Insights: Retention and Turnover

Turnover and Retention are top of mind as a leader. RETAIN equips you with this data via the Insights>Retention page. We have included a Standard Retention graph to help you understand the changing headcount of your workforce.

A look into Retention 

According to SHRM, a respected thought leader in the Human Resources Management community, the formula for measuring retention is:

# of individual employees who remained employed for entire measurement period /

# of employees at start of measurement period) x 100

This formula does not take into account new employees who joined during the course of the measuring period, nor does it include departures that were involuntary in nature 

How RETAIN measures retention:

Example - Suppose, that for a given month: 

  • There were 8 people at the beginning
  • 2 of them left 
  • 2 joined to replace those who left

Your retention rate for the month: (6/8)*100% = 75% . It is thus based on those at the beginning who stayed through to the end of your measurement period.

By default, the grouping for months and quarters follow the calendar year.

Milestone Retention:

We do not include new hires in the headcount while measuring retention numbers across the firm. However, in order to measure retention and turnover specific to new hires only, we look at milestone based retention numbers. To access this, click on the ‘Milestone’ option in your Retention graph.


 # of new hires who remained employed during the measurement period / # of new hires hired at the start of the measurement period * 100

As an example, 7-day retention in February is asking “how many hires in February lasted at least 7 days?” And the same thing for the other time ranges.

Leading Indicators of Retention Rate


Favorability is calculated by the average rating of check-in responses to “satisfaction” questions (i.e. “How would you rate your first week?”) from the last 3 months. This is unique per hire (i.e. if we’ve sent a hire a 7-day and 30-day check-in during this period, we’ll use the most recent response we’ve received from them).

New Workforce Tenure

The average tenure of hires from the last 90 days.


Percentage of unique hires we’ve sent check-ins to in the last 3 months that have responded.

New! Standard Turnover

According to SHRM, Turnover is the rate at which employees move in and out of a company. This metric is measured by the number of separations in a month divided by the average number of employees on payroll, multiplied by 100. As of 8/15/22, for all customers onboarded to RETAIN, we will follow the updated formulas listed below.

Turnover is measured as:

(# of separations during the measurement period /

average # of employees during the measurement period) x 100

Let’s break this formula into distinct steps:

Step 1: Determining the average # of employees

Our formula measures turnover based on your company’s average headcount

By measuring your average active headcount on a daily basis for the given measurement period, we are incorporating the most up to date changes in your headcount. 

Average daily headcount = SUM of active employees each day/ # days


You are measuring your daily average headcount for January:

  • During the beginning of the month you had 14 employees
  • On the 15th,  5 people joined
  • On the 31st, 2 left

Your daily average headcount is thus {(14)(14)+(19)(16)+(19-2)(1)}/31, which comes to ~16.7

Step 2: Measuring turnover

We include both voluntary & involuntary terminations. However, if you would like to exclude specific types of departures from being included, reach out to your Account rep and we can accommodate the updates. For example, if you would like to exclude furloughed employees, we will exclude this group from the count of separations, using the reason codes/explanations stated in your roster files


In January, you had:

  • 5 employees who retired
  • 6 who were let go

Assume your average daily headcount for the month is the same as the earlier example, ~16.7

Your turnover rate is thus: (5+6)/16.7*100 = 65.9%

New! Accessing the turnover line graph

Similar to retention, you can access turnover via the Insights page> Retention. A new update to this page is the line graph for Turnover, allowing you to see the trends in Turnover over time by a monthly, quarterly and annualized basis.

New! What is annualized turnover?

Annualized Turnover is a projected turnover rate. It’s an estimate of how many employees you could lose in the near future. For example, assume your monthly turnover is 5%, if you continue on this trend, your annualized turnover would be thus 5%*12, which is 60%. Similarly, if your quarterly turnover is 10%, your annualized turnover would be 10%*4 which is 40%, after all, if I lost 10% in the first quarter of the year, then I might expect to lose 40% for the whole year.

To access, simply hover over on data points on the Turnover line graph

I would like to switch to exclude certain terminations from turnover. How do I do that?

For Standard Turnover, we can accommodate specific reason codes or explanations that you would like to see excluded from the number of separations (the numerator in the formula). Your Turnover % could thus be lower than what it was before the exclusions.

If you would like to update your termination exclusions, contact your Customer Success Manager who will work with you on the next steps. There is no additional effort needed on your end other than clarifying what exclusions (if any) you would prefer.

What is YTD Turnover?

This shows you what is your latest turnover since the start of the calendar year till date. 

You may not see this measure if you don’t have enough historical data to begin with. If we have a very short range of time, for example, just three months, you may see a period to date figure instead (e.g from March 2022 till date). 

Hiring and Turnover Breakdown

This data is calculated by taking all the hires from the selected time period and figuring out what their retention is.

In the above graph, the teal bar indicates the total number of hires, and the blue bars underneath represent the terminations. The termination bars are color-graded based on when the term occurred (see the legend for exact specifics), and sized based on the percentage of the overall hires it accounts for.

For instance, if you had 50 total hires and 10 terminations in less than 30 days, the dark blue bar would be 20% of the size of the teal bar (10/50 = 20%).

These are currently sorted by the location or role type that has the most hires. Using the filters at the top of the page will allow the data to change based on what the new “top-level” filter becomes.

This table shows the data from the graphs in a tabular format.

 Why are my Retention charts blank? 

Retention takes a longer time to calculate than Favorability. If you have just started using WorkStep RETAIN it's possible that you don't have enough data to populate these charts for the selected time period. You can shorten your time period or talk to your WorkStep representative about importing historical termination data.

Questions? Reach out to our support team at (213) 377-0974 or email us at

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