Browse Definitions:

employee churn

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

Employee churn is the overall turnover in an organization's staff as existing employees leave and new ones are hired. 

The churn rate is usually calculated as the percentage of employees leaving the company over some specified time period. Although some staff turnover is inevitable, a high rate of churn is costly. Recruitment, hiring and training all require a financial outlay and a new hire may not be immediately productive in terms of creating profit. Depending on the job and other factors, it can take a year or more for the organization to break even on a hire and longer before any return on investment (ROI) is realized.

An unusually high rate of employee turnover is also considered indicative of problems within the organization. Uncompetitive pay scales, micromanagement, ineffective human resource management (HRM) practices and unreasonable expectations can all lead to unacceptable levels of staff turnover.  

See a tutorial about the different types of employee turnover:

This was last updated in May 2015

Continue Reading About employee churn

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.


File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:


  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces.

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...


  • federated identity management (FIM)

    Federated identity management (FIM) is an arrangement that can be made among multiple enterprises to let subscribers use the same...

  • cross-site scripting (XSS)

    Cross-site scripting (XSS) is a type of injection security attack in which an attacker injects data, such as a malicious script, ...

  • firewall

    In computing, a firewall is software or firmware that enforces a set of rules about what data packets will be allowed to enter or...



  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...


  • volume manager

    A volume manager is software within an operating system (OS) that controls capacity allocation for storage arrays.

  • external storage device

    An external storage device, also referred to as auxiliary storage and secondary storage, is a device that contains all the ...

  • NetApp SolidFire

    NetApp SolidFire is a business division of NetApp Inc. that specializes in all-flash storage systems.


  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.