Challenge

Sabre, the leading technology provider to the global travel industry, had a constant hiring/downsizing project cycle that led to a jump in regrettable attrition of high potential employees from 5% to 9% between July 2017 to March 2018.

Analysis conducted

First, they reviewed lagging indicators, such as team makeup, skillsets, roles, tenure, and compensation ratios, to identify the pain points for high-performing employees who were leaving Sabre. Next, they looked at leading indicators in Visier’s predictive analytics and combined this with their five-point performance ratings. Using this combination, they created a scale for high performer employees at risk of exit.

This visualization shows predicted resignation count by job family and location.
This visualization shows predicted resignation count by job family and location.*Fictional data used for customer privacy.
This visualization reveals turnover drivers for those who are leaving the organization.
This visualization reveals turnover drivers for those who are leaving the organization.*Fictional data used for customer privacy.

Insights

They were able to predict which top talent had more than a 15% chance of moving on to another company–a list of nearly 220 employees. The analysis also showed that voluntary turnover was highest in technical roles, like software development, and concentrated in Krakow, Poland, where there is intense competition for this kind of talent. With 20% of its developer workforce residing in Krakow, a higher attrition rate would directly impact Sabre’s operations.

Actions Taken

Sabre created specific engagement plans for employees at risk of leaving, including conversations to discuss career paths and progression, assess compa-ratio, and re-align on the other specifics of their role. People leaders also partnered with HRBPs and talent managers to implement more one-on-one engagement between employees and their managers. Through exit interviews, the team learned that while financial incentives helped keep top talent, intentional one-on-one engagement had a more powerful impact on retention.

Results

The predictive analysis and tailored engagement plans has lowered regrettable attrition. At its peak in early 2018, regrettable attrition hit 9%. As of today, the rate has dropped to 7.5%, with the team continuing to work on further lowering it back to 5%.

“Even though we just recently implemented and deployed the analytics portion of Visier, we’re already seeing results. Right now, we have people who get data in a millisecond versus having to wait hours and sometimes days. So the accessibility is tremendous.”

Senior Director of Strategic Workforce Planning, People Analytics, Sabre