What is Your Turnover Rate Telling You?

By Jeanne Merchant

Overcoming today’s turnover challenges requires efficient, well-informed retention efforts. Keeping a pulse on your turnover rate allows you to identify and quickly act on emerging trends. But how can you ensure accurate, actionable insights as you monitor and interpret your data? Let’s dive in.

What can your turnover rate reveal?

The first step in optimizing retention strategies is understanding your turnover rate, a key indicator of employee satisfaction and person-organization (PO) fit. Turnover rate is the percentage of total separations compared to the average number of employees over a given period. Since it includes voluntary and involuntary separations, sorting terminations by reason can provide additional clarity. Once you understand the scope of your metrics, you can begin to interpret your turnover data.

How does your turnover rate compare?

To analyze your data, you must be able to compare it. By comparing your turnover with previous periods, you can assess your current rate and monitor the success of retention efforts over time. An awareness of industry trends can help you benchmark turnover and compare patterns. Knowing how seasonal and regional factors affect your turnover is crucial to recognizing outlying trends. When exits rise unexpectedly, consider organizational changes that align with increases. You may discover a concern that you need to investigate further.

Not all turnover is bad.

Turnover is inevitable and sometimes beneficial. An employee’s strengths may not align with the position, or maybe they lack passion for the broader mission. Either way, disengaged employees lower team morale and threaten retention. Some team members cost more than their contributions are worth, and you need to let them go. Each separation is unique, and numbers only tell half the story, so look beyond the data before drawing conclusions.

Don’t jump the gun.

When analyzing turnover trends, determine what questions remain unanswered and consider further research. Interviewing team members and former employees can add valuable context to insights. When approaching employees, prepare questions thoughtfully and express intention to improve their experience. Remain open-minded—what you learn may surprise you.

Take action.

Once you have carefully interpreted turnover trends and gathered team input, you must act. Requesting input and failing to apply it tells employees you don’t care, which is worse than not asking. Overly ambitious goals fail quickly, so start with small changes that speak to their needs. For example, if you discover a deficiency in employee advancement opportunities, you might discuss career path goals as part of your 1-1 check-ins or performance evaluations. By implementing retention solutions incrementally, you can ease in confidently and show commitment to continuous improvement.

Achieve better results.

Once you have made the first small change, you can expand initiatives to improve results. To further an employee advancement initiative, you might promote internal mobility opportunities, matching talent with open positions using strategic succession planning tools. As retention efforts evolve and tools advance, operations become less strained and processes streamlined, benefiting all stakeholders.

Focus on solutions, not roadblocks.

Manually compiling, reviewing, and analyzing turnover information on spreadsheets is a painful process with a high risk of errors. Built provides access to accurate turnover data in one central location, helping your organization quickly assess and refine retention initiatives. By simplifying data management, you can focus on implementing better strategies. Up-to-date turnover data inform retention strategies, empowering you to manage positions more effectively and save valuable resources.

Schedule a demo to learn how Built can help guide your retention strategy.