How You Can Limit Employee Turnover

Survey after survey shows that employees are primed and ready to flee, the moment a better offer comes along. Yet, most employers are doing little to prevent this from happening.

Survey after survey shows that employees are primed and ready to flee, the moment a better offer comes along. Yet, most employers are doing little to prevent this from happening.


Most recently, the Corporate Executive Board (CEB), a research and advisory services company recently announced research that indicates companies’ failure to manage and retain top talent is negatively affecting their balance sheets. Twenty-five percent of top employees plan to change jobs in the next 12 months alone.

Employee turnover is a lot like dark chocolate. Some in moderation is fine. Excess amounts can lead to disastrous results. I believe some turnover is good, as it allows the organization to bring in people with fresh ideas, and in many cases, workers who have better skills than those who have exited. Yet, too much turnover can lead to disruption in the operation, loss of revenue and plummeting profits.

You and every other company may think you are immune. However, more than half of employers surveyed acknowledged that their own organizations are ineffective at managing and retaining top talent. You may be thinking these people don’t work for you. They must work for someone else. Maybe, but what if this isn’t the case?

Ask yourself the following: What can you do to re-engage your top performers and high-potentials? What do they need from you? What can you give them? Here’s a hint. Of those surveyed, 64% of high-potential employees say they are unhappy with their development activities. That’s good news for you. Why? Because you have the ability to do something about this.

In my work with hundreds of organizations, I have identified five sure fire ways to swiftly develop people. Here are two.

Identify the skills that are most needed in your organization and then figure out if people inside the organization have the potential to fill these roles. If the answer is yes, provide the necessary resources to develop these skills internally. If the answer is no, be honest with those who think they are next in line for a position that will never be theirs.


Reward failure. While this may sound counterintuitive, this is exactly what you must do to encourage people to stretch themselves. My mentor, Alan Weiss, always says, “If you are not failing, then you are not trying.” I believe that is true. To be a leader in your industry, you must constantly be innovating. This won’t happen if your people are afraid to take risks.

Remember, you have the power to re-engage high-performers and prevent them from leaving. Do so now, before you are on the receiving end of that piece of paper every employer dreads. The “I quit” notice.

© 2011 Human Resource Solutions. All Rights Reserved.

Roberta Chinsky Matuson is the President of Human Resource Solutions and author of the new book, Suddenly in Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around (Nicholas Brealey). Visit Roberta’s Blog or her Linked-in Group Suddenly in Charge! Sign up to receive a complimentary subscription to Roberta’s monthly newsletter, HR Matters.

About the author

For more than 25 years, Roberta Chinsky Matuson, president of Matuson Consulting, has helped leaders in Fortune 500 companies, including Best Buy, New Balance, The Boston Beer Company and small to medium-size businesses, achieve dramatic growth and market leadership through the maximization of talent. She is known world-wide as “The Talent Maximizer®.” Roberta, a leading authority on leadership and the skills and strategies required to earn employee commitment and client loyalty, is the author of the top-selling book, Suddenly In Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around (Nicholas Brealey, 2011), a Washington Post Top 5 Business Book For Leaders.