Talent Turnover and Ethics: Case Study

The company’s problem in this particular scenario is twofold, as it combines business and ethical aspects simultaneously. From a business perspective, the company suffers from a high turnover rate, as its employees usually leave after six months to a year of employment. The main reason behind this tendency seems to be the high level of burnout due to workload, as the company’s current practice rests on 60-hour workweeks on a regular basis. Thus, the problems with efficiency and timely product delivery stem from the fact the company fails at talent retention due to attrition and resulting turnover. As for the ethical implication of the case, the high turnover rates likely mean that the employees are not informed adequately about the working conditions when hired. If this assumption is true, it violates their right to free consent, as it undermined their ability to make informed decisions.

As mentioned above, approaching this scenario requires not only solving practical business-related issues but also adopting an ethical approach. Considering the nature of the case, the fitting ethical approach would be the philosophical tradition of Kantianism that assumes that people have unalienable basic rights (Noe et al., 2020). Since the employees leave after short periods of employment, it may suggest that the company did not make them aware of the actual working conditions. It goes against the principle that people “should know the nature of the job” in order to consent to it freely (Noe et al., 2020, p. 18). Apart from the obvious option of limiting the workload, a possible option is better employee orientation. The chosen ethical approach is the right one because it would partially address the pressing ethical issue by allowing the prospective employees to make informed decisions.

Mentorship and sabbaticals are methods that will likely produce the best results in building motivation and improving morale. Experienced senior employees that have been in the company the longest should be assigned to less-experienced protégés as mentors. Noe et al. (2020) that the informal nature of mentorships and the interpersonal connections forged in the process affect the motivation and morale positively. Another option is sabbaticals, which would give the employees a break from their high workloads while also developing them for the future (Noe et al., 2020). These methods may improve the motivation and morale of the workforce, at least to a degree.

There are several available training and development methods that may reduce attrition. Knani et al. (2018) point put that the stress involved in solving new and unfamiliar tasks, as when the company introduces new software, is heavily associated with burnout and intention to leave, which are the company’s problems. Training the employees to master new technologies would require hands-on-methods, such as on-the-job-training. These methods actively involve the learners in trying out new skills, which makes them more effective than simple instruction (Noe et al., 2020). Training the employees to master new technologies more effectively will reduce the stress they encounter and, consequently, the workplace attrition.

To summarize, the scenario given requires a well-planned training and development program addressing business and ethical issues. From an ethical perspective, the employees should, at the very least, know enough about the nature of the job when they are hired. On the business side of things, mentorship will forge interpersonal connections, and sabbaticals will give employees a break from high workload, thus improving morale and motivation. Hands-on methods, such as on-the-job-training, will improve the employees’ ability to overcome challenges as they emerge and, as such, reduce stress and attrition.


Knani, M., Fournier, P.-S., & Biron, C. (2018). Psychosocial risks, burnout and intention to quit following the introduction of new software at work. Work, 60(1), 1-10.

Noe, N. R., Hollenbek, J. R., Herhart, B., & Wright, P. M. (2020). Fundamentals of human resource management (8th ed.). McGraw Hill Education.

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