Staff Churn

A recent survey undertaken by Personnel Today reported that the staff turnover rate in the adult care sector was 19.3% and within domiciliary care it was 24.9%.  Also a study by the Residential Forum into workforce issues within residential care reported that ‘staff turnover rate in the sector has improved, but still around 36% of staff leave within 6-12 months, and 55% in the first 2 years.’

As a parent considering providers for a placement, you must always ask a provider about staff churn i.e. the number of people leaving the company in any one year as a percentage of the total workforce – and don’t be mislead by the answer.  If, for example, a provider tells you their staff churn is 5% or that they get very few people leaving, you should be concerned.  Here’s the reasons why:

1.  Under-performance

There will always be a percentage of staff who are under-performing;

  • staff who are having a ‘bad time’ in their life which will be affecting their work
  • staff who actually have gone off the boil for whatever reason and are in the wrong job; and
  • staff who are staying around because there are no other jobs out there
 2. Progression     

Churn will also be affected by well performing staff.  A good staff team should be dynamic with people wanting to progress to new opportunities either within the company or (especially in the case of smaller companies) outside the organisation.

So any dynamic workforce will have a natural turnover of staff for good reasons as well as bad.  For a good organisation supporting people with very complex needs, the staff churn is likely to be around 20% a year.



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