Five employee satisfaction metrics to track to reduce workforce turnover

Measuring your business is essential. Otherwise, how do you know if you’re making progress (or worse, the opposite)? And when it comes to measurement, employee satisfaction is the grail: often difficult to measure or generalize the results, and yet, extremely worthwhile because satisfied employees are more productive, have better attendance, and are less likely to leave for another job. Here are five metrics to help you get a handle on your workforce satisfaction and retain your talent.

1. Absenteeism

For an employee to be productive and contribute to your successful business, first they have to be there. Leaving aside planned time off and absence due to serious illness, the level of an employee’s commitment to their work often plays a part in deciding whether to turn up: borderline illness, ‘sickies’ that coincide with major sporting events, even interviews for other jobs, the list of reasons for a healthy but unengaged employee not to turn up to work is endless.

Ask: “What percentage of employee days in a quarter were marked by absence?”

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2. Cultural fit

Sure, organizational cultures change over time, but when recruiting it’s worth bearing in mind the values expressed by job applicants and how they fit (or not) with the values at the foundation of your business. After all, someone who believes in your business is more likely to help it grow. Then, after recruitment, monitor that ‘fit’ by means of metrics, surveys, and feedback.

Ask: “How well do your personal values align with our core values?”

3. Rate of turnover

This is an obvious one: if you want to reduce turnover then you’d better measure it. Of course, there are probably some people you wouldn’t mind leaving, and new hires can bring with them fresh perspectives and new skills. But generally, the higher the turnover the less stable and productive your business.

Ask: “What percentage of employees have left in a quarter?”

4. Employee Recommendations

One deep measure of employee satisfaction is whether they would recommend friends or family to apply for a job with your business. A dissatisfied worker may put up with their lot for many reasons but usually only an engaged employee would actively encourage others to join them.

Ask: “How likely would you be to refer someone to work for us?”

5. Personal Growth

Few people are content for their career to stagnate. And one of the most often-cited reasons for changing job is that the new position offers a chance to learn new skills, acquire new knowledge, etc. Fail to provide such opportunities and watch your workforce walk.

Ask: “How would you rate the opportunities for development in your current job?”


Finally, not all feedback on employee engagement has to be carefully measured or contribute to statistics and KPI performance. The above measures are all collecting quantitative data; sometimes, it’s good to focus on the qualitative experience as well and just talk to individuals about how things are going.

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Dave Foxall

About the author…

Dave has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years, he now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music, and, of course, the HRMS software market.

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Dave Foxall