The Hidden Costs of Turnover Cut Your Profits
Imagine this: You're at work, and your coworker takes a job with another company, leaving a
position vacant for several weeks, maybe months. What happens in the meantime? You're
pulled away from your own responsibilities to help to fill the void.
How much do you think lost productivity on your job and the vacant position are
costing the company? How is your department's morale?
These hidden costs of employee turnover - lost productivity, low morale and
additional turnover when other employees watch their coworker leave - are seldom considered
even though they eat away at profits.
Add those hidden
costs to the better-known expenses - like recruiting new
workers - and the total cost of annual turnover can be 150 percent of each
departing worker's salary.
Andy Starzecki, vice president of operations at Goulston Technologies, a Monroe, N.C.,
manufacturer of textile fiber process chemicals, knows that the cost of running reference
checks or ads in the newspaper is trivial compared with the cost of training a new employee.
When the company hires new machine operators and others in manufacturing
positions (which have the highest turnover at Goulston) one person is pulled away from his or her
job to train them for up to two week, Andy says. New hires are apprentices
for 8 to 12 weeks. "You're paying twice as much to get a certain job done." he said.
"All of a sudden, you're talking about big bucks."
Andy's calculation doesn't include lost productivity and possible overtime, which
Goulston may have to pay for coworkers who are pitching in while the new hire gets up to speed.
While new employees are climbing the learning curve, there is also the cost of mistakes.
That can add up, especially in high-turnover industries.
Employers Don't See the Hidden Costs
At a small business, one dissatisfied employee can have a bigger effect on how coworkers
feel about their company than at a large corporation, says Randy Helton,
president of the Monroe-based American Community Bank. "When they leave, there's a pretty
obvious reason, and sometimes they become your
most vocal employees. Unhappiness thrives on unhappiness. If one is
unhappy, it can spread to other employees."
It's easy for high turnover to wear on other employees, says Andy Starzecki of Goulston
Technologies. Managers get tired of training new workers, and employees grow weary of
pitching in while new hires get up to speed.