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How to Measure Your Cholesterol (and Employee Turnover Rate)

Updated: May 25, 2023

A company is only as strong as the people it keeps.

Mary Kay Ash

Last year, I took the proverbial trip over the hill.

Apparently on the other side sits a plethora of health concerns and screenings that suddenly snap into place once the dial hits 40: mammograms, colonoscopies, more extensive blood screenings, and gentle suggestions from my eye-doctor that I might need bifocals.

These are just a few more things I (supposedly) need to worry about. Couple this with the fact that my “baby” is going to Kindergarten and I realize I can no longer blame him for the lack of sleep or extra weight.

All in all, it’s motivating me to make some major health changes.

So here’s a big one: I have switched to a near-vegan diet.

There are a bazillion reason to eat more fruits and vegetables (and less meat and cheese) but one is the effect it can have on your cholesterol.

(In case you think you’re reading a health article from Senior Living, stick with

me… I do have a point!)

Cholesterol and employee turnover are often seen in the same light.

Bad. Bad. Bad!

Reduce your cholesterol!

Retain your employees!

Eat your Wheaties!

Reward your employees so they stick around!

But we know some cholesterol is good and some bad.

Doctors and other health care professionals consider LDL cholesterol the “bad” cholesterol. If your LDL cholesterol is high, this means you are in a higher risk category for health issues like blocked arteries.

HDL cholesterol, on the other hand, is the “good” kind. The higher your HDL cholesterol numbers, the lower your risk is for heart disease, vascular disease, and stroke.

HDL cholesterol also may have a protective effect on the blood vessels, and a high level of HDL in your body may keep cardiovascular disease from developing. (Source)

Employee turnover has a good and bad side, except a lot fewer people are talking about the positive effects of it.

Some turnover in your organization is as “good” as that big buttery cinnamon roll. Some employees aren’t a fit. Or are a fit for a bit – but realize it’s time to move on. Before you call me "mean", I know you can all think of at least one person that you've worked with that the company might be better...without.

It’s good to have new people and fresh ideas flowing through your business.

So, much like cholesterol, turnover should be evaluated into two categories:

Functional Turnover – the HDL of employee turnover (it’s good)

Dysfunctional Turnover – the LDL of employee turnover (it’s bad)

To evaluate your organization turnover calculation, I suggest you look at each employee who exits and ask yourself if the organization is better or worse without that person.

If it’s better - that’s functional turnover.

Organizations going through growth or major change need to be especially mindful of the type of turnover that they are experiencing. Don’t get bent out of shape if your “turnover” numbers are high. But raise the red flag, if good people are leaving.

Rarely are “one-size-fits-all” retention programs successful, one reason being that they often reward the loudest voice – not the most critical.

We recommend companies calculate all three types of turnover (Total, Functional and Dysfunctional) and create a plan to decrease dysfunctional turnover.

And, of course, we can help with that! As an example, we helped one nonprofit reduce their overall turnover by 23% by listening to the unique needs, values, and talents of their top performers.

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