Staff Turnover, Or, Are They Dropping Like Flies or Like Rats Leaving a Sinking Ship?

It seems as if every day another staff member quits. At first, I told myself (and the President’s Cabinet) that this was healthy. A healthy organization should have a steady turnover, and it seems like 8-10% is a regularly accepted rate for a healthy organization. Now, though, with two new resignations, 14% of my staff are OUTTA here, Jack.

Because I’m new, I’m actually not worried. I figure this is an opportunity to get fresh blood. Hell, it’s not MY fault they quit, not yet. But what are the danger signs to a CTO regarding staff turnover?

You may have a “retention problem” if:

  • you have an overall turnover rate higher than 10%
  • a particular division has a turnover rate greater than 10%
  • the majority of staff leaving are of a similar level, e.g.”junior,” “senior,” “hourly,” etc.
  • the majority of staff leaving are going to local jobs which, overall, seem more unattractive than the job you thought you were providing them

Of course, there’s no such thing as a “retention problem.” I mean, that’s just a symptom of a deeper problem. In my experience, the deeper problem is rarely as easy to solve as, say, compensation. Nah, they’re leaving because, yep, it’s personal. Meaning there’s something off with the culture, the workload, the opportunities, the management.

How to fix? More on that, later.

4 Responses to “Staff Turnover, Or, Are They Dropping Like Flies or Like Rats Leaving a Sinking Ship?”

  1. g-lo said:

    Jun 27, 08 at 5:58 am

    how about you address this by going over everyone’s department emails line-by-line?

  2. admin said:

    Jun 27, 08 at 4:49 pm

    Dude, it’s not funny. It was a really bad email. I’m serious!

  3. steele403 said:

    Jun 30, 08 at 3:39 pm

    It’s the money(*). Seriously.

    Unless it’s not the money then it’s something else (**).

    (*) No matter how ‘awesome’ the job, people will leave if they can’t support their dependents in a reasonable manner.
    (**) and if they can then there are other issues.

  4. admin said:

    Jun 30, 08 at 5:11 pm

    I think the money needs to be ballpark-ish. As with the benefits. I would be more likely to think it was the money if people cited higher pay as the reason for leaving. I don’t want to belittle the money issue, but money is usually the easiest problem to solve. What’s harder are the “other issues.”

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.