Staff turnover rate

Staff turnover rate

Staff turnover rate

The rate at which staff are leaving an organization or program as a proportion of the total staff employed during a reference period (e.g., 12 months).

The indicator is calculated as:

(# of staff who vacated their positions / # of staff employed by the organization or program) x 100

Data Requirement(s):

Accurate, up-to-date counts of staff who have left positions and of total number employed at the midpoint of the reference period (e.g., 12 months).

Human resources information systems; personnel records; organization’s payroll system (if accurate); “head count” survey (in the absence of routine personnel information system).

Staff turnover is an important way to measure both the effectiveness of the human resources management system and the overall management of an organization or program. It provides a complementary measure to the previous indicator on key positions filled. If turnover is high, the organization/program must incur additional costs of hiring new staff; these costs include interviewing, checking references, and start-up training, among others. Because human resources often consume greater than 70 percent of reproductive health program budgets, retention of qualified staff, or lack thereof, can have a very large impact on productivity and performance.

Whereas this indicator can raise a “red flag” (signal possible personnel problems), human resource managers may lack the authority to solve the root causes of the problem (e.g., supervision, pay scales, promotion). Further understanding of the causes for turnover requires more in-depth analysis. Some organizations require exit interviews of all employees before departure; examination of these records should indicate if turnover relates to job satisfaction, pay issues, retirement, or other factors that the organization or program can address.

Generally, annual analysis is sufficient, although managers may want to examine this indicator more frequently in the case of a perceived increase in attrition. Managers will also want to review it over longer periods of time to facilitate long-term planning for hiring and staff development.


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