One-half of employers say ideal turnover is 10 per cent or less: Survey

4 in 10 have formal process for tracking turnover

Nearly one-half of employers in the United States believe their ideal turnover would be 10 per cent or less, according to the survey conducted by AMA Enterprise.

One-fifth (19 per cent) consider it 10 to 20 per cent, and almost one-third (29 per cent) of respondents do not know what is best for their organization, found the poll of nearly 1,000 U.S. companies.

“Certainly no company wants or could achieve zero turnover, and every organization needs new people, new ideas, new energy,” said Sandi Edwards, senior vice-president of AMA Enterprise. “But runaway turnover can be a nightmare with skyrocketing recruitment and training costs, causing significant impact on the rest of the organization.”

Moreover, employee turnover varies by industry, she said, and each organization must find what works best and seek the right equilibrium.

The survey also found 42 per cent of employers have a formal process in place to track annual employee turnover, while 29 per cent have an informal process. One in 10 (12 per cent) have no process at all and 17 per cent are unsure.

“In reality, employees always come and go, and some managers pay close attention to what happens, while others appear not to,” said Edwards. “Too many managers don’t seem to have a clear fix on what’s happening, and presumably on the relating costs, fiscal and otherwise.”

The survey findings cast light on an all-too-common gap between a company’s declared commitment to employees and the steps actually taken to support that commitment, she said.

“Addressing turnover needs to be a priority and driven by the most senior levels of management. It requires a partnership between management and HR,” said Edwards. “In particular, managers need to be sure they have identified the critical talent needed for future success and make every effort to retain and develop those employees.”

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