5 ways to predict employee turnover

There can be many reasons for turnovers. However, there are certain explicit indicators of a vulnerable employee, ready to call it quits, which organisations should always be wary of.


Losing talented employees in a business is equivalent to business loss. The cost of replacing people —both in terms of time and money — and the opportunity cost of having a better resource in place when replacing someone in a haste, is all too consuming for any business. That is why employee turnover is that big menace most organisations try to keep at bay.

Employee turnover is defined as the number or percentage of workers who leave an organisation and are replaced by new employees. But, why do people leave? Most employees tend to scout for greener pastures, when they don’t feel accomplished, acknowledged or valued in their present position. They also decide to quit when they feel exploited or underpaid.

The reasons may be many. However, there are certain explicit indicators of a vulnerable employee, ready to call it quits, which organisations should always be wary of. If the employers are able to keep a constant tab on these six indicators of employee turnover, there are chances they could save the game. Here are the five indicators in the order of their intensity and impact on employee turnover:

1) Stress: Employee burnout is an easy trigger for employee turnover. While stress can emanate from either or both of one’s personal and professional life, it is a big cause for people leaving jobs. Regular pulse checks on the part of the employers is crucial to gauge employee stress levels.

There are various platforms that enable mood analysis of the workforce, but both line managers and the HR have to work together to ensure the stressors for a team or an individual are tackled well. Also, communication and compassion on the part of the employer is of utmost importance in managing or curbing stress in the workplace.

2) Leadership and culture: Culture-fit is a strong determinant of how long or smooth one’s stint will be in an organisation. Culture defines the overall work environment and employee behaviour, and since it flows from the top, it is in the hands of the top management or the leadership to ensure a culture of performance and productivity. In the absence of a great culture or the right kind of leadership, employee morale and even business performance can go for a toss. This, in turn, leads to employee turnover.

3) Job satisfaction: One of the most prominent reasons people cite for leaving a job is low job satisfaction. Despite employee satisfaction surveys being in existence for long and taking newer and more effective forms, there are still numerous cases of organisations that face high employee turnover owing to lack of job satisfaction. This may be the case when there is a mismatch between the skill level of an employee and the assigned job role. While there can also be other factors, employers need to be cognizant of their employees’ job satisfaction levels at all times.

4) Job content/ enrichment: Job enrichment is as important to professional well-being as is a balanced diet to a healthy body. People who feel they don’t have enough opportunities for learning and growth on the job or within the organisation tend to leave sooner. Job rotation, enrichment or promotion is necessary to keep people motivated to do more and stay longer, in the absence of which organisations risk losing out on talent.

5) Compensation: With the millennials and newer generations at work, while compensation may not be as big a factor behind making people stick to the job as it was a decade ago, it still holds significance in terms of impacting employee turnover. Although learning opportunities, growth prospects on the job, challenging roles and assignments are a strong pull for talented professionals, good compensation is one factor which, if amiss, can certainly influence people to look out for better prospects.

These five aspects are strong indicators of employee turnover, and a constant check on any fluctuations on these can let the employer know of the turnover possibilities well in advance. As they say, ‘prevention is better than cure’. It is critical for organisations to always be aware of their employee turnover rates, the probable causes of the same, and proactively work towards improving on those, for the business to run smoothly.

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