What Is Dysfunctional Turnover? Effects And Types

You must be consistent in a crucial sector to keep your business growing profitably. Keeping a dedicated and talented team is one of the most important objectives.

If your employee base is inconsistent in any way, this is likely to translate into the instability of your business quickly. 

When worker emigration dominates the equation too heavily, issues arise. As a result, dysfunctional turnover frequently causes harm in addition to inconvenience. 

The problem will be examined in further detail. What exactly is dysfunctional turnover, and how may its negative effects be reduced or avoided?

What Is Dysfunctional Turnover? 

Dysfunctional turnover occurs when highly effective individuals depart your organization more quickly than less productive ones. 

Due to the negative effects, it has on your capital. This is also known as dysfunctional turnover. Retaining high performers is less expensive than continually hiring and training new ones.

It’s important to realize that other issues should also be considered, even though, in this case, the financial aspects matter most.

Simply because you incur a financial loss due to dysfunctional turnover does not make it a concern. There are further effects:

Devastating Effects of Dysfunctional Turnover

Having No Experience

A mutually beneficial journey inside your organization is how employees should ideally develop within your company. While learning about and participating in crucial facets of both, they boost the company’s culture and activities. 

People gain information by working with you, and that knowledge has intrinsic value; it cannot be taught in a course or through training. 

As a result, a beneficial cycle is continued. They can also teach less experienced workers the advantages of their experience. 

Turnover that isn’t functioning properly throws off this cycle. The coworkers’ experiences not only do not help other employees in your firm but may also help your rivals.

Decreasing levels of ingenuity

They are not just the best performers in your firm who rank highly. The chance for innovation for your business exists among these gifted and accomplished individuals. 

High achievers operate at their highest potential when they feel supported, safe, and respected in their employment, which is commonly achieved. 

They actively seek out chances to provide fresh viewpoints as a part of a growing organization, in addition to having the opportunity to do so. These inventors typically leave your company when turnover becomes problematic and join competitors eager to provide the support they lack.

Conflict of Nations

It is impossible to overstate your company culture’s impact on every aspect of your firm. It has a potent unifying impact that makes everyone act freely toward common objectives through common principles. 

Your company’s culture is strong if your employees think their coworkers and the company genuinely value and care about them.

 People want to stay on the team because they experience a sense of belonging. On the other hand, cultural strife is brought on by dysfunctional turnover. 

When productive coworkers frequently depart their jobs, other staff members may suffer. It also jeopardizes the dependability at work that fosters a sense of community. People don’t look for a constantly shifting family.

Different Types Of Dysfunctional Turnover

There are essentially two distinct types of dysfunctional turnover:

Avoidable turnover

Easy, Avoidable Turnover A business may make changes to keep a worker by trying to keep turnover low. 

A few traits that indicate unneeded turnover include low pay, a complete lack of perks and protections, and discontent with the balance between work and family life:

Discontentment at work

Even if the desired post is not open, one may still apply. If another company provides a more suitable opportunity, an employee can quit that job immediately. 

For the person concerned, a task may be difficult or unpleasant. The task could also be hazardous, upsetting, unpleasant, heated, or filthy.

The laborious hours make me unhappy.

The personnel will likely put in more overtime. For additional hours worked, there is also no overtime pay. 

Staff members may still get calls from their employers on the weekends and at unusual times. Employees can then begin to doubt their place of employment as a result.

Unreliable transportation systems

Probably farther away from their home is where they work or operate their business. Transportation issues for employees may result as a result. 

The firm does not, however, appear to be worried about the employees’ transportation requirements.

Unavoidable Turnover: What to Know

If an employer cannot stop a worker from quitting, turnover is inevitable.

Moving, retiring, being unwell, losing a loved one, and having family responsibilities are some of these traits:

Switching careers or resigning

Due to their ineptitude, disruptive behavior, inexperience, or lack of enthusiasm for their line of work, certain workers may be fired or expelled from the organization. Some employees might. 

Physical Limitations

The individual cannot execute the position’s duties due to physical limitations.

Occasional health issues brought on by the workplace may require employees to depart the company.

Migratory Patterns

Some employees might desire to switch jobs regularly.

There is neither a pay raise nor a promotion. However, they might still leave the company.


Numerous factors, including seasonal business, material shortages, poor planning, and a lack of audacity and vision on the side of top management, can result in redundancies.

Functional turnover vs. Dysfunctional turnover

The distinct subcategory of functional turnover is voluntary turnover. When unproductive people leave your organization voluntarily, it is called functional turnover. 

Employees are said to perform poorly if they continuously perform below expectations over an extended period. These are some examples of these behaviors:

  • Committing errors that can be avoided.
  • Refusal to abide by the rules.
  • Continuous guidance and oversight are required.
  • Making customers or coworkers angry

Functional turnover, as appeared differently in relation to dysfunctional turnover, which ought to be avoided, is not a bad thing and ought to be promoted because it will be advantageous to your business in the long run.

Negative Effects Of Dysfunctional Turnover On Your Business

Realizing that high turnover costs are not the main problem for your business is crucial if you want to manage dysfunctional turnover. 

Businesses must try to lower it to remain competitive and attract new customers. Many different aspects of your business are badly impacted. The following examples illustrate the negative consequences of dysfunctional turnover:

Apprehensions over the organization’s reputation

People frequently share their experiences with friends and family and on social networking platforms like LinkedIn when they decide to leave a job because they are unhappy with it. 

A poor impression of your business may have a big negative effect, lowering employee morale, increasing staff turnover, and making it harder to hire new employees.

