Blog: Getting a Clear Understanding of Employee Turnover

Getting a Clear Understanding of Employee Turnover

Employee turnover is a very complex issue. That's why anyone who looks for a quick solution to reducing turnover is generally disappointed. However, if your company is committed to lowering your rate of turnover, there are strategies you can use to work towards this goal. The first step in making progress is truly understanding what's happening. Gaining that understanding starts with digging into relevant data. If a manager or human resources professional tries to make changes based on qualitative data alone, it's unlikely that they will be able to make the type of progress they truly want.

While qualitative information has its place, the problem with relying solely on this form of data is there are a lot of emotions involved in the issue of turnover. So when someone relies on what they're hearing to make significant decisions in regards to this problem, it's unlikely that they'll be able to get to the true root of the problem.

Dealing with Employee Turnover Data

Although quantitative data can provide a clear path to what's actually behind employee turnovers, this form of data also comes with potential pitfalls. Before you start really digging into any data related to turnover, there are two important considerations to keep in mind. The first is to avoid drowning in data. There's a good chance you've heard the term Big Data being used. This basic meaning of this term refers to all the data businesses now generate and the best ways to analyze that data in a meaningful way.

In the context of employee turnover, the important thing is to avoid getting overwhelmed by all the data that's available. By taking some time upfront to identify which metrics are most important and relevant, you'll have a much easier time conducting this type of data analysis. The other consideration you'll want to be aware of as you start looking into different data points is not all turnover is automatically bad. Not every position is going to be filled by the same person forever, which is why it's important to have context for the data you're evaluating.

5 Possible Causes of Significant Employee Turnover

With the help of data, you can begin getting to the root of what's causing employees to leave. For example, if you discover that a significant percentage of turnover is being driven by a specific area, it may be a management issue. Another common example is employees being let go because they aren't able to perform in a specific role. This is generally an indication of recruiting, hiring or training practices that need to be fixed. The third common cause of losing employees, especially during the first couple of years, is a company isn't structured in a way that gives employees opportunities to grow and advance.

Compensation and annual or seasonal trends are two other common causes of employee turnover. By using quantitative data to dig deeper into employee turnover, you can link turnover to specific causes and then take a focused approach to remedy those underlying causes.

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