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Employee turnover in digital teams: pains and remedies to face

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You must have heard of turnover in the environment of Digital marketing. It’s from employee turnover? Probably yes!

This indicator of permanence in companies has changed profoundly in the last two years, as a symptom of the digitalization that the pandemic has caused in business.

I have called this phenomenon the pyramid effect and I explain it better in this content.

What is employee turnover?

Closely observed by HR professionals, especially from the DP and Recruitment and Selection areas, the employee turnover measures the rate of business terminations.

Whether by the will of the collaborating person or by decision of the company, the truth is that turnover generates important wear on the team, leadership and customers.

Acting preventively has been the object of study of most leaders concerned with building a performance-based culture.

How to identify high employee turnover?

There are two ways to identify the high employee turnover: comparing the history of the company itself or the market parameters.

I believe that only the first case is manageable. The second is an indicator that gives us context, such as the high volume of turnover that we now see within technology-based companies or teams that work with performance marketing in the case of digital agencies.

It is a fact that the competition for talent gave rise to what I called the pyramid effect in the Brazilian business community. More than 90% of it is formed by SMEs that were forced to go to the internet in times of lockdown.

Digital agencies, recognized as trainers of technical talent, found themselves increasingly harassed by the high salaries offered by large corporations, also needing professionals ready and without time to train them. Pyramid effect built by the law of supply and demand.

And that’s when we identified companies, especially small and medium-sized businesses, reporting that the volume of dismissals was greater than that of new hires. In other words, more effort from the HR team in replacing vacancies than in expanding the team.

It is worth remembering that most of the reported dismissals are of the voluntary type – the one in which the collaborating person decides to leave the team for new opportunities.

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What are the impacts of employee turnover on companies?

While HR’s effort is to replace vacancies, Digital Marketing leaders suffer from the need to keep the team engaged with fewer members. High stress on professionals who, in many cases, need to return to operational demands or stretch out to keep the commitments made.

Result: low productivity, disengagement and risk to the results expected by the customer.

Not to mention the technology-based companies (startups) that reduced their teams in search of more operational efficiency for their investors, wanting to anticipate financial returns in times of economic indecision.

Unlike cases of dismissal by team choice, we observe here several examples of involuntary turnover.

What are the causes of high employee turnover?

The cases above show us that we can make two major cuts in the turnover scenario involving digital teams in Brazil.

When justifying a voluntary departure from companies, employees often allege low salaries, lack of career path erosion of their mental health or abusive leadership.

This type seemed more evident to me in Digital Marketing teams.

In cases of terminations by decision of the companies, cost-cutting and operational inefficiency (profit margin) are often the main justifications. Including to turn off newly hired talents or already well-recognized for high performance in the operation.

This is the case of what I have been following when reading the lists of dismissals in startups, which announce the dismissal of dozens of professionals, mostly in technology.

What is the relationship between employee turnover and turnover?

As we have seen so far, the terms turnover and employee turnover can be understood as synonyms. It is by detailing this indicator that we can have a better understanding of the health of the human capital of this company and its relationship with the industry, size, team, time with the company, form of work and many other relevant aspects for the creation of a corrective action plan.

Digital teams, such as those that work with Performance Marketing, have seen the breaking of borders to work remotely. Now, career opportunities are not limited to your city, nor do they require mandatory geographic change, like the one I had to live from Maceió to São Paulo back in 2015.

I even wrote about how to increase productivity in digital agencies.

HR leaders and professionals, especially HRBP people, are now discussing new ways to reinforce the impact of the company-employee partnership. It is now understood that there are many other variables, in addition to corporate culture, making it difficult to retain talent.

employee turnover
Photo by Bram Naus on Unsplash

What is the relationship between employee turnover and absenteeism?

Absenteeism is a difficult word, right? But it is just the name given by HR professionals to measure the volume of absences from work.

Absences for sick leave, delays in entering work, early departures and other unexcused absences are included in the account.

The increase in absenteeism is undoubtedly an indicator of future turnover. This is because the collaborating person leaves signs of discontent. This can be out of conscious will or for mental health reasons, as in the pandemic we have seen burnout records grow, which has even become an occupational disease.

This syndrome, which I already had in 2015, is a result of the high volume of stress. What happened as an effect of the pandemic (2020-2021) was a mixture of the relationship between home and work.

With no time to differentiate the issues, many leaders were directly affected by the amount of demands they received to deal with young teams in remote living.

In addition to the issue of mental health, the leadership needs to keep an eye on the disengagement of the team. Especially to identify detracting behaviors that can contribute to inflate the team with specific and localized problems.

It is at this time that it is worth remembering the maxim of hiring slowly and firing people who are out of line with the culture.

How to calculate the employee turnover rate in companies?

Knowing the history of your company is essential to quickly identify changes in behavior in the organizational culture. The calculation of the turnover rate considers the number of employees hired, the number of dismissed employees and the total number of employees currently.

Feedz, RD’s partner in the Totvs group, created a turnover calculator to facilitate the application of the formula we know.

This is the simple formula for calculating turnover, but it can be associated with several other metrics that allow a more accurate analysis of the company’s situation.

Leadership manages to anticipate these issues in several people development routines and in the project management.

I explain a lot about this when we talk about the importance of governance in the Performance Marketing team.

How to reduce employee turnover in companies?

As a leader of Digital Marketing teams, I had several opportunities to co-create action plans to mitigate the losses of high employee turnover.

It is important to highlight that there is no magic plan and that activities must be built from inputs built with the team, leaders and HR.

So much so that we created a management quiz for digital marketing teamsa free tool to measure 10 best practices we’ve seen in high-performance digital teams.

All actions that directly contribute to reducing the turnover rate in internal teams, digital agencies and hybrid marketing teams.

In summary, it is worth highlighting the partnership between the HR team and the Digital Marketing leaders. That’s how I managed to work on retention plans, development and salary and career growth with whom I worked.

This is influenced by the fundamental role of the culture code in the daily lives of Digital Marketing teams. Alignment that still lacks a lot in the businesses with which I have had contact.

Is that you? Do you know what’s missing to reduce the turnover of your Digital Marketing team?

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