Five Common Misconceptions about Employee Turnover

All too often, we jump to conclusions when problems arise. One area in which this is certainly true is employee turnover. Whether we’re the ones experiencing it or we’re just part of the conversation about the growing trend, we tend to think we have it figured out. Most people realize that remedying the situation is much different than knowing what’s wrong, but regardless, we see the problem and also think we see the causes. However, employee turnover isn’t always what it seems on the surface

At the heart of the issue of employee turnover are the needs, perceptions, desires and decisions of actual people – your company’s employees. This makes the issue somewhat complicated and not as simple to pin down as some might think. There are several misconceptions that are perpetuated about employee turnover and we’ll take a look at five of them here.

No turnover means no problem

In a perfect world, every employee would be a perfect fit. In reality, that just isn’t always the case. For this reason, a certain level of turnover can be a good thing. While some companies experience extremely low turnover, that’s not always a good thing. When employees who are underperforming or just aren’t a great fit are never let go, it can negatively affect the morale of employees who are great at their jobs. Relatively low turnover is a better indication of minimal problems than very low or no turnover.

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The employee was never a good fit to begin with

This is sometimes true, but all too often this cause is blamed when things don’t work out. The truth is, when companies evaluate the causes of employee turnover, they often find that processes or people need to be adjusted. In many cases, poor management, inadequate training and incomplete onboarding are more to blame than the employee.


Employee turnover is increasing

There’s a lot of talk about turnover increasing within the last several years or increasing as the economy picks up but overall, employee turnover has remained relatively steady. The Society of Human Resources revealed in “Executive Brief: Tracking Trends in Employee Turnover” that between 2009 and 2011, employee turnover fluctuated no more than two percent. Employee turnover will always exist, as there will always be relocations, unhappy people, less-than-stellar corporate cultures and other contributing factors.

It’s all about the money

The myth that employees leave for more money is one that is continually perpetuated, but it’s not always true. In fact, studies have found that employees are far more likely to remain at or leave a company because of their managers and growth opportunities than they are because of money.


It’s impossible to plan for turnover

It may be impossible to know the exact day an employee will resign, but it’s not impossible to plan for. As a general rule, employee turnover is almost inevitable. To gain an edge in predicting your company’s turnover, evaluate your turnover rate from past years and use the percentage to plan. This will give you an idea of how much to budget for recruiting, how many candidates you’ll need to keep in your pipeline and how much of your HR department’s time will be dedicated to managing employee turnover.


What other myths of employee turnover have you discovered? Let us know in the comments section below.


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