While most organizations worry about voluntary turnover, what they should really be concerned with is regrettable turnover.
Regrettable turnover is when an employee’s departure from a company has a negative impact on the team or organization. Measuring regrettable turnover is a more accurate way to measure turnover to determine an organization’s health.
After all, not all voluntary turnover is regrettable.
Think about it: Has an employee ever left your organization of his or her own volition, but looking back, the departure ended up being blessings in disguise? Many times with voluntary turnover, the exiting employee was being coached vastly improve performance – if not leave altogether.
So how do you determine whether an employee’s departure is indeed regrettable? Start with the following questions:
Was the person offered a voluntary or involuntary retirement or separation package?
Was the person fired for performance or conduct?
If the answer to both questions is “yes,” the departure is not regrettable. If the answer to one or both questions is “no,” dig deeper using the questions. (Keep in mind that the answers to these questions are specific and unique to your situation -- only you can determine if the turnover if then considered regrettable.)
Was the person on a list of "high potential?"
Was this person on a "key to retain" list?
Was the person hired in the last [x] number of years?
Does this person have intellectual capital that will be extremely hard to replace?
Does this turnover cause significant disruption to the team?
Finally, remember that this list is by no means comprehensive. You and your HR team may decide to add more questions to determine whether a person’s exit from your organization is regrettable or non-regrettable. From there, you can build a framework that will give you a more accurate assessment of turnover at your organization and which areas you need to improve.