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Best Training Practices
Will Kenny
3927 York Ave N
Robbinsdale, MN 55422

Are You Ready to Tackle Employee Turnover?

a good wind may blow some ill

(reprinted from The Training Tipsheet)

The training services you provide to an organization with a very stable workforce can be quite different from those that are needed by a company with higher turnover.

The problem is, most businesses have seen low turnover for a couple of years, and you and your management may have become a bit too comfortable with that. Sure, there have been layoffs, and some employees have needed training to fulfill additional roles as fewer people have had to do more, in tough times.

But the down economy has greatly restricted turnover and movement among positions and companies. On the one hand, anyone who has a job is hanging on to it. Keep your head down and avoid the risk of having to find a new job elsewhere, that's the theme for your average employee.

Add to that the slowing pace of retirements since the recession hit. When all of those pension plans, IRA's, and so on lost significant value overnight, people who were about to pull the plug decided to wait a little longer, to stay on the job and maintain a steady income until they saw some recovery in their retirement portfolios.

Now we're seeing the economy improve. And that's a mixed blessing, in terms of your labor force.

If it's "an ill wind that blows no good," we might turn that around and say that a good wind generally blows some "ill" about. If your company's management is not looking ahead to deal with employee turnover, they may be headed for some ugly surprises.

And if you do not have strategies for providing training appropriate to a higher turnover situation, you may compound those ugly surprises.

An improving economy means more jobs available. Little by little, more and more of the employees who were just holding fast to the jobs they had will start looking for better opportunities elsewhere.

At the same time, the stock market is getting back to the point where those retirement accounts are worth something again. And with a couple of extra years at work, and the income that provided, people who postponed their retirement a couple of years ago will be making the move sooner rather than later.

That means a mass departure of your most experienced employees. That has significant knowledge loss implications, a drain of expertise and even of your company's culture that can have a powerful impact on the success of your organization.

If your company is just extrapolating workforce turnover and stability from the trend line of the past couple of years, how will they anticipate, and manage, this huge change as more employees leave, and, in many instances, a disproportionate number of the most knowledgeable and valuable staff retire?

Every time you read some good economic news in the newspaper, it should move you to consider the impact of an improving economy on your workforce. It is time to prepare for the coming turnover right now.

© 2011 Best Training Practices -- Will Kenny

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