One of the most important factors that keeps a company growing is employee satisfaction. That’s why it’s vital to reduce high employee turnover and understand the reasons why employees leave their jobs. Read on to find out more.

What is employee turnover?

Employee turnover refers to the departure or resignation of employees from their jobs. There can be many reasons for this situation, ranging from the internal motivations of the individual to external factors related to the operation of the organization. High employee turnover is a worrying signal that may indicate that management mistakes are being made. It is important to monitor this situation and, if necessary, take steps to prevent it.

Measuring employee turnover

To analyze your workforce, it’s a good idea to use KPIs. For this purpose, you can use such metrics as:

  • Attrition rate – the ratio of the number of people leaving the company at a given time to the number of people employed, including those who retire,
  • Voluntary turnover rate– the ratio of the number of employees giving notice at a given time to the number of employees,
  • Involuntary turnover rate – the ratio of the number of employees fired by the employer to the number of employees.

A high turnover rate can be valuable information for a company. It is worth remembering that its value depends on the specifics of the industry. It is assumed that the lower the value of this indicator, the better the situation of the company.

Types of employee turnover

Employee turnover can be divided into several types, which are related to the reasons for leaving a job. They are as follows:

  • Desirable turnover – refers to the dismissal or resignation of individuals who were underperforming, ineffective, and not a good fit for the job,
  • Undesirable turnover – refers to the departure of people who were highly qualified and had extensive experience, which contributed to a company’s high performance. The departure of such employees is often a great loss for the company,
  • Voluntary turnover – when employees decide to leave on their own initiative,
  • Involuntary turnover – if the employer decides to terminate the contract, it may be done for disciplinary reasons or by not renewing the contract,
  • Avoidable turnover – when it was possible to prevent turnover by implementing new solutions (motivation, raise, promotion, etc.),
  • Unavoidable turnover – if the employer has no control over the increase in employee turnover, it may be related to the employee’s individual situation, such as moving to another city or country.

Causes of high employee turnover

There can be many reasons for high employee turnover. As a business owner, you should strive to identify the causes of this situation so that you can take corrective action.

  • Lack of growth opportunities – many people have a need to develop their skills. The workplace should provide opportunities for continuous development so that employees are given new and varied tasks to keep them motivated.
  • Workload, stress – requiring employees to work overtime, constantly adding new responsibilities, and exerting pressure often leads to a disturbed work-life balance, job burnout, and general dissatisfaction. Employees lose motivation to work effectively, become exhausted, and usually end up quitting their jobs.
  • Too low a salary and no pay raise – inadequate pay in relation to an employee’s skills and duties, as well as the lack of raises have a demotivating effect. The paycheck should not be the only factor affecting job satisfaction, although it should not be overlooked. A satisfactory salary and raises based on an employee’s performance provide security and the ability to meet other needs.
  • Lack of recognition – apart from a raise, words of appreciation and praise from managers are also important. Positive feedback can boost morale and job satisfaction.
  • Various management styles – another aspect is the lack of a clear HR strategy, organizational culture, and the lack of identification with the company’s values and mission. It is worth paying attention to this issue, as it affects the sense of belonging of subordinates and their approach to daily work. Today, it is increasingly common for companies to adopt a turquoise management style, or elements of it, that focus primarily on meeting the needs of their employees. This is based on the assumption that a satisfied employee is more motivated to work, performs better, and ties their future to the company.
  • Conflicts – working with people means dealing with different personalities and opinions. This increases the risk of conflict, which, if unresolved, can affect the quality of work and the well-being of employees. One of the most important tasks of a manager is to avoid such situations and, if they occur, to address and resolve the problem in a responsible manner.

How to prevent employee turnover?

What can you do to reduce employee turnover in your company? Here are some tips:

  • Create good working conditions and encourage continuous development. Motivate your employees to attend conferences, industry meetings, and training courses. You can use employee training grants to improve their skills.
  • Set understandable and realistic goals. Use critical success factors (CSF). This way, employees will know what you expect of them and have constant insight into the results of their work.
  • Ensure a fair salary. Analyze job offers for similar positions in your company. If you want to remain competitive and avoid high employee turnover, you need to at least align salary levels with the overall average. Also, take into account the employee’s years of experience, education, professional accomplishments, and certifications. It is also worthwhile to introduce a bonus system.
  • Define your EVP (Employee Value Proposition). EVPs can be understood as reasons for working for a particular company. They are used when preparing a recruitment offer to attract the best candidates for a position. If you want to find out what benefits you can get from defining an Employee Value Proposition and how to create one – read this article.
  • Integrate your team.Positive relationships play a key role when it comes to job satisfaction. As an employer, you can organize meetings outside the workplace in less formal circumstances. It can be a trip, an event or volunteering. It may be also interesting to introduce elements of gamification into your team management strategy.
  • Conduct a survey among employees. Sometimes employees may be reluctant to communicate their needs and point out shortcomings in the way the company is managed. They are afraid of a negative reaction from supervisors and they don’t want to provoke conflict. In the workplace, it’s worthwhile to foster a friendly atmosphere and promote open communication. However, this is not always effective. You can conduct an anonymous survey among your employees to find out their opinions about working conditions, etc. This will help you get their perspective, learn what needs to be improved, and show that you value the opinions of your team members.
  • Improve your recruitment processes. A well-developed recruitment strategy will allow you to select the ideal candidates for the position. Make sure you are targeting the right audience and using the right communication channels. Another issue is developing an attractive and competitive offer that will attract the people you are looking for. Look at how other companies are doing this. To get the best idea of candidates’ competencies, you can use pre-employment assessment tools – these can include various personality tests and assessment centers.


It is not always possible to avoid employee turnover. However, it is worth keeping an eye on selected indicators and encouraging the exchange of opinions about workplace conditions. This will reduce the risk of losing valuable employees, which will improve your company’s performance.

employee turnover

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Author: Nicole Mankin

HR manager with an excellent ability to build a positive atmosphere and create a valuable environment for employees. She loves to see the potential of talented people and mobilize them to develop.