Employee Retention

The employee retention metrics you need to be measuring

employee retention

Did you know that companies with great employee retention have a lot in common with biodynamic gardens? And we’re not just talking about all the manure it takes to create the blooming magic either 😉

See, biodynamic gardening hinges on creating a rich, well-balanced environment in which plants can grow to the best of their ability. It also steers clear of ruthless pest management (think pesticides and herbicides), instead focussing on planting the right kind of attractors (pretty flowers and sweet-smelling herbs) that draw ‘good’ insects that keep the ‘I will eat ALL of your cabbage’ nasties at bay. 

Another thing that biodynamic gardeners do differently is that they keep tabs on what happens in their garden continuously. By figuring out which plants grow well together, and which pests crop up at which times for which reasons (unseasonably wet weather, poor drainage, too little sunlight, etc.), they are able to fine-tune their planting schedule and give each plant optimal room to thrive. 

It all boils down to the metrics, and the same is true for employee retention.  

If you want your employees to grow to the best of their ability, you need to track what’s happening on grass-roots level. 

So, what exactly should you be measuring if you want your employees to bloom under your care?

Here are five metrics that are worth keeping track of in 2020 and beyond if you want to improve employee retention at your place of business: 


1. General employee happiness

Let’s start with the most difficult one. The way employees feel about their work is notoriously problematic to measure. However, since employee morale is directly tied to a company’s retention rate, it’s something every business has to come to grips with.

The tricky part?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for this particular problem. Your HR representatives and management team will need to sit down and decide on a measurement metric that suits your goals. 

You could, for instance, conduct personal one-on-one interviews with your employees at regular intervals, or you might opt for quick and simple pulse surveys that gathers valuable feedback with regard to hot-button issues or questions that need answers immediately. Alternatively, there are more lengthy surveys that can be filled out anonymously. See what works for your company and tweak your approach when you find that the system is clogging up the works. 

READ: Why pulse surveys are all the rage right now


2. Voluntary turnover rate VS involuntary turnover rate 

According to Winani Ndlovu, a research manager at employer branding specialist Universum, 47% of the 22 000 young professionals surveyed by Universum in their annual South African research in 2019 said they were ready to move from their current employers, with an average job satisfaction level of 6 out of 10.

“If you look at the true costs to a company of losing key talent, companies should be doing far more work to align their employer brand with both potential hires’ and existing employees’ preferences," says Ms Ndlovu.

Measuring the number of employees who leave of their own accord, and those who don’t remain with the company due to a non-alignment of expectations, skills, etc.,will provide your HR team with valuable information with regard to your turnover rate.

If most employees are leaving voluntarily, you may have an issue with your overall employee experience; while involuntary turnover can point to a problem on the hiring side of things, since you are attracting and employing individuals who aren’t fitting into your company culture. 

READ: How to calculate employee retention for your business 


3. The value of those who vamos

Not every person who leaves the organisation leaves the same gap in terms of human resources. When top talent make their way to greener pastures, the impact on your company is much more intense. If your business is struggling to retain employees who fall in this valuable bracket you need to know about it and you need to figure out why. This is why it is important to measure each departing employee in terms of the value they added to the business in general. 

READ: Is your employee experience retaining top talent? It should be!


4. Initial adjustment and satisfaction 

How satisfied are your new employees?

Checking in with new members of your workforce to measure job satisfaction throughout the onboarding process and the first few months of employment can stand you in good stead in the long term, because you'll be able to make adjustments to improve their overall experience and enable them to do their jobs to the best of their ability right from the start. 


5. Per-manager turnover rate

Want to improve retention from the inside out?

Take a good hard look at your work environment and the employee relationship quotient between managers.

When you measure turnover rate per manager you may find that a certain team keeps losing members due to relationship issues that need to be addressed; while others may have a very low turnover rate that could provide you with valuable insight into positive leadership goals that should be implemented throughout the rest of the organisation as well. 

There you have it.

If you want to keep proper tabs on employee retention in 2020 and beyond, you should be measuring and analysing: 


  1. Employee happiness in general
  2. Voluntary turnover rate VS involuntary turnover rate 
  3. The value of the employees that leave
  4. The satisfaction rate of new employees
  5. Retention rate per manager

In the meantime, if you’d like to boost employee retention to promote innovation and growth at our company, we’d like to invite you to take a look at our SaaS-based employee recognition platform.

With this tool in their employee engagement arsenal, your team leaders will be exceptionally well-equipped to stay on top of employee retention metrics. We’re so sure it will make a difference, we’ll let you try it for FREE 👇

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