Once you've calculated your turnover rate, you should set up
reminders to review it on a regular basis. Tracking your employee
turnover will help you:
Identify important trends: In some industries, turnover is
seasonal: college-aged employees leave their jobs just before the
end of summer so they can return to school full-time. You may find
other trends in your own organization, like specific departments or
roles with higher-than-average turnover. Identifying these trends is
the first step toward making improvements and retaining more
Monitor how changes to your organization improve employee
retention: If your organization adds new career paths, improves its
benefits, or begins offering equity that vests over time, you may
see an impact on employee happiness — and their willingness to stay
with you. Monitoring the turnover rate before and after these
changes can help you better understand just how meaningful each
change has been.
Save money: Reducing turnover can help you reduce the expenses
associated with recruiting, hiring, training, and providing
supplies to new employees.
Improve your reputation as an employer: Making changes to your
organization's benefits, policies, or culture can improve how
employees think of you. Even if you do someday decide to part ways,
the reviews your past employees share online or with friends will be
much more positive if you’ve taken the time to improve the overall
You may also find it helpful to benchmark your turnover rate against
publicly available data from sources like the United States Bureau of
Labor Statistics, or career websites
like LinkedIn. Reports from sources like these can help you
better understand how both your role-specific and your overall
turnover rates compare to national averages, and whether you're
providing an above-average work environment.
3 ways to improve your turnover rate
Once you understand what your turnover rate looks like, you'll
probably want to start thinking about ways to improve it. Rather
than blindly making changes, you should use data to find
opportunities for improvement. Here are three ways to do that:
1. Ask for feedback
Since turnover rate can be caused by a number of factors, it's best
to ask your employees directly rather than assume. You may think
stress is the source of high turnover among your sales employees,
but it might be another factor entirely.
You can ask for feedback a few different ways, some of which you may
already be using:
Send anonymized employee surveys: Collecting employee feedback
allows you to learn what's already done well, as well as what could
be improved. Be sure to ask specific, open-ended questions. For
example, “What would you improve about your health care?” is much
more actionable for your HR team than a simple yes/no question, like
“are you happy with your benefits?”
Look for reviews on sites like
and Indeed: These reviews can
highlight even more opportunities for improvement. Some employees
don't feel comfortable sharing their feedback with HR directly, so
these websites are another reliable source of honest, detailed
feedback on everything from benefits to your CEO.
interviews: As part of your offboarding process,
ask departing employees what, if anything, would have made them
stay. Were they lacking support from their manager? Did they want
higher pay or need more time off?
This feedback will give you details, in your employees' own words,
about the things they do and don't like about your organization.
With this detailed feedback, you can start planning improvements
that will ultimately help reduce turnover.
2. Review your benefits
A lack of benefits is one of the biggest reasons employees leave
an organization. These benefits may be obvious, like vacation time
or health insurance, or they may be more subtle, like flexible
start and end times or a work from home policy. One Gallup
survey found that 51% of workers would switch jobs for
flexible start times, and 37% would switch for part-time remote
Ask yourself: Am I offering what employees want and need to
succeed? If you've taken the time to collect feedback, you should
have already uncovered some opportunities to improve your benefits
For example, if an employee is often late because they need to
take their children to daycare, flexible working hours can help
them. Or perhaps you could add on-site childcare services.
Although employees may not directly ask for these changes,
proactively offering them helps to improve overall employee
satisfaction and reduce turnover.
3. Revisit the hiring process
Turnover is easier to avoid if you're hiring the right people to
begin with. Rather than guess what the “right person” looks like,
you can use your successful hires as a model for future ones, and
for potentially improving your hiring process.
To find candidates that would be a good fit for your team, look at
the traits of your top performers with the longest tenure at your
company. For example, if employees who stay with you for five
years or more are most likely to have stayed at previous companies
for over three years before changing roles, you may ask your
recruiters or HR team to consider:
With this information, you can prioritize recruiting people who
have the best chance of success in the future — and who are less
likely to leave your organization.
One word of caution: when using successful employees as models for
future hires, avoid choosing traits that will create any kind of
bias. The traits you choose should be based on data, not
feelings. You should also be prepared to challenge your
assumptions: if an otherwise stellar candidate has less than three
years of experience, rejecting them could cause you to miss out on
a fantastic hire.
Create a stronger organization by improving your turnover rate
A high turnover rate is tough on everyone at your company, from
HR, to management, to employees stretched thin by an open role on
their team. Focusing on insights from your own employee turnover
data can help you make informed decisions on how to improve,
making your company more attractive for high-quality candidates
and top performing employees alike.