Reasons for Leaving
- People leave jobs because of push factors and/or pull factors. Employers have little effect on pull factors. 1
COMPANIES CAN REDUCE TURNOVER BY FOCUSING ON PUSH FACTORS 2
|PUSH FACTORS||PULL FACTORS|
Individual’s perception of limited opportunities
|Job offer with much greater compensation and/or more decision-making power|
|Lack of senior leader role models||Desire to follow a life-long career dream or avocation|
|Excessive workload, especially attributed to bureaucratic and management inefficiencies||Family responsibilities, both children, spouse, and elder care|
|Non-competitive rewards and recognition|
|Lack of respect for personal life/desires|
- In a Catalyst study, senior-level women gave their top three reasons for which they would leave their current organization, with 42.0% citing increased compensation, 35.0% to accept the opportunity to develop new skills or competencies, and 33.0% to pursue greater advancement opportunities.3
- High-level men gave the same reasons, with 51.0% citing increased compensation, 32.0% to accept the opportunity to develop new skills or competencies, and 30.0% to pursue greater advancement opportunities.4
- A 2007 study looked at professionals and managers who left their place of work due to unfairness and found that: 5
- 9.5% of people of color that were professionals or managers left due to unfairness in their job.
- 3.0% of Caucasian men and 4.6% of Caucasian women left their place of work due to unfairness in their jobs.
- 5.6% of gays and lesbians that were professionals or managers left due to unfairness in their job.
SPECIFIC UNFAIRNESS EXPERIENCED AMONG RESPONDENTS WHO LEFT THEIR
PLACE OF WORK 6
|Specifc Form of
|% Who left workplace|
Passed over for a promotion
Being compared to a terrorist
Being asked to attend more recruiting or community related events
Bullied on the job
Having your identity mistaken
Unwelcome questions about skin, hair, or ethnic attire
The Cost of Turnover
- Employee departure costs companies time, money and other resources. Research suggests that replacement costs can be as high as 50%-60% of an employee’s annual salary with total costs associated with turnover ranging from 90%-200% of annual salary.7
- High turnover rates are linked to shortfalls in organizational performance. 8
- When retention is higher than normal, customer satisfaction, productivity, and profitability also tend to be higher than normal.9
- Organizations can compute the cost of turnover to their organizations with a turnover calculator.10
Turnover by Industry, 2011 11
- The median employment tenure of all wage and salary workers in January 2012 was 4.6 years, up from 4.4 years in January 2010 and 4.1 years in January 2008.
- Women had a median tenure of 4.6 and men 4.7.
- In January 2012, management, professional, and related occupations had a median tenure of 5.5 years.
- Service occupation workers had a median tenure of 3.2 years.
Collective Turnover* Antecedents 13
- HR systems and practices – There are links between the adoption of "high-commitment," "high involvement," or "high-performance" HR management systems and lower collective turnover.
- Collective attitudes and perceptions – HR investments enhance workers’ attitudes (satisfaction, commitment), increase feelings of equity or fairness, reduce the attractiveness of alternatives, and/or weaken turnover intentions.
- Collective characteristics –
- Management/leadership quality – In six studies where collective turnover has been correlated with aspects of supervisor quality, no relationship has been found.
- Climate/culture – A negative climate often results in a higher turnover rate
- Cohesiveness/teamwork – Despite intuitive appeal, there is limited support for possible turnover-mitigating effects of group cohesiveness or teamwork.
- Satisfaction/commitment – There is an inverse relationship between job satisfaction and collective turnover.
- Justice/fairness – Research reveals no relationship between collective turnover rates and feelings of injustice or unfairness.
*Aggregate levels of employee departures that occur within groups, work units, or organizations.
How to cite this product: Catalyst. Catalyst Quick Take: Turnover and Retention. New York: Catalyst, 2012.
- 1. “ When Talented Women Leave Your Company: Is it Push or Pull?” WFD Consulting, It’s About Time, Vol. 10 (Winter 2004).
- 2. “When Talented Women Leave Your Company: Is it Push or Pull?” WFD Consulting, It’s About Time, Vol. 10 (Winter 2004).
- 3. Catalyst, Women and Men in U.S. Corporate Leadership: Same Workplace, Different Realities? (2004).
- 4. Catalyst, Women and Men in U.S. Corporate Leadership: Same Workplace, Different Realities? (2004).
- 5. The Corporate Leavers Survey, The Cost of Employee Turnover Due Solely to Unfairness in the Workplace (2007).
- 6. The Corporate Leavers Survey, The Cost of Employee Turnover Due Solely to Unfairness in the Workplace (2007)
- 7. David G. Allen, Retaining Talent: A Guide to Analyzing and Managing Employee Turnover (SHRM, 2008).
- 8. David G. Allen,Retaining Talent: A Guide to Analyzing and Managing Employee Turnover (SHRM, 2008).
- 9. Paul R. Bernthal, and Richard S. Wellins, Ph.D., Retaining Talent: A Benchmarking Study (Development Dimensions International, 2001).
- 10. Center for Economic and Policy Research,“ How Much Does Employee Turnover Really Cost Your Business?” (2012).
- 11. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Table 16: Annual Quits Rates by Industry and Region, Not Seasonally Adjusted” (2012).
- 12. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employee Tenure in 2012 (September 2012).
- 13. John P. Hausknecht, Charlie O. Trevor, “Collective Turnover at the Group, Unit, and Organizational Levels: Evidence, Issues, and Implications,” Journal of Management, Vol. 37, No. 1, (January 2011).