4 Types of Employee Turnover You Need to Analyze

types of employee turnoverEmployee turnover is a key business challenge for many organizations. Turnover can cost organizations anywhere from 16% to 213% of a lost employee's salary.

Our research shows that organizations committed to addressing employee turnover are more likely to engage and retain employees.

Uncover the top 5 reasons employees leave:  Download our latest research on Employee Turnover.

In other words, organizations that gather feedback from exiting employees will be ahead of the game. They can use that data to take action to keep existing talent motivated and engaged.

But there are different types of employee turnover. Employee turnover doesn't only happen when an employee decides to leave. There are many possibilities that may lead to an employee's exit.


Employee Turnover Definition

Turnover is the rate at which businesses gain and lose employees.

Voluntary turnover is when an employee chooses to leave an organization by resigning or retiring.

Involuntary turnover is when an organization asks an employee to leave.

Whether turnover is voluntary or involuntary, you need to get to the bottom of why any employees leaves.
Here are four types of employee turnover you need to analyze:


1. Voluntary Turnover

No organization is immune from voluntary turnover. People will decide it's time for a change and are likely to leave at some point. But it is possible to reduce your voluntary turnover rate.

Chances are, you already have exit surveys in place for voluntary turnover. If not, start here!

Surveying employees who choose to leave your organization will provide invaluable insights on how to move forward. Use this data to understand:

  • Why an employee left
  • What you could have done about it
  • The impact their loss will have on the organization

You'll want to keep a special eye on your undesirable turnover. This is when you lose top performers for preventable reasons.


2. Involuntary Turnover

Involuntary turnover is when the company asks an employee to leave. This could be due to:

  • Poor performance
  • Behavioral issues
  • Changing business needs
  • Budget cuts
  • Structural reorganization/reductions in force

Most will assume that an employer makes this decision–and that the employee never wanted to leave. But with involuntary turnover, there is always two sides to the story.

Use your turnover data to confirm that the organization made a fair decision—and that the employee will not suffer from the loss.

3. Retirement

People tend to say exits due to retirement are inevitable and out of the company’s control. However, surveys show that some employees become disengaged and choose to retire early. They might decided to exit your organization, but keep on with their career.

Create an exit survey targeted to retirees. This will help you understand their unique needs and challenges. You'll be able to identify ways to engage and retain older, more tenured employees.

Retiree feedback can help make your workplace better, so you can keep new employees for the long haul.


4. Internal Transfers

Internal transfers involve employees taking new positions within the same organization. This type of employee turnover can be a sign of healthy movement. But there may be other intentions behind an employee's cross-team move.

Exit surveys can help paint a better picture of why an employee transferred. It could be because they were interested in a new role or a growth opportunity. Or it could be that they are running from a bad manager, distrust in coworkers, or lack of growth.

This type of survey data can help you understand what is working as whole, and where individual teams could improve. When on employee leaves a team or department, there's an opportunity for managers to ensure that those left behind remain engaged.



It's important to analyze every type of employee turnover in your organization. But identifying, understanding, and preventing turnover isn't easy. For more tips download our latest research Top 5 Predictors of Employee Turnover.

New Research! Top 5 Predictors of Employee Turnover


Published August 22, 2016 | Written By Libby Duong