Employee Retention Glossary

March 28, 2023

Retention has lots of jargon, acronyms, abbreviations and technical terms – this is particularly true when considering the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to work out your issues with retention. In this employee retention glossary, we attempt to list and explain the most commonly used terms

Accession rate

The percentage of new joiners to the payroll during a period is determined by dividing the number of new employees added to the payroll during the same period by the average number of employees over the period and multiplying the result by 100.


Often called business analytics, a data-driven approach to business process and product improvement.

Artificial intelligence

A category of computer science – aimed at creating intelligent software tools that can equal or better human intelligence.


A comparison of an organisation’s HR data with aggregated industry data from other similar companies. For instance, a Hotel company could assess its employee net promoter score against that of other Hotel businesses to measure its performance in employee relations.

Bradford Factor

A measurement of absence which is calculated by taking into account the Number of Instances and the Duration of each absence for an individual employee. The score is then used to assess the level of absences of that particular employee, and can be taken into consideration when considering disciplinary proceedings if the score exceeds a pre-set limit.

Employee Net Promoter Score

eNPS is a system created to help employers assess their employees’ satisfaction and loyalty. It is based on the Net Promoter Score, which is used to measure customer loyalty.

Human Resources

The collective of individuals who form the workforce of any organisation. This term can also refer to the group of people responsible for effectively managing the personnel within the organisation.

Instability Rate

Calculating the (%) of new joiners who leave an organisation during a given period: % = (Number of new joiners leaving during period / Number of employees at start of period) x 100.

Net Employee Growth

A figure representing the change in total employees, determined by subtracting the number of leavers from the number of joiners in a given period.

Operational Turnover

This is the percentage of staff who leave an organisation over a certain period, calculated by dividing the total number of leavers by the total number of employees and multiplying by 100.

Operations Research (OR)

A field of science that employs mathematical models to streamline business processes.

Predictive Analytics

Involves employing statistical methods to analyse past and present data to anticipate future occurrences. In the context of workforce analytics, it can be utilised to estimate the number of employees who will leave within a 30, 60 and 90 day period by job role in order to meet recruitment objectives.

Machine learning

An area of AI where computers can learn from patterns in data without being explicitly programmed to do so. It is a subset of AI that involves training computers to detect and respond to certain patterns in data.

Prescriptive Analytics

A process that examines data and offers advice on how to best optimise HR decisions for a range of potential outcomes. This provides HR departments with insights on not just what may happen in the foreseeable future, but also guides them on how to act and what repercussions each action may have.

Resource Management

Maximizing the effectiveness and efficiency of different types of business resources, such as personnel, assets, facilities, and equipment, is key to successful Resource Management.

Separation rate

A metric that expresses the proportion of employees who have left the business in a given period, calculated as a percentage; calculated by dividing the number of employees who have left during the period by the average number of employees over the same period, multiplied by 100.

Stability rate

A calculation of how many employees remained at an organisation for a specific period, expressed as a percentage. This is determined by dividing the number of new joiners who stayed during that period by the number of employees at the start of the period, and then multiplying by 100.

Survival rate

A measure of the percentage of new employees who remain in an organisation during a given period. It is calculated by dividing the number of new joiners who stay during the period by the original number of new joiners, multiplied by 100.

Wastage Rate

A measure of the percentage of new employees who join and then depart the business in a given period, calculated by dividing the number of new joiners who leave by the number of new joiners.

Workforce Analytics

Analyzing worker-related data with the use of specialized workforce analytics software and statistical methods is known as Workforce Analytics.

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