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Factsheet:

Employee turnover and retention

Resource summary

This factsheet was last updated in November 2015.

Employee turnover

Employee turnover refers to the proportion of employees who leave an organisation over a set period (often on a year-on-year basis), expressed as a percentage of total workforce numbers.

At its broadest, the term is used to encompass all leavers, both voluntary and involuntary, including those who resign, retire or are made redundant, in which case it may be described as ‘overall’ or ‘crude’ employee turnover. It's also possible to calculate more specific breakdowns of turnover data, such as redundancy-related turnover or resignation levels, with the latter particularly useful for employers in assessing the effectiveness of people management in their organisations

Retention

Retention relates to the extent to which an employer retains its employees and may be measured as the proportion of employees with a specified length of service (typically one year or more) expressed as a percentage of overall workforce numbers.

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  • What are employee turnover and retention?
  • Measuring turnover and retention
  • Why do people leave organisations?
  • Improving employee retention
  • CIPD viewpoint
  • Further reading.

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