Understanding and managing employee retention and turnover rates has become a pivotal challenge for companies striving for sustained growth. The tech sector faces this pressing issue: a whopping 57.3% turnover rate for software developers, as revealed by the 2021 Bureau of Labor Statistics.

More intriguingly, Zippia’s 103K analysis shows that 45% of software developers hold a mere 1 to 2-year tenure, while a staggering 69% stay less than 2 years. 

This blog dives into the intricacies of these numbers, uncovering the factors behind tech turnover and offering strategies to bolster employee retention in this rapidly evolving industry.

What Is Employee Retention Rate?

The employee retention rate measures the percentage of employees who continue working for a company over a specific timeframe. This metric stands in contrast to the employee turnover rate, as it focuses on those who remain with the company rather than those who leave.

For the tech sector, retention rates provide insights into the effectiveness of human resource strategies such as talent nurturing and the engagement of software engineers. A higher retention rate suggests strong management practices that foster employee loyalty and productivity.

Conversely, a low retention rate could indicate issues like inadequate communication, compensation concerns, or an environment lacking in growth opportunities.

By monitoring this rate, tech companies can identify areas that need improvement, fostering a positive work environment that enhances employee satisfaction and maintains a stable and skilled workforce.

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Retention Rate vs Turnover Rate vs Attrition Rate

The Retention Rate indicates the portion of employees who remain with a company over a period, reflecting employee contentment and engagement.

The Turnover Rate represents the fraction of employees departing within a year, potentially signaling issues such as poor work conditions, inadequate compensation, or limited growth opportunities.

Similar to turnover, the attrition Rate reveals the number of employees who exit. However, when it comes to attrition vs turnover rate, attrition is different as it calculates the number of employees leaving without being replaced, leading to unfilled positions in the tech firms.

Understanding the differences between retention, turnover, and attrition rates is essential for gauging employee satisfaction, organizational health, and financial implications. These metrics guide strategic decisions, foster engagement, and promote effective talent management, ultimately contributing to a thriving work environment and sustained success in tech companies.

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How to Calculate Employee Retention Rate in the IT Industry?

To compute your employee retention rate, follow these straightforward steps:

Step 1: Choose a Measurement Period
Decide on the timeframe for assessing retention. Opt for a regular interval, such as monthly, to promptly track trends and respond effectively.

Step 2: Gather Initial and Remaining Counts
At the beginning of the chosen period, record the number of employees. Similarly, note the number of employees who remained throughout that time.

Step 3: Calculate and Divide
Divide the count of employees who stayed by the initial headcount you recorded in Step 2.

Step 4: Express as a Percentage
To express the retention rate as a percentage, multiply the outcome from Step 3 by 100.

Example Calculation: For instance, if you began the month with 30 employees and ended with 27 due to 3 departures, the calculation would be as follows: (27 / 30) x 100 = 90% retention rate monthly.

By adhering to these four methodical steps, you can easily compute your annual retention rate and gain valuable insights into your company’s ability to maintain a steadfast workforce.

What Is a Good Employee Retention Rate in Tech?

Employee retention rates serve as a key barometer of workforce satisfaction and organizational vitality, yet defining a “good” rate varies across industries, company sizes, and locations. Let’s look into some insightful figures that shed light on the tech sector according to industry rates analysis by Praisidio, Devskiller.

  • IT Sector: Within the IT sector, loyalty reigns supreme, boasting an impressive 89.61% average retention rate. This underscores the industry’s ability to nurture a committed workforce.
  • Software Field: The software domain stands firm with an 84.65% retention rate, exemplifying stability and dedication.
  • Internet Services: Internet services carve their mark with an exceptional 91.11% retention rate, a testament to their thriving and engaging work environment.

Stepping onto the global stage, we find tech giants such as Facebook, Google, and Microsoft setting remarkable benchmarks. These industry leaders exhibit robust user retention rates, with Facebook impressively retaining around 95% of its user base. Meanwhile, Google and Microsoft command retention rates exceeding 90% and 93%, respectively, showcasing their adeptness at fostering user loyalty.

However, it’s important to acknowledge that an exceedingly high retention rate, such as 99%, may not always be the ideal scenario. Occasionally, parting ways with underperforming employees could inject renewed productivity and efficiency into a company, paving the way for growth and innovation.

How to Calculate Turnover Rate?

Calculating your company’s annual turnover rate is a systematic process that involves four simple steps:

Step 1: Choose a Timeframe
Select a specific timeframe for which you wish to calculate the turnover rate. This can be a year, a quarter, or any other designated period.

Step 2: Gather Employee Counts
At the beginning of the chosen timeframe, record the count of employees. Additionally, note the number of employees who left during that time.

Step 3: Divide and Multiply
Divide the number of employees who left during the chosen period by the initial headcount you recorded in Step 2.

Step 4: Express as a Percentage
To represent the turnover rate as a percentage, multiply the result from Step 3 by 100.

Example Calculation: For instance, if your company began the year with 100 employees and 15 employees left over the course of that year, you would perform the following calculation: (15 / 100) x 100 = 15% turnover rate annually.

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What Is A High Turnover Rate in Tech?

A high turnover rate signifies an elevated number of employees leaving a company. Surprisingly, the tech sector reports the highest turnover rate among industries. Recent research by LinkedIn unveils an eye-opening statistic – the tech industry’s turnover rate stands at a significant 13.2%. This places tech at the forefront, surpassing all other sectors.

Amid the achievements of tech giants like Google and Amazon, it might be astonishing to learn that many Fortune 500 tech firms grapple with high turnover rates. Here are some of the reasons why tech companies, both esteemed and lesser-known, face this challenge:

  • Job Satisfaction: Employee satisfaction greatly impacts turnover rates. Dissatisfied employees are more likely to seek greener pastures.
  • Salary Considerations: Competitive compensation packages influence employees’ decisions to stay or leave. Subpar salaries might lead to higher turnover.
  • Workplace Culture: An inclusive, supportive workplace culture fosters loyalty. A toxic culture can prompt departures.


Understanding and managing employee retention and turnover rates are vital for a thriving workforce. As we’ve seen, the tech sector faces unique challenges with turnover rates.

While tech giants excel, it’s crucial to recognize the broader dynamics. Balancing retention, innovation, and employee well-being is key. With this understanding, the tech industry can chart a course for growth, nurturing both innovation and a happy workforce.

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