Employers’ staff retention problems soar as turnover rises

Staff turnover has reached its highest level for four years, with 15.5 per cent of employees resigning in 2016, up from just 10.6 per cent in 2012, new figure show.

The figures come from labour turnover statistics from 288 organisations employing a total of 359,989 people for online HR data provider XpertHR. Using an alternative measure that tracks voluntary turnover at the midpoint or median, resignations have increased from 8.9% to 13.1% over the same period, says XpertHR.

Total labour turnover – which covers all types of departures, including voluntary resignations, redundancies, dismissals and retirements – stands at an average 23 per cent and a median of 19.4 per cent, a modest increase from 2015 – when the average was 21.5 per cent and the median 18.5 per cent.

The data shows that 10 per cent of new starters resigned before completing a year’s service – with total turnover for all reasons at 11.4 per cent. Companies in the services sector had the highest rate of attrition among new starters. On average, 11.6 per cent new employees left voluntarily in their first year, with total labour turnover at 13.1 per cent. Monitoring resignation rates and total turnover among new starters is seen as particularly important due to the high costs and implications of recruiting and onboarding.

XpertHR senior HR practice editor Noelle Murphy says: “Monitoring staff turnover is important for all organisations so that they can respond quickly when levels reach a point that is damaging to the business. Our data on turnover rates among those with less than 12 months’ service shows just how important it is for HR to look carefully at its recruitment and selection strategy – and its onboarding process. Ensuring new starters receive ongoing support and attention, and have the opportunity to raise any concerns as soon as possible, can help to avoid staff churn among this group. Losing an average of one in 10 employees before completing one year of service is not only costly in terms of resources, but also for employee engagement among those already in post.”