Control staff turnover

Monitor staff turnover

Regular monitoring of staff turnover can show you why it is happening and enable you to control and forecast it.

Staff turnover: measure and benchmark

You should measure your current staff turnover in percentage terms, following this simple two-step calculation:

1. Add together the number of staff working at the beginning of the time period and the number of staff working at the end of the period and divide by two. This will give you your average number of staff working within this time period - you will need this number for the next stage.

2. Work out the number of employees leaving over the time period, multiply by 100 and then divide by the average number of people working in that same period.

This formula will give you a percentage for your business, known as the separation rate, that you can compare over time. You can also use this indicator to see how your business compares with averages in your business industry for benchmarking purposes.

To measure how experienced employees are being retained, you can calculate the stability index - number of workers with one year's service (or more), divided by number of workers one year ago, multiplied by 100 = stability index percentage rate.

Employee turnover patterns

The characteristic pattern of employee turnover is high for new starters, then decreasing. This pattern will vary in any single organisation and can be shown graphically. It is known as the 'survival curve' and can be extremely helpful in understanding the nature of employee turnover, but must always be used in conjunction with employee turnover rate.

To create the survival curve, you must plot the number of leavers against the period for which they were working.

Examining the causes of staff turnover

To make a meaningful assessment of your current business' position, try to identify the causes of employee turnover:

  • It is often effective to have consultations with individuals or groups of staff. Engaging with staff will help root out any underlying problems and causes of dissatisfaction within your business.
  • Exit interviews are carried out by many businesses and can reveal common reasons why staff leave your employment, and highlight any emerging patterns. See when an employee resigns.
  • Surveys of all staff can often indicate general satisfaction levels, but remember to address any issues arising so that they know you take their views seriously.
  • Analyse your recruitment and selection procedures to see if you can identify expectations or potential problems earlier. Alternatively you may need to make the business' expectations clearer at the recruitment stage.

Acas guidance on managing attendance and employee turnover.