When looking at employee welfare and general company performance, employee retention often takes precedence. The length of a colleague’s service is often correlative with their overall happiness, remuneration and prospects.
To turn this on its head, however, we also need to consider employee attrition. It’s an uncomfortable subject, and one that we cover extensively in our latest report, the top 10 HR stats to bring to the board. No employer wants to put high staff turnover under the microscope – but it’s essential to identify inherent problems within the company. So, what questions should you be asking yourself?
1. Why do staff leave?
You can find many clues about company culture by studying employee attrition. It helps to take a holistic approach, starting with metrics such as absence rates. According to the CIPD, employee absence is at its highest level in a decade, suggesting that much of Britain’s workforce is feeling the pressure.
2. What are my absence rates?
Studying absence rates using tools such as Bradford Factor calculators can reveal more than you might think. These reports can highlight when employees have reached a “trigger threshold”. This might prompt further conversations about why they’re absent – such as overworking or chronic illness.
3. Are there any departmental issues?
Not all job roles are created equal. If you begin to identify high staff turnover in certain departments, it might be a sign that this is being mismanaged, or that staff are overworked. There may even be internal conflicts between teams.
4. Is there a lack of engagement?
Staff need to feel like they are more than a cog in the machine. But without checking in, it’s impossible to understand how staff really feel – which may lead to more resignations. Using metrics such as the employee satisfaction index or employee net promoter score will offer essential feedback. It will also help staff to feel valued and could stop them from seeking other roles.
Other key findings from studying employee attrition
Looking at staff turnover can provide wider insights into the industry as a whole. For example, we have seen a huge increase in demand for software development roles since the early days of COVID. As more roles crop up, we may see increased competition, which may also lead to attrition.
Staff who are not feeling rewarded, valued or challenged are likely to look elsewhere – particularly if attrition figures show their role is in demand. Looking at trends in departmental or company turnover can empower leaders to make the right decisions long-term.
How to measure employee attrition
When measuring employee attrition, it’s important not to look solely at staff turnover, but the reason for their leaving. For example, failed probations, end-of-term fixed contracts or redundancies can skew reports.
Instead, measure only those staff who have left voluntarily. The calculation is simple:
The lower the score, the lower the turnover, so use this data to compare against other organisations or competitors.
Of course, even if retention is high, this doesn’t mean HR leaders can sit back and relax! Studying the wider labour market is so important – because it’s important that staff don’t feel they have to stay and therefore perform poorly because there are no other jobs available.
Invest in your staff with the right measurement tactics
Investing in staff should be part of any long-term strategy for wellbeing and ongoing business resilience. While many will have weathered the storm of global pandemics and staff shortages, investments must not be reactive – they should be proactive.
A great place to start is by measuring the things that matter. In our latest report, the top 10 HR stats to bring to the board, we look at the real facts and figures that will impact the bottom lines in your business. Make a change with these actionable insights today.