Employee Retention

HR, here’s how you predict your company’s employee turnover rate

employee turnover rate-1

Employee turnover rates play heavily into the way most organisations go about day-to-day business. Everything from the hiring process to the floorplan of an office to the way that management commits to treating staff can be influenced by how likely you feel you are to lose employees.

But predicting turnover is tough, especially if you don't have a good understanding of your staff or you aren't aware of some helpful tech-based tools that are at your disposal.

If you're willing to dedicate some time to connecting with staff and learning about new technologies though, you may be surprised at what you can find out about employee retention. 

In this blog post, we’ll dive into the importance of data-driven decisions and exactly how you can begin identifying areas of improvement to give those turnover rates the boot.


Predicting employee turnover rates with data

  • Data-driven results

Thanks to advancements and innovations surrounding modern technology, the average HR employee can actually glean a great deal of insight into the likelihood of employee turnover.

What was once relegated to guessing games can now be laid out clearly on a spreadsheet for any set of curious eyes to peruse.

Provided you're willing to tackle the slight learning curve that comes along with any new tech skill, you'll be well-poised to make data-driven predictions about retention and turnover rates. Through the use of predictive analytics, you'll be able to gain valuable insight into employee flight risk and manage potential issues before they arise.


  • Predictive analytics

Predictive analytics rely on the use of data, machine learning techniques, and statistical algorithms. These three factors, when combined, can do tremendous work in identifying the likelihood of future outcomes-- in this case, those outcomes will centre around turnover and retention rates. 

The adage about history repeating itself is at the centre of predictive analytics. Calculations and predictions made through the use of predictive analytics are based on factual and historical data; that data is used to assess what's likely to happen in the future based on what's happened in the past.

Any project that relies on predictive analytics is only as good as the data that's fed into it. Make sure that the data you collect is entirely factual, valid, and useful to your purpose. One commonly-used phrase in the realm of data analysis as a whole goes something like "garbage in equals garbage out." Luckily for you, it follows that quality in translates to quality out.


  • Implementing data analysation

Practically enough, most predictive employee flight risk models rely on employee data that's already stored in the human resource system of an organisation. It's easy to pull out the stats you need to get insight and results into what the future could look like. In many cases, the following pieces of information are critical to determining future employee turnover based on predictive analytics:

  • Duration of employment

  • Time elapsed since previous promotion (if any)

  • Compensation level

  • Job performance scores and ratings

  • Commute time

When you're looking to use predictive analytics for these purposes, the rule to keep in mind is to start small. You can think big, but start small. Begin with the most relevant data you have and note the results that you get this way before branching out and including factors that may influence turnover a little less. The list above makes for an excellent starting point; but depending on your industry, other factors will likely come into play as well.


How to utilise social cues for insight

  • Social and workplace cues

While looking at turnover potential from the ground level doesn't offer the same level of precision that data-driven research does, it can still be an excellent way to get a sense of a team's culture and feel out potential problems.

You'll never be able to observe a group of employees and come up with a figure in your head for how many are likely to quit in a week, a month, or a year; but you will be able to make some common-sense conclusions (and perhaps begin implementing some common-sense solutions). 

Be on the lookout for signs that stress and discord might be on the rise. If you manage a call centre and notice that the kiosk starts selling out of cigarettes quicker than usual, it might be time for a trip around the office to speak with employees. These subtle signs of rising tension can help guide you and offer insight into the mental state of your team.


  • Employees struggling under immediate managers

One key indicator of potential turnover arises when employees struggle to work with their immediate managers. This can mean a variety of things; in some cases, a manager's expectations might be unclear, making it difficult for employees to understand exactly what their job entails. Managers may struggle to provide ample equipment, resources or training to make work doable. 

In some cases, low-level employees may struggle to deal with favouritism and other personal issues real or perceived with management. This can also be a critical influencing factor when it comes to turnover. No matter what the trouble between managers and team members is, it's critical that the issue is addressed immediately. In extreme cases, management may need to be replaced; in others, additional support or clarification might do the trick.

Watch out for employees who seem to disappear once they're faced with authority. Untimely trips to the restroom when the boss is set to come back from lunch, engaging in busy work to avoid updating superiors, and an unwillingness to be open with management may all indicate an employee is uncomfortable with leaders.


  • Poor hiring and on-boarding processes

Sometimes, employee performance and turnover have little to deal with any external influences at work; some people simply aren't the best fit for the positions they find themselves in at work. 

If you begin to realise a pattern of under-qualified or disengaged employees impacting turnover rates, look to your hiring process. If an entire set of new hires is totally incompetent on the registers, take steps to implement better training before you lose members of the team. 

You'll also do well to scrutinise everything from the way you handle applications to the methods you use to complete on-boarding. A company can easily fix issues with poor employee performance by optimising its hiring practices.


  • Different focus

The extent to which employees feel connected to the greater organisation they're a part of (and its senior management) also play heavily into their dedication to a role and willingness to spend time within a company. When staff don't care about the messages and goals that a business promotes, how can they be expected to engage in company culture or align their work with business objectives? 

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The truth is that they can't and if they're unable to get involved in your business' culture or hop on board with its goals, why would they stay? In some cases, employees' inability to form a connection with where they work comes down to (again) poor fit. In other cases, the problem can be avoided. HR and senior management should take active steps to get employees excited about the company they work for. Create a business culture that staff are proud to be a part of and they won't want to leave.


Key Takeaways

HR professionals who are willing to dive into their organisation on the ground-level can gain an incredible amount of insight into employee morale, and morale is a great indicator of the potential longevity of a staff member. When techniques such as these are implemented alongside the data-driven analysis that predictive analytics offer, your HR team will become an unstoppable force when it comes to combating high turnover. 

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