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In human resources context, turnover is the act of replacing an employee with a new employee. Partings between organizations and employees may consist of termination, retirement, death, interagency transfers, and resignations.
An organization’s turnover is measured as a percentage rate, which is referred to as its turnover rate. Turnover rate is the percentage of employees in a workforce that leave during a certain period of time. Organizations and industries as a whole measure their turnover rate during a fiscal or calendar year.
If an employer is said to have a high turnover rate relative to its competitors, it means that employees of that company have a shorter average tenure than those of other companies in the same industry. High turnover may be harmful to a company’s productivity if skilled workers are often leaving and the worker population contains a high percentage of novices. Companies will often track turnover internally across departments, divisions, or other demographic groups, such as turnover of women versus men.