Accept that employees will leave (Guest Commentary)

Retention is less a problem to be solved than it is a reality to be managed
By Tim Rutledge
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 12/22/2005

Everything that we know about new employees suggests that they’re more likely to resign from organizations than older employees are. Today’s employees see themselves as consumers in a marketplace of employment experiences. They’re mobile, entrepreneurial, and dedicated to building their careers. If they really want to leave, that’s what they’ll do. Even engaged managers can expect this to happen.

Much has been written in the past few years about the “retention problem.” I’d like to suggest that it’s less a problem to be solved than it is a reality to be managed. Framing it as a problem suggests that the identification and application of a solution will result in the elimination of the problem. However, issues pertaining to retention are here to stay.

Yes, resignations are costly. But wrestling with turnover means clinging to an earlier time when turnover wasn’t really an issue. Employees will resign in order to pursue opportunities to build their careers. This is, as they say, the new normal.