Staff Turnover is an important discussion for me; I wrote my dissertation on the subject (and gained myself a nice 2:1- just to throw that in there).
A quick Google search will bring up over 39,000 academic published articles on this subject, so is there really anything left to say on the matter? More to the point, is there really a definitive answer? Personally, I can't say there is. One of the beautiful attributes of working in the hospitality industry is that moving around regularly is not necessarily a bad thing. The more places we see and the more experiences we have and make happen, the more we can literally 'bring to the table.'
So is staff turnover necessarily a negative? It is a standard industry statistic, so why are we trying to change it? Yes, it's costly, yes it is time-consuming for training and development purposes, but every now and again, in the ebb and flows of mediocre staff we occasionally find a diamond. As in life, not every experience we have is life-changing, but we can try to change at least one person's life now and then. And that is worth holding on to.
I believe that ultimately, we stand a better chance at recruiting for the long term if we put our efforts into our current employees. They, above all, are our spokesperson for our business, our management, and our practices. Let's try to turn a negative into a positive, it may seem naive, but if we can celebrate the 'diamonds' more then we stand a chance of attracting more of them. As long as you are following basic steps such as good work-life balance, a positive working culture, listening to employees to find out what motivates them, then the trust, and the long-term will follow.
How does any relationship become a long term one? It's all butterflies when you first meet, and you're on your best behaviour, but the ones that last, develop foundations built on trust, communication, and ultimately love. So make your employees fall in love with your business, your brand, and you.
Yes, our industry is seemingly based upon long hours, low pay, and little recognition, but we are so much more than that. We are people-people, families outside of our family, and a wealth of international transferable skill sets, we're just being advertised completely wrong, and really, that begins from the foundations within each of our businesses. Redesign your core, take yourself back to your first ever shift, and remember that feeling with every possible future employee. Don't lose sight of what makes us great, one of the most lucrative industries, and don't forget your diamonds; they are your greatest asset. Send them off into the world, as they will always remember the people who helped them get there.