What is Employee Turnover?

How to Measure It and What to Do

Employee Turnover

October 4th, 2019

Employee turnover is employees leaving a company voluntarily or involuntarily. Companies often calculate their turnover rate to gauge if they are at a sustainable level.

Special Offer

Send jobs to 100+ job boards with one submission

Post Jobs for FREE

Completely free trial, no card required.

Reach over 150 million candidates.

Average Employee Turnover Rate by Industry 2019:

Industry

Turnover Rate

All Industries

3.7%

All Government

1.6%

All Private

4.0%

Mining and Logging

4.2%

Construction

4.9%

Manufacturing

2.7%

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

4.0%

Information

3.1%

Financial Activities

2.1%

Professional and Business Services

5.3%

Education and Health Services

3.0%

Leisure and Hospitality

6.2%

What is a high turnover rate?

A high turnover rate is anything above your industry norm, or, if that data is not available, above the nationwide average. So as of 2019, using Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) numbers, if you’re above 3.7 percent, you’ve got high turnover in a general sense, but this could be normal for your industry.

How to Tell When Employees are Going to Turn Over:

  • Work focus decreases.
  • Negativity increases.
  • They are reluctant to commit to long-term deadlines.
  • Work productivity decreases.
  • They do the minimum amount of work acceptable.
  • They don't work well with colleagues.
  • They leave work early.
  • They don't work to please customers.

If managers are aware of these indicators, they can look out for them. If an employee is showing signs that they may turnover, it may be possible to intervene, find out what can be done, and prevent that turnover from happening.

Company-wide you can watch for a decrease in productivity, an increase in early outs, and a decrease in customer satisfaction as indicators that you may have a turnover issue on the horizon.

You may also want to keep an eye on sites like Glassdoor, where employees can rate and review employers. A sudden downturn in your ratings can be an indicator of coming turnover, and you can read reviews to see exactly what’s bothering your employees.

What to Do if You Think an Employee Will Turn Over:

Ask if there are any problems you can fix. If they are underpaid compared to what they can earn at other companies, try to fix it. See if you can offer perks or benefits, such as a more flexible schedule, work from home days, or new equipment.

FAQs:

What is the definition of employee turnover?

Employee turnover is employees leaving a company voluntarily or involuntarily, which companies often calculate to gauge if they are at a sustainable level.

Learn more about employee turnover.

What are the types of employee turnover?

  • Voluntary – refers to employees who voluntarily resign, retire, or leave the company for another job.
  • Involuntary – refers to employees who are terminated, fired, or laid off.
  • Positive – positive turnover occurs when new employees re-energize the company, boost productivity, and replace low-performing employees.
  • Negative – negative turnover occurs when employees leave under negative circumstances, such as mass layoffs or mass resignation due to workplace conflict.

Read more about employee turnover.

What causes employee turnover?

  • Lack of advancement opportunities.
  • Poor management.
  • Staff conflict.
  • Lack of recognition.
  • Poor employee selection.
  • Lack of vision.
  • Work-life imbalance.
  • Micromanaging staff.
  • Instability in the company.

Read more about employee turnover.

Is employee turnover good or bad?

Employee turnover is bad when employees leave under negative circumstances, such as mass layoffs or mass resignation due to workplace conflict. Positive employee turnover is when new employees re-energize the company, boost productivity, and replace low-performing employees.

Learn more about employee turnover.

What is employee turnover intention?

Turnover intention is simply defined as an employee's intention to voluntarily leave a job or organization.

Read more about employee turnover.

Calculating Your Employee Turnover Rate

How is employee turnover calculated?

To calculate employee turnover, divide the number of employees who left during a time period by the total number at the company and multiply the result by 100. So, if 10 employees leave, and there were 100 total, you’d have a 10 percent turnover rate.

Learn more about employee turnover.

Why is employee turnover important?

It is important to keep an eye on your business's staff turnover, as a high employee turnover rate can be costly.

Learn more about employee turnover.

Why is employee turnover bad?

Employee turnover is bad when employees leave under negative circumstances, such as mass layoffs or mass resignation due to workplace conflict. The negative impact of employees leaving can be expensive and damaging to your organization’s goals and objectives.

Learn more about employee turnover.

What is the difference between employee retention and attrition?

Employee retention is an organization’s ability to retain its employees through specific policies and strategies that encourage an employee to stay with the organization, whereas attrition is the gradual reduction of a workforce as employees leave or retire.

Read more about employee turnover.

What is a good employee turnover rate?

A high turnover rate is anything above your industry norm. If that data is not available, above the nationwide average. As of 2019, using Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) numbers, if you’re above 3.7 percent, you’ve got high turnover, but this could be normal for your industry.

See the average employee turnover rate by industry for 2019.

What is regrettable turnover?

Regrettable turnover is when your business is negatively affected by an employee leaving.

Read more about employee turnover.

How do you manage employee turnover?

  • Hire the right employees.
  • Improve onboarding and employee engagement.
  • Offer a competitive salary and benefits.
  • Involve employees in decision-making.
  • Share the company's vision, mission, and goals with employees.
  • Provide feedback and show appreciation for great work.
  • Provide opportunities for growth.
  • Offer flexible work hours, if possible.
  • Encourage work-life balance.

Learn more about employee turnover.

Is high turnover a problem?

Yes. The negative effect of employees leaving can be expensive and damaging to your business's goals and objectives. High turnover also causes an increase in recruitment costs, and a loss of enterprise knowledge, Bear in mind that new employees take around three months to achieve optimal productivity.

The frequency of new employees can impact the morale of your team, and undermine their loyalty.

Read more about employee turnover.

How does employee turnover affect a company?

  • Increases recruitment costs.
  • Increases training costs.
  • Causes loss of productivity.
  • Causes loss of enterprise knowledge.
  • Affects the morale of your team negatively.
  • Undermines staff loyalty.

Read more about employee turnover.

Why is employee turnover very costly for companies?

Employee turnover increases recruitment and training costs, and causes loss of productivity and enterprise knowledge.

Learn more about employee turnover.

What is voluntary employee turnover?

Voluntary employee turnover refers to employees who voluntarily resign, retire, or leave the company for another job.

Learn more about employee turnover.

What does dysfunctional employee turnover mean?

Dysfunctional turnover is where average and high performers leave your company.

Read more about employee turnover.

Why is low turnover good for a company?

A low turnover rate increases productivity, saves costs, and ensures cohesion within your company.

Learn more about employee turnover.

What is employee turnover and retention?

Employee turnover is the proportion of your employees who leave during a certain period, whereas retention is the proportion that stays.

Read more about employee turnover.

How To Decrease Employee Turnover

How can I decrease the employee turnover rate of my business?

Knowing your employer turnover rate will tell you if you already have a problem, and how big it is, but it won’t give you a way to deal with it. Ideally, you’ll spot trends that indicate that employees are about to turnover, and take steps to reduce it.

Read more about employee turnover.

What Is Involuntary Employee Turnover

What does involuntary turnover mean?

Involuntary turnover means an employee was terminated, fired, or laid off. It is part of your overall turnover, and is sometimes calculated separately as a way to check on recruiting effectiveness. Involuntary turnover does not include when an employee quits or abandons a job.

Learn more about employee turnover.