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Preventing Turnover

Updated: Mar 15, 2022

With the “Great Resignation” happening worldwide because of people being fed up with the Pandemic and, frankly, workplace practices, the already difficult job market became even more challenging. I remember in the 1990s reading about Workforce 2020 and that the impending labor shortage would create issues for companies. Well…they were right! Add in the fact that 10,000 Baby Boomers are turning 65 every day and consequently leaving the workforce; we have a talent crisis on our hands.

What to do about it? The thing to do is to proactively position yourself to keep the strong talent you have and prevent turnover. It’s a buyer’s market, and employees know now more than ever before that they have a choice. Below are seven reasons for turnover and tips to prevent it:


On most surveys, the top reason people leave organizations is the relationship with their manager.

Tip: take management development seriously. Invest in skill development, coach the coaches, and hold managers accountable to be extremely competent managers.


Another of the top three reasons typically given as to why people leave organizations is lack of development. Most people, at least the type of people you want on your team, are not happy being static.

Tip: Each person should have a development plan that is taken seriously. Make it a priority because it is also good for the organization. Learn what people need and want for their development and make it personal by customizing solutions to meet those needs.

Antiquated processes and tools.

People now know we can rally on the technological front to make their lives easier. They have little tolerance for work that is unnecessarily busy.

Tip: Follow the guidelines in Fast. Simple. Good. Done. Invest in making things easier and faster. Invest in technology. Have a technology plan that catapults the organization and makes life better for employees.

Lack of purpose.

People want to be involved and want their life and life’s work to have a purpose. We get discretionary effort from folks when they are engaged and excited about what they are doing.

Tip: Figure out what is of interest to people and make sure they have ownership over something. Empower them and give them the freedom of thought to contribute. Collaborate and insist on the need of their thinking for the benefit of the organization.


People have a reasonable expectation of receiving a fair wage in trade for good work.

Tip: Develop a compensation philosophy according to the market rate of pay. Do you pay in the 50th percentile, the 75th? If people have other benefits based on working there (long-term profit sharing, generous vacation policy, summer hours/half-day Fridays), be sure to include the total package when discussing what people have as a result of working there. But bottom line, pay them for their worth. It is often not significant amounts, and you end up paying for it in turnover costs.


People are tired of being overworked, and in this market, they have a choice. It’s not that people are resistant to working hard, but far too many employers have asked too much of employees for too long.

Tip: Every workplace is an equation of total desired work divided by resources equal time. We all want things fast and cheap, but that’s not the reality of things. Make sure people’s jobs are right sized. Eliminate non essential tasks. Look for new ways to do things. Find ways to make work easier – that includes letting people work in various locations to minimize or eliminate their commute!

Toxic culture.

Cultures such as these are cancerous and will destroy your organization. If this is your reality, change it immediately because people don’t want to be part of that, and they don’t need to be.

Tip: Hire well. Surround people with top talent who work hard, not jokes which are distracting or detracting from the environment. Ensure you have a culture of gratitude and recognition and customize it to what resonates with each individual.


The best way to stop the bleeding on turnover and talent is to not have it start in the first place. Making systemic changes to your organization and culture will have a multiplying positive effect on the results and, most specifically, on talent retention.


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