Lessons To Learn From High Staff Turnover

Posted on Sep 2, 2020
By Kerry Anne Nelson
3 min read
Small business Process mapping Victoria
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Staff turnover costs Australian businesses $33 billion each year and replacing staff can cost an average of two to two and a half times their annual salary. Every business has to deal with staff turnover, and every business owner can gain valuable insight from those businesses that function well despite a high rotation of staff. It is an opportunity to invest in and grow your business to be even better than before!


The first thing that a business like this needs is watertight systems and processes, with clearly documented task instructions. When jobs are standardised and done the same way every single time, you will find that the team can function well, even if the team members are coming and going at a rapid rate. Having good strong systems and processes is the backbone of every successful business, and those who have a high staff turnover especially can do well if they’ve got those systems and processes solidly in place. At the least, it will mitigate the issues that may arise!

Small business Process mapping Victoria

“People come and go, but systems remain constant,” Michael E Gerber


Staff turnover is a great way of improving the talent pool in a business. With new people come new skills, and a new way of seeing things that perhaps a body of staff that have been there for longer may not see. Having these insights can provide space for innovation and creativity,

and with lots of opportunities for recruitment, the business owner and the leadership team can be picked from the best of the bunch. Increasing the quality of the overall staff body, and picking highly qualified expert staff, can only benefit the rest of the business overall.


A key lesson we can learn from businesses that function well with a high staff turnover is one of the simplest but most effective. With new people come fresh insights and perspectives. They bring a new way of seeing things that perhaps the staff that have been there for longer may not see, especially when in the habit of doing things the same way without introspection. Having these crystal clear insights can only provide space for innovation and creativity, always finding ways to make things better, and improving the approaches and the processes that are done across the company.


The final lesson that we can learn, and one of the most important, is that a good strong leadership team is best able to facilitate the previous points. Investing heavily in leadership development means that, even though you might have people coming in and out of the company at a record rate, a few stable team leaders will function as pillars of stability for the rest of the organisation. A strong leadership team during high staff turnover doesn’t affect the company as much as it would if you had a flimsy leadership structure at the top.

So, even though a high staff turnover will probably not be the recommended model for most businesses, there are certainly benefits to it, and lessons that we can learn to make our business just so much stronger and robust and set to grow. People are the core of any business, and with the opportunity to gain great new people your business can only get better! I hope you found this helpful. I’d love to hear about your journey, how are you going with growing your business and how you deal with the onboarding of new staff and saying farewell when staff need to go.

Kerry Anne Nelson

About Kerry Anne Nelson

Kerry Anne Nelson is the founder of Operation Verve and is a qualified first-class Honours graduate with more than 8 years of experience in education.

Kerry Anne Nelson is a workplace processes architect and uses her Lean Six Sigma training to maximise her years of experience in business management, education, and team leadership to help clients achieve lasting business growth.