The Hidden Costs of Employee Turnover: A Call to Action

Employee turnover can hold an organization back financially and operationally in today’s complex business landscape. It may not always be obvious on a balance sheet, but it can have a big impact on financial stability and company culture.

According to Gallup,  replacing a single employee can cost as much as one-half to twice their annual salary. This figure can vary across different levels within an organization. Experts estimate that

  • Entry-level position turnover costs 50% of salary
  • Mid-level employees cost 125% of their salary to replace
  • Senior-level executives can cost a staggering 200% or more

These numbers paint a sobering picture. However, the financial burden extends beyond recruitment expenses. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) estimates hiring a new employee costs as much as $4700 when you consider factors like advertising, interviewing, and onboarding.

Employee Turnover Costs More Than Just Money

As most leaders know, calculating the true impact of turnover goes beyond dollars and cents. It’s about the loss of institutional knowledge, the disruption of workflows, and the erosion of team cohesion. Turnover can signal underlying issues within the organization, such as inadequate support for professional development, a lack of work-life balance, or ineffective leadership.

SHRM’s research reveals that a significant portion of turnover—three percent annually—is attributed to high-performing employees. These are the employees who contribute exceptional value to the organization. However, they chose to quit for reasons that could have been addressed with proactive leadership. Losing top talent is regrettable in any organization. 

Why Are Employees Leaving? 

Departing employees can provide valuable insight into why a company may be experiencing increased turnover.  Exit interviews should be conducted whenever possible to discover opportunities for improvement. 

According to research by the Work Institute, out of every 100 employees that leave their jobs:

  • 22 are seeking professional development opportunities
  • 12 want better work-life balance
  • 11 say poor management behavior is the reason for their departure 

Likewise, Gallup surveys found that 52% of employees who choose to leave say their managers could have done something to prevent them from quitting. Given these findings, it’s clear that reducing turnover and retaining top talent involves more than just financial investment. 

Effective Leadership Can Reduce Employee Turnover

The good news is that organizations can take action to reduce turnover! Research indicates that 70% of engagement at work depends on having a positive relationship with a manager. The need for more effective leadership is clear.  

To improve employee engagement and reduce turnover, leaders need to be skilled in communication, emotional intelligence, and change management. Crestom’s leadership training programs can help managers develop these essential leadership skills. 

Effective leadership at all levels of the organization is key to solving the employee turnover puzzle. Managers play a pivotal role in shaping the employee experience and influencing job satisfaction. Great managers build relationships, provide helpful feedback, and establish trust in the workplace. Improving these skills leads to improved performance and decreased turnover rates within organizations. 

A Call to Action

Reducing turnover requires cultivating a supportive, inclusive, and growth-oriented workplace culture. Organizations with high turnover rates should prioritize initiatives to improve employee engagement, provide opportunities for leadership skill development, and promote work-life balance.

The cost of employee turnover impacts financial reports and reflects organizational health and leadership effectiveness. By understanding the causes of turnover and taking action to address them, leaders can safeguard their most valuable asset: their people. Developing more effective leaders paves the way for sustained growth, innovation, and success in an ever-evolving business landscape. 

Do you know the real cost of turnover in your organization? Click here for our Cost of Turnover Calculator.