I mean really…
You only have 2 kinds of employee turnover: Involuntary (we whack ’em; this is a good thing) and Voluntary.
With Voluntary turnover, we then have Uncontrollable (planned relocations, illnesses, things like that, nothing we can do) and Controllable.
Controllable, the purview of leadership, has still 2 more categories: Inconsequential (no heartache here, good riddance, “see-ya,” “Don’t let the door hit you on the butt”) and Consequential (Oh, crap, what do we do now??).
The only issue, from a turnover perspective, is the Consequentials. Losing those people we truly do not want to lose, and whose loss will significantly impact our organization. How big is that percentage?
I’d argue fairly small. It had better be small, or our organization’s survival is in jeopardy. The rest of the turnover is fundamentally a hiring/sourcing/recruitment issue…
I mentioned in an earlier At C-Level that we needed to hire more “A” – players and fewer “C” – players. If we’re losing “C” employees, good riddance. If we lose even ONE “A” player, we need to find out what went wrong and do something different. “A” employees are too difficult to recruit and hire – their loss is clearly Consequential.
So, don’t just blindly track “Turnover” as this holy grail of a metric. Track the turnover that matters. Another clear example of “measurement is easy; understanding those measures is hard.” We have way too many measures and an insufficient understanding of how those measures translate into something actionable. But that’s for another edition of At C-Level…