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How to Use Data for Employee Retention

Datafication for employee retention

In the past few months, I have encountered quite a few HR professionals who complained about the rising problem of involuntary attrition. While most of them were worried about the ballooning cost by losing talent, I was keen to find out the reason that makes an employee choose greener pastures. Although it is tough to find out who drives the happiness of employees at work, I have come to the realization that hiring an individual from a top university or even a leading MNC doesn’t guarantee retention. When a talent is incompatible with a company’s culture, processes and overall business, it leads to job dissatisfaction and eventually escalates the attrition rate.

HR professional-development

My friends from the HR industry would agree that retaining employees doesn’t come easy, I feel that the first step towards talent management is to emphasize on recruitment. When you bring the best talent, you improve your chances of boosting business ROI. Simply put, the focus should be on giving your employees what they want if you want them to stay.

Now, the million dollar question: how to make that happen?

A well thought out and data-focused approach to screening candidates is the key to the solution. To a great extent, it is possible to predict if a candidate you are planning to bring on board will stay with the company for a significant number of years, provided you intelligently use the available data that you have at your disposal.

The solution I am suggesting here is to use the existing data that will let you find out if a specific candidate will stay with the organization for a long-term or not.

Employee Retention

The existing data source for the current and previous candidates is their resumes. In the world of social media, it is easy to find relevant information about their skills. If a company has a database in place, it is possible to translate the same set of data by asking the potential employees to fill an online form on the career section of the company website. Key details like the number of years of education, number of companies associated with in the past, number of positions held in the past can be translated into a specific score for each employee (which can also be termed as the ‘employee score’).

Apart from the above-mentioned key information, businesses can collect important talent analytics data from the below-mentioned things (but certainly not limited to) as well –

  • Employee engagement
  • Performance Management
  • Learning and Development
  • Rewards and Recognition

Importance of Talent Analytics in Employee Retention

When it comes to evaluating the attrition rate, these are the key talent retention metrics that matter the most. These key aspects of talent analytics depend on how much an organization is spending on employee churn and hiring, that eventually impacts the recruitment process as well.

  • Cost per Hire: This is an important part of the employee analytics and it evaluates the related costs of sourcing, recruiting, and staffing. This metric is key because it helps to find out how much an organization is investing monetarily to identify the ideal candidate to fill a vacant position  It is possible to evaluate it by finding the overall cost and dividing it by the total number of hires.
  • Hiring Sources: Always remember that no two sources of hires are equal. While some channels will have high turnouts, some may find none. Some will burn a hole in the pocket, many won’t cost you a penny. One of the biggest concern in regard to talent analytics is identifying the channels which are able to produce the best results cost-effectively.
  • Turnover cost: This is one of the key metrics in talent analytics. It is the overall amount a company spends to nurture an employee (recruiting, training, salaries, benefits, productivity etc that are lost when an employee decide to leave the organization).
  • Workforce Turnover Rate: It is the ratio of how many employees leave the organization to the overall number of employees in a year. For every industry, the turnover rate will vary. Evaluating this rate is easy. To compute, use the total number of employees who left and divide it by the total number of employees in a year. And, now multiply the result by one hundred. The opposite of turnover rate is known as “employee retention rate”.  
  • Yield Ratios: It will tell if your hiring strategies are working or not. It shows the total count of hires from a total number of applicants/prospects during every stage of the recruiting. Detailed job description usually results to better-qualified hire who have the right competencies.

When an organization has these above-mentioned aspects of talent analytics in terms of hiring and turnover, bringing on board the best talent becomes easy and the employee retention strategies start to bear fruit.  

Read More:- What is Employee Training?

Ways to Improve Employee Retention with Minimal Efforts

Realizing that businesses are spending considerably to improve employee retention, here are some of the easy to follow employee retention ideas that actually work irrespective of the size of a business.

Invest in Professional Development: When an employer makes an effort to invest in their team members by offering them with ample opportunities to acquire new skills or knowledge, it indicates that they are interested in helping them progress professionally.

In fact, over 40% of employees have stated sufficient career development opportunities as the key factor that ensures job satisfaction.

It could be like propelling employees to attend workshops or conferences, providing them tuition reimbursement, developing an in-house mentoring program and so on.

Say for instance, some employees may choose group learning sessions while many find online training useful and interesting with employee training software. It is possible that Suzy from marketing may prefer to learn about company policy and facts through more auditory, passive, narrative learning. John from sales, on the other hand, may learn at a quicker pace when a gamified learning module is created for him. In such a scenario, using an LMS Software  can come in handy. It will let you craft training content keeping in mind the specific learning needs of the employees, without hampering engagement.

Read More: 10 Best Employee Training Software

Set Clear Expectations and Policies: When employees aren’t aware of their job responsibilities, company policies and the performance metrics based on which they are judged, it can frustrate them and hamper their morale to the extent that they start looking for a new employer.

Luckily, this situation can be addressed as well. Communicate openly with the employees to ensure they know about their job responsibilities and company policies so that they are aware of the feedback and understand the evaluation process. The onus lies on the employers to ensure that the policies are formulated fairly so that they do not backfire.

Offer Competitive Remuneration: According to me, this should comprise ( but surely isn’t limited to) top notch and pocket-friendly health insurance, life insurance, sufficient sick leave and vacation time, retirement savings plan and so on.

Apart from these key essentials, every organization should realize what truly serve the employee needs. Some of the popular benefits that actually work includes flexible work hours, stock options, child care benefits, fitness coaching, gym memberships etc. You can take your employees’ feedback to get a deeper understanding of the benefits that would be able to their enhance their lives and offer tailored benefits considering that fact that different types of employees (millennials vs baby boomers) will be motivated by different factors.

Build an Open Communication Culture: Morale improves considerably when employees feel free to share their opinion, ideas, problems, grievances and are allowed to take actively participate in company’s evolution process. Team leads and managers need to propel the atmosphere of open, transparent and respectful communication. This will help to build trust in senior management and maintain the satisfaction of employees.

Create Conducive Work Atmosphere: The work environment is believed to be conducive when the management is aware where the organization is headed and strong ethics are followed. When employees are made to feel that they belong to an organization, communication happens on its own without fail. Work-related stress will always prevail but it should be a temporary affair. The employer should ensure that the workforce feels motivated, aren’t overburdened and feel a part of the larger community.


Are you treating your workforce with due respect and ensure that they are made to feel as an integral part of the organization? If your business is aligned with this question with a resounding “yes”, then I am sure your employees value your organization and you can resolve the attrition issues with the above-mentioned strategies.  

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About the author

Kamy Anderson is an online training expert and a product manager. He leads the product vision and strategy of ProProfs Training Maker. Kamy blogs about trends in eLearning, online training, employee training, gamification, LMS, AI, and more. His articles are published in eLearningIndustry, TrainingMag, Training Zone, and Learning Solutions Magazine. You can connect with Kamy on LinkedIn.