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Preparing your employee data for Retention Insights
Preparing your employee data for Retention Insights

How to prepare your employee data for Retention Insights

Jessie Walsh avatar
Written by Jessie Walsh
Updated over a week ago

What can I learn from this page?

How to prepare your employee data for Retention Insights

Who is this guide for?

Account Admins

In order for Retention Insights to be as accurate as possible, you may need to configure your employee data to ensure that you’re including all the necessary information. This guide will explain what data is required to get the best results from Retention Insights, and outline best practices for ensuring that your data remains accurate over time.

How we calculate the data in Retention Insights

The insights in Retention Insights are calculated based on the last three years of data for the people employed by your organization - including when their employment started and ended, and which demographics they belonged to during that time.

It is important that each employee is represented once and only once in your employee data, and that their start and end dates are kept accurate over time

Fields required by Retention Insights

In order to display the monthly joins and exits for your organization, and calculate your trailing 12 month Retention Rate over time, your employee data must include the following fields:

  • Name

  • Start date

  • End date

We also highly recommend having additional Demographic fields for richer insights.

Please refer to the specific guides for your HRIS integration for instructions on how to ensure these fields are included in your imports. If you’re using a manual import, ensure that you are including values for the start date and end date columns in your CSV.

Best Practices for Retention Insights data

Sync your employee data regularly

In order to keep the historical data in your Retention Insights as accurate as possible, we strongly recommend that you sync your employee data with Culture Amp on a regular basis. Where possible, we recommend that you use one of our HRIS integrations to sync your employee data with Culture Amp daily. This will ensure that information such as exits and changes in demographics are accurate to the day.

If you’re unable to use a HRIS integration, we recommend that you manually sync your employee data as frequently as you can. The more often you sync your data, the more granular the changes in your organization’s headcount and demographics will be in your dashboard. Once you have loaded your employee data, syncing with a manual upload is easy; Employee changes (i.e. new hires, exits, demographic changes) can be managed through frequent manual 'partial uploads' to keep role information accurate in the platform."

See Importing and managing demographics below for more information on how we calculate and display historical demographic information.

Include terminated employees in your employee data

Culture Amp supports two methods for importing employee data: a Full Import and a Partial Import.

Note: If you’re importing your employee data manually, you can select between running a Full Import or a Partial Import. If you’re using an automated HRIS integration, it will use a Full Import. If you’re syncing your employee data via SFTP, it will use a Partial Import.

A Full Import allows you to only include currently active employees when you sync your employee data; any employees who were previously active but aren’t included in your current data are automatically marked as inactive. As a result, it’s not strictly necessary to include terminated employees in your employee data sync.

However, to ensure that employee end dates are set accurately, we strongly recommend including terminated employees from at least the past 3 years in your employee data with their end date specified. Terminated employees will be flagged as deactivated from Culture Amp from the end date that you specify.

For specific information about how to include the end date in your employee data when using an HRIS integration, please refer to the support guide article for your system.

Choosing which type of import to use

When it comes to importing your data manually you have the choice between importing via a partial or full import.

When to use a partial import

Partial imports are a good option when you want to update demographics for some — but not all — of your employee base. We recommend using partial imports for your day to day updates.

When to use a full import

Full imports are a good option when you want to make sure every employee record in your account is up-to-date. Full imports completely overwrite any other data in the platform meaning any user not included on your file will be deactivated automatically when you upload. Full imports are good for when you would like to do a large overhaul of data.

For help further help on deciding which option best suits, check out our guide.

Reducing the risk of duplicate employee records

Preventing duplicates

As THE best practice for keeping your employee data free of duplicates, we highly recommend that your employee data include an Employee ID value that will never change. While email addresses might not change often, they can and do change in the event of an employee changing their name, your organization renaming or rebranding, etc.

Note: While Culture Amp will accept an email as an Employee ID, we highly recommend you use a unique identifier that will not change over time.

If your company does not not utilize employee ID you can add a numbering convention via list import, starting with number 1001.

Automatic removal of duplicates

It’s possible that over time you may inadvertently import the same employee twice into Culture Amp, which would make some of the calculations in Retention Insights inaccurate. In order to reduce the risk of double-counting employees, Retention Insights automatically merges employee records that we think represent a single employee. You can check how many of your employee records have been merged by looking in the Data Health drawer (see below for instructions).

We do this by merging employee records where the Name and Start Date values are the same. In order to make this process as accurate as possible, please ensure that:

  • All employees have a Name; Name includes first name and last name (where applicable) to reduce the likelihood of triggering a false positive.

  • All employees have an accurate Start Date value

If you have two employees with the same name that began on the same date, you could differentiate them by adding their initials, middle name or offsetting their start date by a day.

If you are not uploading employee names to Culture Amp for privacy reasons, we recommend that you use a unique identifier (such as employee ID) for each of your employee records, to reduce the likelihood of incorrect de-duplication.

Note: these records are only merged in Retention Insights, and remain unaffected everywhere else in the platform.

Importing and managing demographics

To get the most out of Retention Insights, you’ll want to understand the experience of different groups within your organization as it relates to retention / turnover. When syncing your employee data, it’s important to include all demographic information that you might want to use to slice and filter your Retention Insights dashboard. For example, if you want to understand how different departments are impacted by retention and turnover, you’ll need to include the Department demographic in your employee data import. See: additional demographic examples.

Assigning demographics to employees

Demographics are assigned to your employees every time you sync your employee data. Every account demographic imported into your account will become visible as a filter and in the Turnover by Group section, with the exception of:

  • Demographics with more than 500 unique values

  • Demographics that have never had any employees assigned to them

  • Demographics that have a single unique value per employee (ie, Name)

Importing new demographics

The first time you include a new demographic in your employee data, we back-date the assignment of that demographic. For example, the first time you import values for the Gender demographic, any employee that is assigned Female will be considered to have been a member of that group since their employment started.

This allows us to display historical headcount, joins, exits and retention for groups that are newly imported, so you don’t have to wait before seeing historical data in your dashboard.

Updating demographics and keeping them accurate

Demographics are assigned to your employees every time you sync your employee data. If an employee changes groups within a demographic, that change is dated from the time of import. As a result, if you were to only import new employee data every six months, you would only see changes in demographics occurring every six months.

We strongly recommend you include all your relevant demographics in every employee data sync, and that you sync your data as often as possible. See Sync your employee data regularly above for more details.

Applying demographics to surveys

Demographic information is automatically applied to employees when you sync your employee data, which means you can filter the retention, headcount, exits and joins data by demographics as soon as your data has been synced.

In order to see engagement and survey data for groups and to make use of the Commitment Motivators section, demographics must have been applied to your employees prior to the opening of your base survey.

You can apply additional demographics to a prior survey for analysis in Retention Insights:

  1. Add the additional field as an account level demographic

  2. Reach out to Support to retroactively enable the account level demographic on the prior survey. More detail here


See also:

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