Turnover? or Turn It Up?

When you have employees, turnover is inevitable. Sooner or later, one of your employees will decide to go back to school, move on to another opportunity or relocate because of his or her spouse’s job. That employee will give you two weeks’ notice and you will find yourself in a professional “purgatory.” Somehow you and your coworkers will have to find a replacement and continue to fulfill the duties of that position at the same time. It’s stressful. It’s time consuming. And it’s exhausting.

But it’s also an opportunity.

Every time an employee leaves, you are given a chance to review that position. You can examine the job description, the hours your former employee spent on specific tasks and reevaluate the current needs of your company. It gives you the opportunity to evolve the job from what your company needed when you hired that employee to what your company needs today.

Too often in business, we replace without reflecting — automatically putting out the call for the same job title and skill set that’s been vacated. That’s like buying the same size suit you wore five years ago. It just may not fit any more.

We recently replaced an account coordinator. After evaluating time sheets, we realized that a great deal of this coordinator’s time had been spent doing coordination and administrative work. Our company needed someone with the experience to see projects through from estimate to production without supervision. So we experimented with different job descriptions, put out the “wanted ads” and eventually ended up hiring someone who has been estimating and producing jobs for twenty years.

Employee changes are not fun, but they ARE going to happen. So reflect long and hard before you replace. It’s the difference between “turning” a position “over” and “turning it up.”