of that knowledge and adequate training for free.


In today's highly competitive market, it is already well established that organizations of all sizes face turnover challenges. This effect often ignores technological advances and commonly accepted bureau of labor statistics.

Many businesses struggle to improve their human resource management. Employee turnover can be attributed to various reasons, including dissatisfaction with one or more factors. In addition to contributing to improving operating results, there are also ways to prevent turnover in the workplace.

As a result, there needs to be a better understanding of the consequences of high turnover rates on the organization and a willingness to change established personnel management practices. In today's competitive environment, employees heavily influence an organization's ability to perform.

Employees play a crucial role in determining an organization's success and must be valued at a level that matches their contributions.

In order for organizations to perform successfully, managers must improve the percentage of employees who are rewarded for their efforts. It has been perceived that gaining employee commitment has the following advantages: lower labor turnover, better employee performance, and flexibility in their roles.

These benefits lead to higher quality products and a stronger competitive advantage.

Further, a highly productive and well-trained employee can ensure that the organization's productivity increases significantly, which is why the organization needs to ensure that it retains this kind of employee.

Remember that high-value knowledge workers are often likely to hop from one job to another until they find a company that best rewards them.

By engaging in honest, ethical, and fair-minded human resources practices, businesses facilitate this commitment by increasing communication, encouraging participation, establishing supportive management, and creating reasonable rewards.


Free demo

The only HR Software without Limitations