There are ways to make sure your team stays on track, even when people leave.

OMG – another team member has JUST handed you their notice.  If you’re like me your head immediately goes to the pejorative – how will I ever replace this employee who has all that expertise and tribal knowledge?    And not far behind come your concerns (okay fears) about the impact to the team – geez, one more staffing change.

Any turnover, even the wanted kind, creates a unique set of challenges.  For Northwest employers, the challenge is greatly exacerbated by a tight candidate marketplace that isn’t bursting with replacement options.  No kidding – not only will it take more time than you have just to find a replacement employee, but you run the risk that who you hire won’t be the right fit.  (50% of hiring decisions turn out to be hiring mistakes)

Meanwhile you have to know that your team and its customers will be wondering about what’s next.  With “one more person jumping ship” is this ship going to stay afloat?

Been there?  In this job market, we suspect you have.

If good bye parties are becoming a monthly or quarterly occurrence, it’s probably time for you to take another look at this turnover thing.  While turnover will definitely keep your leadership skills sharpened, we think a change in mindset and a few new tools in your management toolkit, it can actually turn out to be a good thing.

First, here’s some what’s and why’s behind turnover that will make it clear that you’re not alone – turnover is here to stay and it’s not likely to get better – for you, or any employer.

In terms of the TURNOVER WHAT’S, here’s what some quick research shows….

Look around your office – that’s a whole lot of comings and goings.

Hourly employees’ turnover at higher rates than do salaried employees.

Industries with higher than normal turnover rates include retail, hospitality, construction, professional and business services.

Industries with lower than average turnover rates include manufacturing, information and financial services.

To understand the WHYS behind these WHATS, here’s what we know about why employee’s leave jobs.

While new employers should be leery of employees who are quick to pull the trigger when things don’t go their way, all employers need to remember that a new job is  only a click and an on line app away.  It doesn’t take much to create a turnover.



What Can I Do to Turnover into Something Good?  

Believe it or not, turnover can result in something positive with a quick adjustment in mindset and the right solutions. While some of our advice will sound “self-serving” (part of what we do is temporary staffing and we have a bias towards making temporary/contingent staffing at least a part of our client’s staffing arsenal),  here’s some of the ways we work with clients who are dealing with more turnover than they would like…..

There are multiple reasons why employers use “flexible staffing strategies” – one of them is to help high turnover industries avoid the gaps in performance that are created by turnover.

We think a temporary employee is often the better solution – a way to fill in the gaps left by a departing employee without unduly burdening the folks on your team who you want (as in need) to stay in place.  Even someone to answer the phones do routine filing or errand running while work is being reshuffled elsewhere,  can be a god send to a busy team.  Let’s face it, it might take you months to ‘find” the right new hire, but a temp can be on boarded within a few days.

And who knows, your “temp” may turn out to be more than just a temporary solution.  At PACE, close to 40% of our temporary employees get hired by our clients after working on a temporary assignment.

If you’re bringing on a temp, ask a current team member to oversee their work.

If you know of team members who want to grow their careers, approach them with the chance to take on some new responsibilities, to learn more about your team, your business.  Give them a reason to stay.

I recently worked with a team who had lost their VP of Sales and needed to replace that high level leader at a time when sales targets weren’t being met, morale was waning.    By involving the VP’s direct reports in the profiling process, asking their input on the work they most wanted their VP to accomplish during their first year on the job and the leadership qualities in the new hire that would be most important to them, we were able to engage the team in ways that kept them energized, rather than demoralized,  about their future.  And guess what? We were able to quickly pinpoint, find and hire the right replacement!

Soooo…if you’ve taken our advice to plug in a gap by bringing on a temporary employee,  you might consider keeping that temp in place for 3-4 months rather than re hiring your replacement employee right away.  It often takes 3-4 months to re think how the team wants to get work done and what skills or personal qualities will be needed in the replacement hire.

We’re probably biased, but we think the strategy of putting a temp in place while hiring is one of the smartest things a hiring manager can do to keep their team humming even during staffing or organizational changes.   Our temporary employees love the challenge of helping our clients thru these changes.

Obviously if there are some re occurring issues that are creating leavings, you need to get those issues addressed and corrected.  In similar fashion if there are reasons that consistently come up as to why people like working on your team, you’ll need to make sure those reasons are embedded in what you do going forward.   Correct your weaknesses.  Lean into your strengths…     

Now would be a good to mention that one of PACE’s latest service offerings are third party exit interviews that we have provided to clients being impacted by higher than normal rates of turnover.  For our clients who are battling a turnover issue and need to know more about how to address their turnover smartly, our exit interview program has produced some invaluable insights – information they may not have picked up on their own.

We also use exit interviews to better define the type of employees who might be a better “fit” for the job in the future.

If you are an employer who wants to know more about what’s behind the turnover you’ve had or want to make sure that your “next hire” is a better fit for the job you need done, give our partner development team a call at 425-637-3312 to have a conversation about how we can help.

While getting notice from one of your most valued employees is likely not your favorite moment, with a shift in attitude and the use of a few tactical ideas, even an unwanted turnover can be turned into something positive for you and your team. Re-group.  Re-Ignite.  Move on to your newest version of “better.”  Top of Form

PACE Staffing Network is one of the Puget Sound’s premier staffing /recruiting agencies and has been helping Northwest employers find and hire employees based on the “right fit” for over 40 years.

A  3-time winner of the coveted “Best in Staffing” designation, PACE is ranked in the top 2% of staffing agencies nationwide based on annual surveys of customer satisfaction.

PACE services include temporary and contract staffing, temp to hire auditions, direct hire professional recruiting services, Employer of Record (payroll) services, and a large menu of candidate assessment services our clients can purchase a la carte.

To learn more about how partnering with PACE will make a difference to how you find, hire, and retain employees,  contact us at 425-637-3312 or e mail our Partner Solutions  team  at partnerservices@pacestaffing.com.


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