In 2017, over 120 companies conducted an employee engagement survey with Culture Amp and flagged churning employees via their exit surveys. We had an overall sample of 50,000+ people, and just over 6,000 people exited at some point after taking an engagement survey.
So what predicted whether someone would churn?
The best predictor of churn
The best single predictor of whether someone would leave was how they responded to the question:
I see myself still working at [Company] in two years' time
You don’t need predictive analytics to know who’s leaving your organization. You just need to ask this one question.
- People who strongly disagreed with this were 136% more likely to churn than average (2.4x)
- People who disagreed were 100% more likely to churn than average (2x)
- And even those who were neutral on this were 36% more likely to churn than average (.36x)
How does tenure affect churn?
Looking beyond employee engagement survey questions, understanding other aspects of people's tenure was the next most important in our models.
Statistics on tenure and churn:
- People with 3-6 months tenure at the time of engagement survey were 19% more likely to churn
- People with less than 3 months tenure at the time of engagement survey were 12% more likely to churn
How does age affect churn?
Our data confirms what we already know based on expected jobs and careers that Gen Y and Z will have in their lifetime. These generations are both more likely to churn than average and more likely to hold more jobs over their career.
Statistics on age and churn:
- 18 - 24-year-olds were 40% more likely to churn than average
- 25 - 34-year-olds were 16% more likely to churn than average
How does job function affect churn?
Based on our data set, we learned that People operations/HR were 37% more likely to churn than average.
Why planning for employee churn matters
Replacing an employee is expensive, so understanding and reducing employee churn is essential for a successful company. Some estimates place turnover costs at 100-300% of a person's base salary, making information on churn essential for fiscal planning.