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The Cost of Staff Turnover – 4 Ways to Retain Existing Employees

October 12, 2010

Research suggests that staff resignations could make or break your organisation.  If that’s not news to you the remedy might be.

Staff photo

PwC says firms underestimate the value of retaining their existing employees

With so much talk of recession and job losses, it may come as a surprise to learn that one of the greatest present threats to British business is resigning staff.

In a recent study PwC have estimated staff turnover can account for £42 billion in lost revenue to UK employers.  They base their calculations on the cost of successfully recruiting and training new staff equating to one year’s salary per role.

Others have estimated that it can cost up to two and a half times salary to replace key leaders, taking into account the fact that additional staff might follow their resigning manager along with valuable customers.  Then add the likelihood that some new recruits won’t work out and staff turnover starts to keep managing directors awake at night.

In the UK average staff turnover is 10.4% of employees, much higher than 7% in the US and more than double both France and Germany at just 5%.

So how can you retain existing employees?

1 – Show appreciation, through awards, recognition or a simple but sincere thank you.

2 – Give more than other employers, not necessarily financially but also in lifestyle.  An easy commute and the freedom to work from home is often more appealing than a small rise.

3 – Create loyalty to the team, don’t underestimate the value of encouraging team members to get to know each other better.  Colleagues are most often cited as the best aspect of a workplace.

4 – Demand excellence from people managers.  When surveyed over 70% of people changed jobs to get away from a bad boss, any salary increase was an added bonus.

It could be argued that this is the underlying reason why staff turnover fails to get airtime in most boardrooms.  After all if people leave bosses not roles it might just highlight some inadequacies at the top of the tree!

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