January 11, 2024

Turnover gets vilified. It shouldn’t.


Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

Not every good bye includes a middle finger.

Turnover gets vilified. It shouldn’t.

Jeff Smith and I had a conversation about yearly bonuses and (spoiler) how they’re an overrated and potentially counterproductive retention strategy. (Another spoiler: we’re proponents of quarterly bonuses. Watch the show here.)

You can’t have this conversation without discussing the elephant in the room: churn.

It’s not a popular topic to highlight. Companies worry it raises red flags. Workers don’t want the stigma of looking like job hoppers.

In reality, light to moderate turnover is healthy. There’s only so much room for growth for good employees to move into, unless a company itself grows forever. (Which as everyone learned in the last 18 months, isn’t possible.)

Good employees might need to go somewhere else to grow. Marginal employees might need to find a better company fit or something they’re better at. (And in some cases, learn a hard lesson about work ethic.)

Right person, right seat benefits everyone. Wrong person, wrong seat benefits no one.

As a company, this has to be a strategic part of your talent model. There’s a monetary and time cost not just for hiring, but retaining as well. So you can’t try to keep everyone.

And that’s ok. Not every break up has to be bad. Alumni networks of highly engaged former employees are great for both business development and hiring (for companies.) And long term networking and career support (for workers.)

👉Those only work in orgs that were great to begin with.

Tldr: Churn isn’t bad. Crappy environments are.

Full episode of The 10 Minute Talent Rant, episode 80 “Do Bonuses Buy Loyalty?” available here.

Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

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