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Curb your turnover with people analytics
HR Insights & Analytics

Curb your turnover with people analytics

Sharon Monteiro
May 7, 2024

Why do employees leave?

You must have heard this a million times before, but the truth is worth repeating: Good employees are a company’s greatest asset. Treat them well and they will be engaged and highly productive. Treat them otherwise and they will likely be demotivated and leave their jobs. Quite simple, right?

Employee turnover continues to be one of the greatest concerns for businesses over the world. High turnover is accompanied by numerous costs, disruption of the business, and training time to lost productivity.

In order to curb you turnover, you need to first figure out what ultimately pushes an employee out of the door.

  1. Bad bosses: A study reveals that about 50% of over 7000 employees quit not their jobs, but their bosses.
  2. Burdened by work: It may be tempting to make talented people work harder by giving them too much work. While managers may see the as recognition for their great performance, overworking puts immense stress on employees.
  3. Lack of recognition: It’s easy to downplay the reward and recognition of an employee’s work. But 82% of employees disagree - stating the lack of recognition as one of he foremost reasons that employees consider switching employers.
  4. Relationship with coworkers: Besides the manager, interacting with other members of the team is a crucial component of the employee’s work environment. Research suggests that having a friend at work determines whether or not a worker is happy and satisfied with their job.
  5. Lack of flexibility: One of the primary deal breakers for employees if not having a flexible work schedule.
  6. Lack of career advancement opportunities: Employees need to feel that they are working towards something. But without a clear opportunity for advancement, they will eventually search for opportunities elsewhere.
  7. Micromanagement: Employees will find a job satisfying when they have the freedom to make decisions about how to do their tasks. So, if managers keep employees’ hands tied in order to get the work accomplished in the manner they see fit, then employees won’t stick around for very long.

What is employee turnover?

Employee turnover is the proportion of employees who leave the organization over a particular period.

A lot of different factors can affect employee turnover, and a few of them were enumerated in the previous section. However, because of the existence of numerous factors, it’s important that employers study these numbers in depth before declaring that they have a turnover problem.

Employee turnover includes both voluntary turnovers (those that resign or retire) and involuntary turnovers (those that perform poorly, were forced leave the organization, or in the case of other redundancies).

In the case of the latter, it may seem that not all turnover is bad. But, an even better strategy would be to design employee retention programs to prevent turnover from happening.

Strategies for reducing turnover

Some of the broad strategies for reducing employee turnover include:

  1. Rework the way you manage your people, and prioritize factors such as task distribution and goal setting.
  2. In exchange for the added workload, offer employees with promotions, salary raises, and title changes.
  3. Create a culture of internal recognition, flexibility of schedule, a promotion, or an extra vacation time.
  4. Good working relationships with coworkers keeps the curb at a minimum. So, in order to avert friction between teammates, intervene and help solve the issue.
  5. Keeping tabs on what is going on in the team is good management, but crossing the lines into micromanagement isn’t. Avoid being persistently over-involved and you can de-escalate the potential of retention issues.

Can people analytics curb turnover?

Traditionally, the issue of employee turnover was addressed retrospectively. HR would typically collect data on employee turnover throughout the year, and present their data on an annual or semi-annual basis. In order to glean more insights into the reasons why employees leave the organization, attempts to identify would often consist of Exit Surveys which would be completed by those employees on their last days of work. Although the information gathered were mainly relevant for those who are already leaving the organizaton, its potential for sparking change in the organizational processes had largely remained untapped.

That is, until the era of people analytics. It is the culmination of the relationships between metrics and the curiosity to understand the forces that define workforce trends. Making strategic workforce decisions without the data to back them up was an issue that had long prevented HR from making the biggest impact on business outcomes.

With people analytics in the mix, data can help employers discover insights about the workforce that can lead to better business decisions. In order to curb turnover, HR needs to become more data-driven and people analytics can also use data to develop targeted retention strategies, improve hiring processes, and enhance the employee experience.

Instead of being siloed within simple descriptive analytics, HR needs to look past them toward more exploratory analytics, and perhaps, even further, into predictive analytics.

Steps to reducing turnover with people analytics

The key to solving a problem, whether it is big or small, is to gather the right information and have a good approach to execute strategy. Too often, organizations approach problem solving without having complete knowledge the issue, and end up only addressing symptoms instead.

That’s where people analytics can come in handy. You can analyze your employees on a variety of parameters and understand their pain points and resolve them to reduce employee turnover.However, for this, you need to be good with analytics in itself. That’s where a degree in analytics comes in handy. It can equip you with the skills needed to accomplish such mammoth tasks. And the best part is numerous organizations hire for roles like operations research analyst, market research analyst, and more.

To address the organizational problem of employee turnover, the following four levels of people analytics could be applied:

Descriptive analytics

Descriptive analytics focuses on problems retrospectively. As the first step in solving most problems, employers can start by figuring out what is going on. That’s descriptive analytics - the who, what, when, and where.

In this instance, employers can begin solving the problem by reviewing sit interview data to study trends of employee turnover, why they leave, and what positions they were working in.

Diagnostic analytics

Diagnostic analytics answers the “why” of employee turnover. Using the information gathered through descriptive analytics, the organization might be able to glean answers. To study the situation diagnostically, a people analytics solution can provide assistance by filtering data in different ways to explore causes and correlations.

Predictive analytics

Predictive analytics gives answers on how a future scenario might play out. It measures and predicts outcome depending on the change of factors that may or may to affect it.

For organizations that wish to implement change in a logical manner and use their resources wisely, predictive analytics assist them in making strategic decisions.

Prescriptive analytics

While in the predictive stage, the organisation considers all options of approaching a problem, prescriptive analytics points towards the question “What should be done?” Here’s the stage at which decisions are made.

Also read : Getting Started With People Analytics: A Modern Guide

Organizations can use the principles of analytics to help them identify problems and brainstorm solutions using data as the driving factor to curb their turnover with people analytics. This is definitely one of those moments when we can put the power of technology to excellent use.

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