It should.

The Workforce Intelligence (formerly People Report) 2016 Recruiting and Turnover Report makes me break into a cold sweat. While you’re out there doing your best to hire leaders to steer your business in the right direction, about 33% of unit-level managers were terminated within a year of hire.

You guys are struggling. The burden to be an owner, operator, line leader and jack-of-all-trades continues to fall on your shoulders. I feel for you.

What’s worse is that 71% of hourly employees were terminated during the same period, and 33% were terminated within the first 90 days of employment. It means that you hire and train the best possible talent in your local market, only to see them learn valuable skills and leave because of entirely predictable reasons. Their basic necessities on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs aren’t being addressed.

As a human resources consultant, I’m the last person who will tell you that all turnover is terrible. In fact, sometimes turnover solves problems. But losing your top talent is dangerous.

As an owner or an operator, you must make the case for rebuilding the overall employment experience. Unfortunately, top performers don’t hear you. They represented 14% of terminations for management employees.

That’s a shockingly huge number. When you do the math, most businesses cannot survive and thrive with an attrition rate of more than 2-3% for their top performers. I’m here to tell you that 14% is beyond unacceptable.

So all of this is to say that you should be using reliable and valid benchmarking data to estimate how the cost of turnover impacts your organizational health. Regrettably, Black Box Intelligence (formerly TDn2K) notes that 88% of companies have not determined the cost of turnover as a percentage of sales and that 65% of businesses reported that hourly turnover was not a criterion used when determining General Manager bonuses.

I’m shocked, and I’m not.

Math is hard, but that’s why data analysts in the restaurant and service sector exist. They’re here to provide you with market insights, strengthen your business, and offer different ways of thinking about your company.

There is an old saying that a man will not jump a fence if he’s afraid of a ditch. So that leaves owners and operators with a choice to make. Do you jump the fence and try to escape the same failure-ridden model of recruiting and turnover, or do you stand powerless and in fear of the ditch?

I say you jump.

The first step is to get educated. With turnover levels exceeding 100% in today’s tightening labor market, your restaurant teams must take all the right steps to acquire and keep top talent.

Join Black Box Intelligence (formerly TDn2K) on May 12th for a webinar to discuss the latest insights from the 2016 Recruiting and Turnover Report and talk with industry leaders about what best practices they employ to assure that they remain competitive in the talent landscape.

Presenters and guests include Nicky Gibson, who is the Director of Talent Acquisition at Zoës Kitchen. We are also joined by Julie Juvera, the Vice President of People & Field Operations at California Pizza Kitchen. Finally, we will hear from Victor Fernandez, who serves as the Executive Director of Insights at Black Box Intelligence (formerly TDn2K).

Stop fearing the big ditch of failure. Sign up now for our webinar, and walk away with tactical guidance on how to beat back the current trends in turnover.

We’ll see you there!


Laurie Ruettimann is a former Human Resources leader turned influential speaker, writer and strategist. She owns a human resources consultancy that offers a wide array of HR services to human resources leaders and executives. To read more of her work, visit her website. You can also follow her on Twitter at @lruettimann.