The real cost of losing your best therapist

I know the feeling. The knock at the office door. The “have you got a moment “question. The feeling of sickness and betrayal when one of your best employees tell you they are leaving, because in a smaller business losing even one person is a big deal.

It’s a fact when one employee leaves a 20 or more-person company, it doesn’t make a huge difference to the team. However, when an employee leaves a four-person company, that’s a quarter of the workforce gone in an instant. Now that does impact, and let’s face it, if any large company lost 25% of their employees in a single day, it’d make the front page of the newspapers.

When an employee leaves, you’ll get over it. Your company will get over it, and you’ll all be fine. But do yourself a favour right now and hold a skills test across your whole company. No single employee should own a treatment or skill. If they leave, you’ve left yourself vulnerable to losing clients by not being able to provide that service

 So, do you have a balance of skills across your team? A good exercise you can do is ask yourself: “if [employee X] moved on tomorrow, what would that do to us?”

Think about that for every single one of your employees. If there are treatments that only one of your team knows how to do, then acknowledge you have a problem which needs to be addressed for your company protection.

The cost of an employee leaving

It costs more than £30,000 to replace a staff member. This report was carried out by Oxford Economics and reveals that replacing members of staff incurs significant costs for employers: £30,614 per employee.

There are two main factors that make up this cost:

The report reveals that a major cost implication for firms replacing staff is the lost output a company experiences during the period the new worker is getting up to speed, i.e. the cost of them being less effective until they reach their “optimum productivity level”.

The findings unveil that, on average, workers take 24 weeks to reach optimum productivity, which has an attached cost of £25,181 per employee. This is by far the dominant cost factor for replacing a departing employee.

While these figures are both scary and estimated, it cannot be ignored that when employing your team there does need to be a balanced skill set. In literal terms, it’s called plan B if someone leaves.

Penny Etheridge is managing director of Radiant Hair and Beauty Consultancy. You can contact her at

You can also read Etheridge’s piece on what to do when your former employee opens a rival salon.

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