The chicken or egg question of employee turnover

The question of which came first the chicken or the egg has been around for a long time. There is a variation of this question in the area of employee turnover. Which comes first, do you focus on hiring better candidates? Or do you work on the organization by identifying and fixing the root causes of your turnover? In my experience, I see most organizations with high employee turnover trying to recruit their way out of the problem.

The danger of a false culture

In every organization there is a difference between the reality of the organizations’ culture and the culture the leaders’ desire. The leaders then try to drive the culture in the direction they want to go. This is normal and expected. However, this creates an issue which needs to be addressed. How will the organization present the culture to the outside world? I have seen organizations who try to present where they are moving toward as their current culture. But, this culture does not yet exist.

What is your number one reason?

Each client is different and they are facing different problems. However, given what we do, the problems are generally in one of three buckets:

Employee turnover which is severely damaging their business
Chronically open positions which is reducing their capacity and costing them business
A severe skills gap which limits their production and capabilities

Employee viruses love to spread rumors and negativity

Whatever you do, good or bad, people will always have something negative to say
-  W H Auden

Everyone in the organization knew a press release was being prepared. They also knew it was being released on Thursday. The rumors were rampant. Routinely, people were coming into my office asking me what was going on. We were a publicly held company – my hands were tied. The executives were trying to slow the rumors down. It seemed like all it did was get worse. Within one work day the rumor mill was totally out of control. Now it is amusing to look back and think of some of the rumors that were being peddled.