What are employee turnover, attrition and churn?

Employee turnover, attrition and churn are all measurements of how many employees leave a company within a given period. Often used as synonyms, there are minor differences between them. Turnover includes both voluntary and involuntary employee departures, while attrition refers to departures that are voluntary and/or “natural”—such as retirement or a position being discontinued. Employee churn is the total number of turnover and attrition cases combined.

Why are employee turnover, attrition and churn important?

High turnover, attrition and churn can indicate problems within a company. 

By definition, employees counted in the turnover rate must be replaced. Recruiting, hiring and training are costly, significantly impacting a company’s bottom line. What’s more, a high turnover rate is likely to put off potential candidates, while a company with a low turnover rate generally has an easier time attracting and retaining qualified talent. 

On the other side of the coin, employees who stay at a company for longer tend to be less stressed, more committed to the long-term success of the company, more productive and more likely to recommend the company as a place to work.

Examples of turnover, attrition and churn

  • Resignations
  • Layoffs
  • Terminations
  • Retirements
  • Location transfers

How nilo.health can help

High turnover and voluntary attrition are often the result of a poor company culture and/or workplace conditions. Offering employee mental health benefits helps retain employees by addressing critical culture and well-being issues directly on both the individual and organizational level. 

With a wide range of science-based tools and programs to support key areas such as work-life balance, psychological safety, supportive leadership and healthy communication, supplemented by one-on-one psychological counseling, nilo.health promotes a positive workplace environment where employees want to stay and thrive.

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