Unhappy employees (or the idiots you let go) will eventually leave the company. These employees leave with their experience and knowledge and unfortunately can’t leave it for the next hire who will replace them.
The first bad news when an employee leaves is the fact that you will have to retrain a new employee and that new employee will make the same mistakes the previous one did in order to learn the job.
Turnover rates are usually a good indicator of employee satisfaction. The usual way of counting the turnover rate is to count the number of departures in a year divided by the number of positions. So if you have 15 positions and you had three departures in the year, the turnover rate is 20%.
Although not widely used, you can also count what I call the loyalty rate. Because the turnover rate counts the number of departures, it can get biased in the sense that it may be the same position that is always being abandoned. You could have a turnover count of three departures but always for the same position. The other 14 positions are held by the same employees. In this case, you divide the number of positions where no one left the company on the total number of positions (14 divided by 15) which gives you 93.3%. So although you have a terrible turnover rate of 20% and would see a huge cost to that, you can down play that rate with the loyalty one that is telling you that you are able to keep 93% of your experience from year to year.
This is just to show that ratios alone don’t tell the whole story. With the above example, you may elect to look at the definition of this position and determine that it has to be split or redefined.
With any departure comes opportunity. You can redefine the position and ask yourself some basic questions. The first question to ask yourself when an employee leaves is: do I need to replace that employee? If yes, do I need the same position with the same constraints or do I turn this position of full-time into two part-time? Should I change the activities that this position covers? Should I change the pay scale and change the required skill level?
Many questions to answer and some of them have a direct impact on the schedule and its balance. Planners get to know their employees and know what they like and don’t like. One new employee will change that balance and the planner will have to learn to balance that employee’s requests with the rest of the group. Dynamics around schedules are delicate (see above on the idiot virus) and planners need support when employee changes occur.
Employees leaving may not mean leaving the company. They could simply apply on another position in the company. If the employee simply swaps departments but keeps the same job and job conditions, you may elect to meet the employee to understand the reasoning behind the move. It may be because of other team members or management clashes, but it may also be due to scheduling issues.
Some planners, although they all try to remain impartial, make friends in the teams they schedule and will favor some employees over others (sometimes consciously, other times not). These favors are always interpreted as injustices from other employees and these injustices, even though they only happen once, remain burned in their brains and are perceived as common practice.
As a planner, it is difficult to remain impartial (especially with the idiot virus running around). That is one more reason to make sure your rules are stated clearly and shared with the team (see chapter 4 on fairness constraints).
In all cases, employee movement although constant, cause stirring and difficult scheduling situations. New employees will produce lower quality results on top of being less productive. It’s important to make sure you schedule new employees with experienced ones and not put all the new ones together on the same shift constantly.