By Steve Moran
Do you want to be confused by a bunch of senior living operators? Try this exercise . . . ask them to tell you what their staff turnover rate is. Here is what you will likely hear:
- “It’s not too bad”
- “It’s not where we want it to be.”
- “I don’t know”
- “Do you mean our long-term employees or our new hires?”
- “We don’t really count turnover until they have passed 90 days.”
- “We don’t really count turnover until they have passed 6 months.”
- “It depends on the type of position you are talking about.”
While to some degree there is truth in each of those statements, they are ultimately about not facing up to the truth of what your staff turnover is. Or maybe you actually know what it is.
While I know many of you guard your current occupancy numbers with your life I bet not a single leader doesn’t know exactly how many apartments are empty (or full); how many are likely to be empty in the next few weeks; how many are reserved with deposits; and even how many hot leads your community has.
Not the Only Place We Do This
We also do this with things like sales closing rates. If a lead is not really a lead then it should not be included in the calculation. This may fool the boss and even yourself in the short term but ultimately not facing reality with any of these numbers makes it much harder to get better. Being honest helps us get better, to know where we need to focus.
So What Do Your Numbers Look Like?
The basic calculation should be like this:
The total number of people who have left your employ (anyone who has received a paycheck from you) divided by the current number of employees (headcount not FTEs). Sure you should do further analysis but that is a number you should also be aware of and tracking.
If the turnover goes down, you should figure out what you have been doing differently and do more of that. If your number goes up, you need to figure out what changed and stop doing that.
For closing rate, it should be the total number of move-ins divided by the total number of leads. Again, it is fine to also look at the quality of leads and other things, but that raw basic number tells you a lot about how you are doing and what might need fixing.
So, how do your numbers look? Plug your numbers into our calculators:
Speaking as a retired HR person, there is another factor that should be considered hand-in-hand with turnover. That is retention. Here’s a simplified mathematical example: let’s say that over a period of 12 months a department of 10 people has had 6 resignations. Does that mean 60% turnover? That looks bad, per the math. What if the 6 resignations was just for 2 of the 10 positions. That means 80% (8 of the 10 people) stayed in their positions, giving you 80% retention…. not too bad. Now, apply this principle to a much larger organization — let’s say a company of 1000 employees. You may spend too much time trying to get the turnover percentage down without realizing retention is okay, but something needs improvement in a select few positions. For example, maybe the high turnover position is that of first-line supervisors while those above and below this position are fine with their salary/benefits (those above, even though exempt from overtime) and those below, who are happily being paid time and a half for overtime. You discover that the first-line supervisors are having to put in long hours without overtime pay …. earning less than their subordinates, yet without the perq’s of those above them. Or, the position that is the revolving door is just below the first-line supervisor. Maybe your organization has failed to provide first line supervisors proper supervisory training.