Myth #4: Low turnover is always good

Reality: Low turnover can be the sign of a great organization. Employees only stay if they are satisfied, right? Not necessarily. Employees stay with companies for all kinds of reasons and it may have nothing to do with job satisfaction. Low turnover can be a sign that employees are overpaid or company benefits are too good to leave.

In recent years, “at least I have a job” has been the operating principle for many dissatisfied employees. Although a large majority of employees are disengaged at work (Gallup 2013), they are not willing to “jump ship”. Contentment combined with concerns that they won’t have the seniority or strong relationships to save them in the event of a reduction in forces make them stay.

In a few cases, employees know that other employers would not tolerate their bad behavior. They stay put although their departure would be welcome by their boss and colleagues.

Distinguishing between regretted and non-regretted turnover is helpful in determining if the turnover is healthy. The resignation of a valued employee would be considered “regretted” turnover. The company is losing a worker it wanted to retain. The non-regretted terminations are those of workers fired, with poor attendance or patchy performance record.

Tracking the regretted and non-regretted turnover rates broken down by division or team will help you identify where your turnover trouble spots might be.

Co-Authored with Kelly Allmon HR Manager at the Jefferson Lab.

Next Post – Myth #5 “Is turnover is always bad?”