- Workplace turnover hit an all-time high this year, according to a report published by Compdata, a Salary.com company. Turnover in the U.S. hit 19.3% this year, rising nearly a full percentage point from 2017 and more than 3.5 percentage points since 2014, according to a press release announcing the report. The annual report uses data from 25,000 organizations of various sizes.
- Hospitality, healthcare and manufacturing and distribution industries had the highest turnover, while utilities, insurance and banking and finance had the lowest, according to the report. Geographically, the south central region and the west had the highest turnover rates, while the northeast boasted the lowest.
- Salary.com CEO Kent Plunkett said in a statement that workplace turnover has been steadily rising since 2014, with a 22.9% increase during the past five years. "In today's modern War for Talent, the number of available jobs outnumber the people searching for work and, because of this, companies must to do everything in their power to attract, engage, and retain top talent," said Plunkett in a statement. "Most studies report that employees leave their current jobs for better-paying positions, and one of the best ways to combat turnover is to ensure that pay in your organization is both externally competitive and internally equitable."
A tight labor market gives employees with more options, leaving employers scrambling to reduce turnover. When employees leave, costs go beyond slower production and knowledge loss; recruitment, hiring and replacement costs costs can skyrocket. According to the Work Institute's 2017 Retention Report, replacing a departing worker costs employers $15,000 for someone earning a median salary of $45,000 a year.
Employers can look into why each employee leaves and look for patterns. Exit interviews, as a regular procedure, can help uncover problems in a workplace. A constructive conversation also can leave departing employees — who can be brand ambassadors and future candidates — with a positive positive experience.
Stay interviews, whereby employees are asked while still on staff why they remain on the job, can be part of a robust retention strategy. Reaching out to employees periodically can be good for engagement, and can alert HR to any potential problems brewing.
And, of course, as Plunkett noted, employees often leave for better pay. This means that retention strategies also may need to involve periodic compensation audits to ensure that pay is both fair and competitive.