How to Deal with Unplanned Turnover and Copycat Departures


Not all turnover is bad. In fact, when an unreliable, high-maintenance, under-performing employee leaves it can be a welcome relief.

But when one of your superstars makes an abrupt departure? That can leave you and your team frustrated, stressed and in a real bind.

Unplanned turnover costs you dearly.

Bruce Tulgan at RainMakerThinking has been measuring the cost of employee turnover for decades, compiling data from business leaders, managers and employees. In his recent whitepaper, “Winning the Talent War: Building a Winning Culture of Attraction, High-Performance & Retention,” available for download here, Tulgan shares five ways your organization pays a high price for turnover:

  • Direct costs.
    When a good employee quits, you incur the direct costs of recruiting, on-boarding and training their replacement to get them up-to-speed.
  • Lost ROI.
    That great employee you worked so hard to recruit, onboard and train takes their talent (and your investment in them) to another employer. When you lose a relatively new employee, the impact of your lost onboarding and training investment is even higher – because the sooner they leave, the less time you have to reap a return on your investment.
  • Disruption in work flow and relationships.
    Any time an employee voluntarily quits, your company experiences a disruption in work flow and work relationships (both internally and externally). The position vacancy they create also typically increases the work burden on your remaining employees. And when a superstar makes an abrupt departure, it can magnify the disruption and stress on your team.
  • Copycat departures.
    When good employees leave, this sometimes triggers other unplanned departures. Remaining employees may question their own loyalty to your organization or be directly recruited by the former employee’s new employer.
  • Loss of bench-strength.
    Over time, high voluntary turnover among good employees diminishes the strength of your internal talent bench. A “revolving door” makes it nearly impossible to develop home-grown talent for other positions throughout your organization and up the ranks.

How can you minimize unplanned turnover and copycat departures?

According to Tulgan, controlling turnover starts with building a winning culture – one in which you provide generous rewards and favorable work conditions that improve retention of high performers. For insights and practical tips on building a culture of retention, read Tulgan’s report.

Hire for retention: Partner with PrideStaff.

To recruit the best candidates – ones who will perform, thrive and stay – partner with a national staffing firm like PrideStaff. Contact us today!