Got Employee Turnover? Good!

Turnover that doesn't hurt
Not all turnover is bad.

Don't Worry, Turnover Is Good!

Well, maybe it’s good.  At least some of it is good.  As HR experts, we feel it is important to clarify that not all turnover is bad. Tracking voluntary vs. involuntary turnover and rehires provides insights on "good" vs "harmful" attrition.

There is another reason turnover might be good (even if it's the bad kind). It means you recognized it and now you can work to fix it.

For a more comprehensive discussion about turnover and what it is, you can read our Ultimate Guide To Turnover

Here's a simple breakdown:

Voluntary turnover is when employees resign of their own accord. This can be further categorized as:

Regrettable voluntary turnover

means losing top performers you want to retain. This is the most damaging turnover.

Non-regrettable voluntary turnover

describes lower performers leaving who don't meet expectations even after coaching. Some degree of this turnover can indicate effective performance management.

Strategic voluntary turnover

is when we allow poor culture fits to resign while focusing retention efforts on your stars.

Involuntary turnover

is dismissing employees due to poor performance or misconduct issues.

Some level of essential involuntary turnover is expected.  To go further, it is necessary and often welcomed by managers.  A good HR team will facilitate involuntary turnover when it benefits a team, department, or the company as a whole.  When this happens, it really should not be viewed by management as bad turnover or incorporated into analytics that try to tell a story about disruptive turnover.

Tracking rehires also provides context.

For example, boomerang employees returning indicates your workplace or pay may still be competitive.

The key metric is your rate of regrettable, voluntary turnover of high performers.

This signals retention problems needing action. A really good HR expert can help you analyze who is leaving and why; and then develop targeted initiatives enhancing culture, pay, development opportunities and management support.

The goal isn't zero turnover, but minimizing regrettable loss of talent. With rigorous HR analytics, you can determine if turnover trends are constructive or destructive - and turn harmful patterns around.

If you want to start tracking and calculating your turnover correctly, read our next post here.


Want more Employee Turnover topics?  We've got 'em!  Check out our entire series available through the links below.

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