Your Guide to Defusing A Company Turnover Problem

• 6 min read

The Business Impact of Learning and Development: Low Employee Turnover

What happens when the wrong way to do something becomes the norm?

That new norm spreads into other areas and processes; important things are overlooked, bad habits spread, and you’re now facing a major problem that could have been avoided.

High turnover is one such problem that only gets worse the longer it’s left unchecked. Company morale can plummet, other employees suddenly have to take on increased responsibilities, and that’s before you even consider the monetary and time costs to the organization.

A revolving door of exiting hires can quickly turn from a few departures into a full-blown organizational issue, especially if you have no clear strategy on how to put a stop to it and start retaining your best performers.

The good news is, it’s completely reversible.

High turnover can be avoided by understanding what’s gone wrong during the employee experience and addressing the root of the problem. This guide will outline why your employees are leaving and the importance learning and development plays in your business strategy to reverse turnover before it results in disaster.

Employee Turnover’s True Impact

Managing this issue starts by outlining the extent of the problem. To understand how the impact of high turnover can quickly spiral out of control, let’s consider what the typical cost to replace employees is.

Each time a company replaces a salaried employee, the cost of replacing them can be equal to 9 months’ salary. So, if an employee earning $60,000 leaves your organization, it could cost up to $45,000 in recruitment and onboarding costs to replace that person.

Unsurprisingly, those costs are even higher for top-level positions, with some estimates putting the cost at up to 213% of the annual salary for highly educated executive positions. That means that the cost to replace a $100,000 executive could be up to $213,000.

Replacement Is Only The Start of Your Problems

Even when you do finally replace someone, it typically takes eight months for a newly-hired employee to reach full productivity. In reality, it could be close to a year before your organization is back to square one, but then all you’re doing is staying in the same place.

Wanting to improve the ramp time of new employees is a common business goal, but this becomes significantly more difficult when your best performers are leaving and taking their best practices with them.

Turnover stagnates any ambitions you’ll undoubtedly have to grow and because these problems never exist as a one-off and can grow to influence multiple departures, the costs and the negative impacts on the wider business begin to accumulate quickly.

Why Are Your People Leaving?

In a recent webinar with Brandon Hall Group, we asked participants what they believed was the main cause of turnover. Here are the poll results:

Lack of development opportunities – 46%
Their Manager – 41%
Work/Life balance – 6%
Pay/benefits – 4%
Other – 3%

Research from The Work Institute also found that career development, work/life balance and bad managers are consistently the top issues that push employees to job hop, with compensation cited in only 9% of exit interviews.

What we see here is a clear connection between how people feel about their jobs, what progression looks like in their role, and whether or not they’re going to stick around. It’s also clear that pay and benefits have only a small bearing on whether employees choose to stay in their role or look elsewhere.

According to Brandon Hall Group’s research on talent retention, 64% of organizations say that the career development framework that they have internally, to help people grow within the organization, has an impact on talent retention.

Using Online Learning as Your Tool of Choice

The importance of learning and development in business strategy is unquestionable, but honing in on how learning can impact specific objectives, such as retention, is how it should be treated to see results.

When it comes to implementing a strategy to tackle turnover, a good starting point is to look at organizations with high retention rates. These are organizations where, year over year, their employee retention has increased as opposed to stagnated or fallen off.

60% of companies with increasing retention rates focus heavily on achieving alignment between learning and business goals.

30% of companies that have seen increasing retention rates focus heavily on learning and development.

What’s clear with these organizations is that there is both greater alignment between learning and business goals and a greater focus on learning and development activities.

This further highlights the clear connection between learning and development, how companies view it, how much emphasis they put on it, and whether or not their retention rates are improving year over year.

Building Your Corporate Learning Strategy

So, where do you begin when it comes to leveraging learning as a key tool in fixing your turnover problem?

Essential pieces of a strong corporate learning strategy:

  • Learning objectives are linked directly to the business goals.
  • The organization leverages a mature learning technology stack to create different learning experiences, with a focus on high engagement and personalization. The technological part of the equation is integral to gaining insights into your programs to prove to executives that learning is having an impact on the employee experience and retention.
  • Data from across the whole organization, not just data collected from the learning department, is used to measure learning’s impact on the business.

Achieving Greater Knowledge Retention Through Learning

Where many learning programs fail to gain buy-in from learners is in the overall learning experience.

Learning solutions have been known to be bulky and stale, resulting in low engagement, reliance on formal delivery mechanisms, and next to no collaborative learning capabilities.

We know they want to learn but are we making it easy for them to do that and take control of their growth, when and where they want?

Challenge Your Employees

Top performers are typically smart, and they know they need to be challenged on an ongoing basis in order to continually improve. While a good self-starter can take initiative and find new ways to challenge themselves, environments that push them to improve are key to getting the best out of them.

A great way to do this is to create dedicated channels within your learning platform where users can quickly access content organized by different categories. These channels can be made up of user-generated content, PDFs, videos, screen recordings, or even curated from outside sources. Employees log in and easily find the information they need on a particular product or skill and engage with the material to boost their knowledge.

Bringing gamification into your learning experience is also a way to challenge your teams to learn, grow, and interact with the platform. Competition in learning is a great way to introduce elements of fun and generate ongoing interest from learners in their development.

When you encourage your people to fill the gaps between capabilities and work demands, you’ll improve your chances of keeping top talent around.

Give Them A Visible, Defined Career Track

Employees at best-in-class companies are 37% more likely to join and remain with an organization if they can chart a career track within the organization that is defined and visible.

Employees without a clear career path can feel like they are simply treading water in an organization, without any clear purpose, objective, or a way to get there.

Work with them to define a clear career path, complete with milestones, a timeline, and key performance indicators. Build out learning plans within your platform which contain a specific set of courses that employees can be assigned and go through in a set order – but don’t just treat these as a set-and-forget exercise. Tap into your learner feedback to find out what they think is working, what’s missing, and what could be improved.

Don’t Leave Employee Turnover Unchecked

Organizations must embrace and encourage a culture in which learning is directly connected to employee engagement and performance. Companies that proactively provide their employees with the tools they need to expand their skills and help them take on new challenges at work are more likely to improve engagement. And, ultimately, you avert a turnover crisis altogether.

Ready to start defusing turnover in your organization? Let’s set up a call so we can deliver a customized demo of the Docebo Learning Platform. You’ll see how organizations have improved retention with engaging and defined learning programs.