Contact Center Trends

How to Measure Contact Center Turnover

By Justin Robbins

0 min read

Contact center turnover is inevitable. The role of a call center agent is often a low-paying, entry-level position. Many people accept these positions to get their foot in the door with a company, or as a means of earning income until something better comes along. The drivers of turnover can vary significantly depending on the organization, job market, industry, location or a variety of other social or economic factors. It’s important to understand each of the factors that contribute to turnover and how they can be avoided.

One of the ways that contact center leaders can understand their attrition rates is to measure the four types of employee turnover. They are:

Internal Voluntary: This is when an employee pursues a position within your organization. Internal turnover is often viewed as positive (in the case of promotions, or cross-training strategies) but could be negative if employees are looking to escape poor management or stressful working conditions.

Internal Involuntary: This is when an employer makes the decision to shift an employees role and responsibilities. Examples of this type of turnover could include a leadership promotion, a reassignment based on changing business needs or a performance-based demotion.

External Voluntary: This type of turnover is when an employee voluntarily chooses to resign from the organization. Voluntary turnover could be the result of a more appealing job offer, staff conflict, or lack of advancement opportunities.

External Involuntary: This type of turnover is when an employer chooses to release an employee from the organization. Involuntary turnover could be a result of poor performance, staff conflict, the at-will employment clause, etc.

Discover the Talkdesk Advantage

Each type of turnover should be tracked monthly and annually—using both actual and average measurements. These calculations enable contact center leaders to understand how their turnover may change from month to month, as well as understand overall trends on a monthly or annual basis.

Here are some examples of using the various types of turnover calculations:

Scenario: My contact center typically has filled 50 positions. Over the course of one month, we employed 63 different people. At the end of the month, 46 positions were filled and 4 were vacant. In total, 17 people quit or were terminated during the month.

Monthly Actual (Calculated each month):

17 (total # of people lost during the month) / 63 (total # of employees during the month) 17/63 = .269

.269 X 100 = 26.9% actual attrition rate for the month

These next few calculations use example numbers to demonstrate how turnover can be measured as a monthly average, annual actual, and annual average.

Monthly Average (Calculated over the course of several months):

12 (average # of people lost per month) / 56 (average # of employees per month) 12/56 = .214

.214 X 100 = 21.4% average monthly attrition over the past M # of months

Annual Actual (Calculated each year):

86 (total # of people lost during the year) / 718 (total # of employees for the year) 86/718 = .119

.119 X 100 = 11.9% actual attrition rate for the year

Annual Average (Calculated over the course of several years):

75 (average # of people lost per year) / 724 (average # of employees per year) 75/724 =.103

.103 X 100 = 10.3% average attrition rate over the past Y # of years

Contact center turnover is not altogether avoidable but, with the right cloud call center software and tracking systems in place, you can gain a better understanding of how it’s affecting your organization and develop strategies for addressing it.


Justin Robbins

Justin is Senior Manager of Content Marketing at Talkdesk where he creates tools and resources for contact center and customer experience pros. When he's not talking about #cctr, #custserv or #cx, you'll probably find him hiking or cooking BBQ.