Monday Morning Leadership Question


November 28, 2011

Thought for the day:

If 10% of your company’s computers disappeared or were stolen each month, your senior leadership would be all over it.   They would demand and explanation and you would start an investigation and take action.  If you lose 10% (or even more) of your employees each month, managers do not bat an eye.

What does that say about what is important?


  • 10% what about up to 30% and no batting of an eyelash just do your job recruitment! There is clearly a lack of leadership when recruitment is blamed for poor management and the main issues of employee engagement and dinosaur behavior some companies have.

    Companies that can engage their employees, communicate their vision and their foibles and take risks are the companies that are and will win. These are the companies that care about employee loss, although 10% is pretty reasonable for most companies.


  • While some turnover is healthy, it merits thoughtful planning. I’ve never seen a P&L that has a line item called “turnover.” It is a massive expense that is buried throughout the majority of the P&L — recruiting, screening, hiring, training, on-boarding and productivity, just to name a few.

    In doing research for a white paper I wrote a year ago (, I had the pleasure of interviewing Joe — a CHRO from a firm in Kentucky. I knew I had to talk to him when I found out that his firm has a turnover rate of under 5%. Joe summed up his strategy this way: “When you are making a $2MM capital investment, you wouldn’t make a rash decision. Why would you make a rash decision with a $2MM human capital investment?”

    When Joe hires someone, he assumes they’ll be with the firm for a long time — hence, the $2MM figure. And, it’s usually valid. As for the <5% turnover, Joe admits, "Eventually, people choose to retire."

    You have to love this kind of leadership!


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About Trish

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.


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