Maintaining a positive workplace culture gets more and more challenging.

Positivity in the workplace is essential because contented workers stay there longer and generate more. 

Your company’s culture may suffer if you don’t have enough high-performing staff. This tactic negatively affects worker engagement and productivity by undermining the notion that everyone is striving to achieve the same goals.

It can be difficult to find exceptional talent.

In your organization, high achievers frequently persuade others to join them. Your staff will also need to move swiftly to fill positions because the best candidates frequently leave their jobs after just seven days. 

When your company’s best performers leave, locating and hiring replacements becomes more difficult. This is due to several factors, and if you identify them, you’ll be in a better position to comprehend why other high achievers are unwilling to stay. 

Few opportunities for advancement, the inability to make significant changes, and the toxic work environment your team is leaving behind are a few of these reasons.

Decreased understanding

Employees still carry their knowledge, whether they quit, get a promotion, or switch departments. 

Along with the documents or handovers they worked on or left behind, you know where to look for them if they are still working for your company. Your team loses effectiveness when a member leaves because it can no longer follow up when required.

Effective Ways to Reduce Dysfunctional Turnover

Think carefully before making a hiring decision.

Hiring the appropriate candidates from the start is the simplest way to reduce staff turnover.

Ensure the position and job description are completely understood by both you and the applicants. Check to see if the candidate fits the job and the culture of the business.

 Ensure your orientation training for future workers equips them with the skills they need for key contributions, which may be even more crucial.

Support benevolence and appreciation.

Promote polite, pleasant behavior among your staff. Employees will be more tenacious, content, and unwilling to quit their positions if they can communicate with their coworkers by expressing gratitude and connection. 

As a result, you encourage personnel to look out for outstanding behaviors in the spotlight, encouraging a sense of involvement in the organization.

Decide whether to accept or reject the resignations of the workforce.

An issue is better neglected than a belated sought resolution. Concerning departed coworkers, the same is valid. Even if you abide by the recommendations above, someone may be challenging to communicate with. 

Everyone owes their culture something called a “cultural debt” for not helping it grow, regardless of how talented they may be.

They will have an adverse effect that is more harmful than beneficial to your business.

Honoring and rewarding employees are important.

As we detailed above, a key strategy for lowering employee turnover is demonstrating to your staff that they are valued and recognized.

 By sincerely appreciating and honoring workers’ present-day initiatives and successes.

Implementing a thorough, proactive employee recognition program that uses technology to promote and spread recognition throughout your organization is the simplest approach to this.

Make employee satisfaction a priority.

The statistics support the contrary of what many employers might think—that content employees are weak and flimsy—.

For instance, a positive work environment can predict timeliness, moral rectitude, and job happiness. Gains in involvement, efficiency, and attrition can all be attributed to raising employee happiness.

Give a detailed description of the scenario.

Fostering a sense of purpose and meaning in people’s work is important for employee satisfaction and engagement.

 Employee engagement will increase if you provide them with a clear understanding of the objectives and responsibilities of their role.

Boost ratings of performance.

Performance reviews greatly enhance the chance to communicate with coworkers and build trust.

In truth, even in the oldest businesses and industries, continuous performance management processes are taking the role of annual reviews and taking place while employees are working. Whether conventional, standalone annual checkups are ineffective is not a question. 

Everything is contingent on how and with whom you replace or enhance them. As a result, forward-thinking businesses are reconsidering appraisals and observing an increase in employee satisfaction and trust. 

To provide your team with access to a single, ongoing resource for development and to evaluate how well work is done, your organization should promote a continuous performance management culture.

It is necessary to maintain a flexible and suitable work-life balance.

A flexible, healthy work-life balance is more important than ever for employees to be able to maintain. Companies are also becoming more knowledgeable about it. 

In other words, if you don’t help employees achieve a great work-life balance that allows for flexibility in scheduling and locations, they might leave you for a rival who will.

Clearly and completely describe every aspect.

Experts believe that a key element in raising employee satisfaction and engagement is providing workers with a feeling of meaning and purpose in their work. 

If you give them precise goals and a clear picture of their work, their sense of loyalty and connection to your business will grow.


Dysfunctional turnover could negatively impact your firm in every area, which can be expensive. To create the proper balance in your business, you must fully comprehend the distinctions between functional and dysfunctional turnover. 

Depending on where your company may be unintentionally driving high-performing employees away, you may be able to discover the causes contributing to the undesirable behavior of quitting. 

But working with your workers and being aware of their objectives is essential to enhance retention effectively.

As a percentage of all employees in a corporation on a monthly or annual basis, dysfunctional turnover is typically indicated.


Can dysfunctional turnover ever be a positive thing for an organization?

While dysfunctional turnover is generally seen as a negative phenomenon, it may benefit the organization in some cases.

For example, if an employee is consistently underperforming or engaging in behavior harmful to the company, their departure may be a positive outcome.

However, these situations are relatively rare, and most of the time, dysfunctional turnover has a net negative effect on organizations.

How can a company address dysfunctional turnover that has already occurred?

A company can address dysfunctional turnover by conducting exit interviews to gather feedback from departing employees, identifying the root causes of turnover, and implementing changes to improve retention and employee satisfaction.

How can dysfunctional turnover be distinguished from functional turnover?

Functional turnover occurs when an employee leaves an organization for reasons that can be considered beneficial for the company, such as retirement or a better opportunity.

Dysfunctional turnover, on the other hand, occurs when an employee leaves for reasons that can harm the organization, such as a poor work environment or a lack of development opportunities.

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