Stop the Revolving Door: Understanding Employee Retention 


Why & How To Stop The Revolving Door

For a CEO, director, or manager responsible for the performance of employees, it is critical to understand the various factors that encourage employees to stay with your company. While employees over time will move to other companies for valid personal and professional reasons, keeping employee retention rates high benefits the bottom line of a company.

Remember: A good former employee can turn out to be the single ingredient that makes your competition great.

Problems With A Revolving Door

When the number of staff departures becomes unusually high or within a short amount of time, it’s time to take notice. A revolving door is harmful to your company for these reasons:

Disappearance of Knowledge:

Despite improved practices of documenting processes, collecting customer data, and sharing information throughout an enterprise, an employee keeps valuable knowledge inside their head about client and peer relationships. As an employee’s tenure with a company grows, so too does their knowledge – not just the data – about operations, competition, customer behaviors, and internal operations.

Costs for Filling Staff Vacancies:

Next time an employee departs, track the number of staff hours spent filling the position. As you tally the time allocated to reviewing resumes, conducting interviews, checking references, and negotiating hiring packages, you’ll see the costs and understand the value of partnering with recruitment firms like Signature Recruiting.

Other costs include the additional work placed on existing staff to fill the vacancy and the time necessary for effectively onboarding new staff.

Backlogged Work:

When the replacement is found and hired, they may enter a situation backlogged with projects, burnt out co-workers, and impatient clients. It’s not a promising start with the company and can lead to lingering frustration.

Perception Matters:

Finally, a revolving door, even if an unfounded perception, creates a negative reputation about the company in the community.

On the outside, people may create stories about why the retention rate is low. Prospective employees may avoid your business if there are indications that others are rapidly leaving. Internally, retention problems undermine goodwill and a supportive team environment with existing employees. Employees may not be motivated to give their all or be fully committed if their peers are exiting.

Ways to Stop the Revolving Door

Fortunately, numerous options are available to control the revolving door of employee retention.

  • Have clear agreement between you and the new staffer about the job, including responsibilities, culture, compensation, and benefits. A probation period, such as the first three months in a new job, is an excellent opportunity to discuss company values and behavior expectations.
  • Offer structured and clear pathways for job advancement and professional development opportunities.
  • Create an environment that emphasizes and rewards open communication and respectful behavior.
  • Offer meaningful corporate wellness activities. These efforts, from organized team fitness programs to individual health coaching, make it easier for employees to perform at a high level and engender a positive connection with the company. The activities further provide team-building opportunities that create a more cohesive and nurturing work environment.


“When employees feel their employer is invested in their wellbeing, they have a reason to stay with the company longer, lending their experience and deepening the relationships they can have with customers and clients.” – Brian Moynihan, chairman and CEO of Bank of America


  • Regularly conduct surveys of employees about their overall satisfaction to identify and address emerging issues before they grow into significant problems. Equip managers with skills and tools to effectively listen to their reports.
  • Review industry benchmarking studies about employee retention rates, salary, and benefit comparisons. Online company review websites such as Glassdoor also provide helpful information. While the anonymity and subjectivity of the ratings and comments do not provide the full story, such sites are useful for company leadership to see patterns or areas that may be contributing to excessive turn-over.

What do you think about retention rates in Vancouver’s IT industry? What strategies work best in keeping a stable employee base? Let us know!