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Turnover can be a frustrating experience for a manager. If you oversee a team, you recognize each member of the team contributes in a unique way to projects that must continue after they leave, and hiring and training a replacement can be an expensive hassle that most of us would rather avoid.

But upon closer inspection, turnover doesn’t just represent a personal hassle. And it isn’t just a minor expense or passing inconvenience. In fact, if it goes unchecked and happens too often, turnover can be a serious problem and may represent one of your company’s largest and most avoidable costs. Here are a few reasons why.

Turnover strains the social fabric.

There’s no simple way to measure this effect, but all experienced employers have felt it nonetheless. When a trusted, well-liked, well-known team member leaves, she leaves an absence behind that can’t easily be filled by a stranger, no matter how friendly or competent that person may be. Social shake-ups take time to settle, more time than most of us realize. While team members may appear to size-up and accept a new person within a day or two, meaningful trust and cordiality aren’t achieved this quickly. And if the new person leaves within a few months or a year, the strain deepens, and the team starts over from square one. Every repetition of this process means lost productivity and a costly blow to morale.

Empty chairs are expensive.

If your departing employee leaves the workplace after two weeks, and your replacement isn’t ready to pick up the reins by that time—or hasn’t been hired yet—the chair sits empty. Which means important tasks aren’t being done, work flows are interrupted and team members are carrying heavier workloads than they should. Heavily loaded plates lead to more stress, lower levels of focus, shorter tempers, cut corners and the seeds of bigger problems down the road. When you add up the mistakes, oversights and resets caused by four people doing the work of five, you’ll see your turnover costs take on a new dimension.

New trainees make costly mistakes.

Every professional job comes with a runway or an extended training period in which employers invest in their new hires hoping to collect returns at some point in the future. In other words, all new employees spend some time functioning as liabilities before they become assets. While going through this period, new employees learn the ropes and find their footing by making mistakes, doing the same projects twice, developing new relationships with clients and “wasting” time. This ramp-up period is vital … but it’s also expensive. In the worst-case scenario, the employee learns, fumbles, grows and then leaves before making contributions to the company.

Avoid all three of these high and avoidable expenses by retaining employees longer and solving the problem at the source. Turn to the management experts at Extension for more information.

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