Turnover Rates

About the metric

The turnover rate is the measurement of the number of individuals who leave an organization during a specified time period, typically one year.  Turnover is costly. And with all of the recent evidence highlighting the positive impact that a diverse workforce has on an organization, it is even more costly when there is high turnover of individuals from marginalized backgrounds.

Retaining individuals, including those from marginalized or traditionally underrepresented backgrounds, is crucial to running a successful organization.  It is imperative that organizations focus on recruiting the best talent, knowing that the highest-quality talent comes from a diversity of backgrounds and experiences.

It is also crucial to focus on methods to keep successful employees after they start. The key to retaining qualified, diverse employees is to create an environment where people can be who they are, that values their unique talents and perspectives, and makes them want to stay.  Organizations that foster inclusive environments and cater to different work and learning styles tend to keep their talented people.

Why turnover rates matter at Cornell University?

Cornell University’s faculty and staff innovate, collaborate, and create – all crucial to the university’s success.  Though a certain amount of turnover is healthy and to be expected, high or unusual turnover rates can sometimes indicate a climate concern. When faculty and staff leave Cornell University at atypically high rates, it can cause low morale and low productivity.  We also lose a significant amount of knowledge and talent.  Our goal is to take positive steps to reduce turnover rates so faculty and staff are contributing as long as possible and are not leaving because of their experience.  This will impact our future success.

Actions and Initiatives

  • Conduct stay interviews. Try to identify and reinforce the reasons that keep faculty and staff at the university.
  • Exit Interviews. Use exit interviews to identify potential causes of turnover.
  • Be proactive with personalized retention plans. Create a personalized retention plan that works best for that individual.
  • Provide an inclusive acclimation experience. Welcome new hires and transfers; provide them with a mentor, and help them build their internal network.
  • Take steps to minimize unconscious bias. Focus on how to minimize biases when it comes to work assignments, performance appraisals, and promotions.

Resources and Readings