Normally we have a resolute focus on retaining talent within our organisations, so the title of this post may come as a surprise. I had an interesting conversation with a client recently who explained the importance of ‘healthy attrition’ in their organisation. There are a number of reasons why some attrition should be considered healthy and I’ll explain a few here…
Space for entry
There are a couple of ways in which we can create space for the entry of new talent: promoting our graduate hires into more senior roles and allowing some of them to move on. Ultimately, a healthy mix of the two is what we’re aiming for. Being able to confidently promote graduates into next-level roles is a real feat and shows that the hard work that both you and the graduate have put in, to develop their skills and abilities, has paid off. Likewise, if graduates choose to part company with you after a couple of years, you have still played a huge part in enabling them to take their next career step and should be proud of that! We can feel disheartened when graduates decide to move on, but in fact, it opens doors for upcoming talent and gives the promoted graduates the chance to mentor the new talent through their programme.
Keeping things fresh
When I talk to clients about graduate recruitment, one of the main things they preach about is how graduates bring with them a wealth of fresh ideas, approaches and ways of working. This is a real benefit of hiring young talent and one which many companies overlook until they have seen it for themselves! If we always keep hold of all of our talent, how do we provide this ‘freshness’ that young people bring? Having a healthy amount of attrition allows organisations to recruit new talent and new ideas, ensuring that they consistently benefit from fresh perspectives.
Whilst it varies from company to company, it is suggested that 15% or lower is a healthy turnover rate to have (Forbes). This means that a company of 100 employees could expect to lose up to 15 employees in a calendar year.
The revolving door of talent
Of course what we don’t want is talent swinging in and out of our doors all the time. What we should aim for is a steady flow of people coming in, people staying in and people moving on to bigger things. This healthy balance is not without its challenges and it can be hard to see some people leaving as a positive. However, having steady stream of talent moving through your business will enable you to succession plan effectively whilst consistently inviting new talent to come and work for you.