How to calculate staff turnover [+ free online calculator]

Phil Kendall

Jan 2024 ⋅ 3 min read

(Updated: 15/01/24)

Recruitment and training doesn't come cheap.

When you factor in the cost of advertising a role, time spent interviewing applicants, and the time it takes for new hires to get fully up to speed, for some industries it can apparently cost up to £30K to replace a single full-time employee.

It makes sense, then, not just to retain your employees for as long as possible, but to keep close tabs on the rate of staff turnover at your business.

Here's how to calculate this important metric quickly and easily.

In a hurry? Skip to our employee turnover rate calculator

Why staff turnover matters

Some employee turnover is normal. Human resources body the CIPD puts the median rate of labour turnover at 16% in the UK — a figure which has stayed roughly the same since 2016.

Of course, staff turnover rates differ from industry to industry. The hospitality industry, for instance, which experienced a major staffing shortage in 2021, sees employees coming and going much more frequently than, say, the public sector.

When looked at on a per-industry basis, however, employee turnover rates can be a good indication of the health of a business from an employee’s perspective — the longer staff stick around, the more likely it is that they're content in their roles and feel that they’re being compensated fairly.

By closely monitoring turnover rates over time employers have an opportunity to spot trends early, adjusting things like staffing levels, pay, or even perks and benefits in order to stem the flow of leavers and potentially save thousands of pounds on recruitment and training.

Employee turnover rate formula

Calculating staff turnover at your business is easier than you might think.

Here’s the formula:

To calculate the "average number of staff" at your business, simply add the number of staff you had at the start of the period you want to measure (e.g. the past week or month) to the number of staff you had at the end, then divide the answer by two.

For example, if you had 30 employees at the start of July, and 24 employees at the end, your average number of staff for the month would be 27.

Next, take the number of staff who left your business in the same period and divide it by your average number of staff, then multiply the answer by 100 to get your employee turnover as a percentage.

For example:

If three staff left your business in July, and your average number of staff was 27, your employee turnover rate would be 11% (3 ÷ 27 x 100 = 11).

Don’t fancy doing the maths? Use our free employee turnover calculator below.

Employee turnover rate calculator

N.b. To calculate "average number of staff" see instructions above.


Recruitment can be both costly and time-consuming, so it’s important for managers to keep a close eye on the rate of employee turnover at their business.

Some staff turnover is normal, and it can be higher in some industries than others. But be sure to keep a log not only of the number of staff leaving your company, but the roles they work in and the departments they belong to.

If you're seeing high turnover in some areas of your business but not others, this could very well point to an internal issue that needs your urgent attention. Use this data to spot trends early and to help identify the most likely causes of staff wanting to leave your business.

Good luck!

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