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Staff / Personnel turnover

Number of employee departures (in FTE) divided by the average number of staff members (in FTE) employed.



(FTE departures) divided by (average number of FTE employed)


High staff turnover may indicate loss of knowledge, and higher costs in recruitment to fill open positions.

Unit: Percentage

Direction: Range

Benchmark Results

This KPI is most used for:
Operational Excellence


  1. Joseph Zulanas

    I am sorry about being so analytical but there is a fundamental flaw in the following equation which makes the management of this KPI very suspect. While workforces and number of positions change over time this description infers that you can have an equal representation of staff turnover by having a simple equation of the number of departures over a period of time over the current employee base.

    The simple question “What period of time does this represent?” allows for different interpertations as to the validity of this metric. If you have a 12 month departure over a single month number of staff member employed does not take in to account seasonal or changing workforces. I propose that an Annual Staff trunover metric be used. This could be where you use the number of departures over a 12 month period over the sum number of positions open ofer the same 12 month period.

  2. wendy B.

    I would go one step further and only use the core FTE in the equation. Every call centre has seasonal peaks where temp resources are bought in. I keep these out of my KPI for the frontline managers. The turnover in temps is the KPI I have set for my recruitment agency….. ie: if they source temps who do runners or are unreliable they are accountable. For the frontline managers I also remove internal transfers as I do not agree with them being accountable for this as well. By taking this approach I now have solid numbers around:

    Total turnover + a breakdown of temp and permanent resources
    Permanent turnover + a breakdown of internal transfers and left the company categories.

    When reporting to the Executive/board this allows me greater leverage as I am able to demonstrate the high turnover for me is not a bad thing…….. other depts keep taking my staff due to the recruiting strategy.

  3. kimdung T.

    Staff turnover=
    Number of FTE departures divided by the average number of FTE employed.

    in details, a company should calculate a rate of turnover for different kinds of staff such as: for managers, for professionals, sales staff, architects, and blue workers, etc in oder to find ways to reduce its staff turnover.

    The formular can be calculated during a period of a month, or a year.

  4. Chris M.

    The number of employee terminations divided by the average number of employees during the measurement period

  5. Bolatito A.

    Can someone assist with KPI for Graphic design, Copywriter, TV, Print and Radio production dept in a typical advertising company?

  6. patrick S.

    I don’t agree with the direction of this KPI. No turnover is also bad, because you’re recruiting staff coming up with new ideas. The direction should be a target level, why may be variable from one business to another. This target level is the % of turnover you wish to achieve.

  7. Joe Flow

    Bolatito, every KPI is designed todrive a process i.e. there should be a problem for one to design a solution. So, specifying the process you intend to drive witin your department – would assist in determining specific KPI that can be recommended to you.

  8. Raymond Saldanha

    One needs to also distinguish voluntary employee turover from those initiated by the organisation due to performance or other reasons.
    Raymond Saldanha

  9. Arsalan Qureshi

    I dont find Staff turnover to be negative for any indutry becasue their always the element of succesion planning. If their is no succesion planning than their is a flaw in HR Policy.

  10. brent deinstadt

    a couple of comments, staff quit their boss not their organization – this indicator could be helpful in addressing bad management behaviours.

    high staff turnover rates within an organization (so non specific to a department – which is determined by comparing the organizational turn over rates to a department turn over rate) is an indication that there are strategic problems at the corporate level.

    I just left an organization due to both of the above points. I was head hunted by another organization where after much discussion, we decided that I would be a fit.

    So another point supporting turnover rates is the ability to assess recruitment/interview processes (say post 1 year from hire) for fit. This also could be an indicator for retention as well – after all, if your total compensation package is within the industry average, then people will stay because they fit with the team they are working with. Indeed I would suggest that an organization could be at the lower end of the industry total compensation average and be able to retain staff because of fit.

  11. Iman R.hamed

    The KPI is an indication of a target by management it could be good sometime bad it depend on the organisation, turnover is bad when is frequent and effect company’s direction in performance and knowledge growth, on other hand is also a tool to move out the less desired employees as it healthily to make move out in every while especially in the top management this create a better environment for the organisation and attract better staff( sometime).

    i hope some agree with my comments.

  12. mohammad kussad

    I agree with Iman, it is health to make move out in every while.

  13. Nawal Hasan

    In some cases it a good indication like when the organization depends on repetitive of simple tasks, by huge number of full time employee, what is the since of employees to stay many years and get increase and other benefits

  14. Jarrod Hockley-Franks

    HR people and metrics/statistics is usually a bad relationship.

    simple math in the hands of people who do not understand that numbers are not tools for illustrating selective facts, they are tools for discovering the truth.

    Turn over rate, is Total Seperations (Voluntary & Involuntary inlcuding where contracts are not renewed) divided by Total head count, (Total head count is based on continually employed staff which includes Perm, Temp and Casual employees who have no end date(ongoing irregular hours etc))

    Any thing less is not staff turn over rate it is a different metric, as an example if you only use Full-time employees then its your full time turn over rate, which would be missing the huge cost of temporary turnover which impacts on recruitment, training, etc which in turn would make most planning based on budgets etc not achievable as it does not represent the true numbers in the business.

  15. patience daniels

    i totally agree with Iman R.hamed

  16. luiz filho

    what the mean FTE?

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