Keeping Staff: The High Cost Of Staff Turnover

One of the best ways you can keep costs under control is find great staff and keep them. Keeping staff is not just about money. Setting up clear guide (employee manual), having performance rewards, good morale and working conditions and treating staff with respect are crucial to success.

Staff turnover effects not only your bottom line, it effects your patients and your current staff.

‘SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, estimated that it costs $3,500.00 to replace one $8.00 per hour employee when all costs — recruiting, interviewing, hiring, training, reduced productivity, et cetera, were considered. SHRM’s estimate was the lowest of 17 nationally respected companies who calculate this cost!

Think of a job in your organization where there has been some turnover, perhaps supervisors. Estimate their annual average pay and the number of supervisors you lose annually. For example, if their average annual pay is $40,000, multiply this by .125% (or 125% of their annual pay, a reasonable cost estimate for supervisors). This means it costs $50,000 to replace just one supervisor. If this company loses ten supervisors a year, then 10 times $50,000 equals $500,000 in replacement costs for just supervisors. This is the bottom line cost. The top line cost? If the company’s profit margin is 10%, then it costs $5,000,000 in revenues to replace these ten supervisors (Source

You will always have turnover, replacing low productive employees or employees with a bad attitude, the key is to avoid high turnover, by retaining valued and productive performers.

The first key is to HIRE RIGHT the first time. If you do not have the time or the wherewithal to interview and screen prospective employees, outsource the interview process using companies such as imatters.

The 2nd Key is to LEAD BY EXAMPLE: if you are late, they are late, if you don’t smile, they won’t smile, if you are unorganized, they are unorganized…

So what else keeps staff? I have put together a list of Staff Retention Techniques that have been gathered over the years of being in the optical industry.

  • Have a complete Employee Manual, which details out the job description, company policies and procedures, dress code, personal time, even social media and texting on the job and your expectations.
  • Have annual Performance Reviews. I can’t tell you how often I hear from staff how they don’t have reviews. Everybody wants to know how they are doing.
  • Have systems in place: in other words, be organized. If there is over laps and duplications in the jobs, staff will roll their eyes and leave. Nobody want to do unnecessary jobs. If the system is broken, ask staff to help make changes.
  • Set aside time and MONEY for staff training. Whether it is off-site, trips to trade shows, local labs, or society meetings, trained staff have pride in their work and it shows them that you care.
  • Have Weekly staff meetings: Communication and input from staff make them feel part of the team and have a say in product and services. Team meetings help staff work together and increase morale.
  • Have good working environment. Clean office, Good lighting, up to day equipment and REAL Plants and as much Fresh Air will increase health and productivity.
  • Smile- ALOT, happy managers breed happy staff.
  • Be Nice. Verbal abuse, yelling, sexual innuendos are a no-no.
  • Show Respect. Listen and solicit opinions.
  • Show appreciation, please and thank you’s are one of the top motivators.
  • Allow creatively
  • Avoid ‘cliques’. Nothing is worse than being the odd person out, foster teamwork and communication.
  • Have fun and laugh.  Employee events and parties are important to enjoying your job.
  • Provide Benefits: Benefits can be anything from parking ticket, 401K, days off.
  • Open book Management– Share stats, the employees will feel important and have a stake in the success of the practice.
  • Give Credit where credit is due.
  • Get rid of ‘ poor employees’. These are employees, that waste time, call in sick, are negative, unproductive. They lower morale and you lose respect from other employees by allowing this to happen.


 Strategies to Develop an Effective Employee Retention Program.” Web:

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