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Employee Churn Is like Ice Cream: Good for You in Moderation

18 March 2021

Employee churn is bad… is what we’ve always been told. It’s expensive, it’s inconvenient and it’s not a good look externally. 

But is it really? 

Sure, sourcing, securing, onboarding and training new employees is a process that takes time and money, but the result is inevitably a carefully handpicked recruit, with a fresh attitude, a mouldable mindset and an abundance of energy. 

To some degree, employee churn can be a good thing. Think of it like ice cream: too much is certainly bad for you, none is decidedly joyless, however, in moderation it’s the perfect treat.   

To be enjoyed in moderation

Employee churn is inevitable. People will leave your organisation for any number of reasons, some in their control, others in yours.

This second point is an important one. Employee churn, when managed effectively, can create new opportunities for an organisation improving internal operations, culture, capability and adaptability. 

Here are four reasons why churn can be good for you in moderation.

Fresh ideas and perspectives

A moderate amount of employee churn avoids stagnation. Leave your ice cream in the sun for too long it will inevitably melt. Fresh eyes bring new ideas and perspectives, and can help a business evolve. New employees are unbiased individuals that can bring favourable aspects of other businesses and identify unfavourable or unusual aspects of your business. This can be critical to instigating meaningful change and ensuring a business doesn’t get stuck in its ways. 

The worst thing a business can do in these volatile, technology-fuelled times is become stuck in the mud, and no employee churn puts you at greater risk of just that.

A reinvigorated culture

Sure, losing a committed and enthusiastic employee is often a detriment to company culture. High churn suggests poor internal culture and is not a great look. However, by the same token, losing an uncommitted and apathetic employee can be a blessing. New employees tend to be enthusiastic, engaged and motivated when starting a new role, which can reinvigorate the office atmosphere. 

Employee churn can be a great opportunity for companies to remove bad cultural elements and replace them with good ones, leading to stronger intra-team relationships and superior company culture overall. 

Upgraded and more capable talent

New employees bring new skills, knowledge and experience to an organisation. The more flavours of ice cream in your cone, the better it tastes. Employee churn in moderation can be a great opportunity for you to organically upgrade the capabilities of their workforce. 

In most industries, skillsets are highly dynamic and rapidly evolving. Take technology for example. According to research by AWS the average worker will need seven new tech skills by 2025 to keep up with the pace of technological change. Moderate employee churn can be an efficient and effective way to facilitate this transition, by replacing employees with less valuable skills (e.g. operating a fax machine) to new employees with more valuable skills (proficient in AI, SaaS, etc.). This natural evolution of capability is crucial to the success of businesses. 

Greater flexibility and adaptability

Armed with your reinvigorated, enthusiastic and tech-savvy team, you’ll enjoy far greater flexibility and adaptability, allowing your organisation to ride business bumps and work your way in front of the competition better than ever before.

New talent grants your business the opportunity to aim higher and reach those new targets. In such a disruptive landscape as we have seen during COVID, the perks of an adaptable and energised workforce have come to the fore, helping companies recalibrate and pivot when and where needed to continue operations.

An organic part of business

Employee churn may not have the greatest reputation. It can be expensive and inconvenient particularly when you unwillingly lose good talent.  However, the reality is, that businesses also have some less than ideal workers. In these cases, companies can benefit from employee churn – replace the old with the new. 

In simple terms, employee churn is like ice cream. It’s just the ticket in certain situations, but you also need to practice moderation otherwise it’ll upset your stomach.

If you’re on the hunt for a new staff member? Want advice on your employee churn rates? Ignite is ready to help! Contact our friendly team today.

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