Here is a brief excerpt from an article written by Adrienne Fox for the website of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). To read the complete article, check out other resources, and sign up for email alerts, please click here.
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Data reveal causes and patterns that help you enhance retention.
Employers haven’t had to worry much about turnover during the past four years—two years of a Great Recession followed by two years of a jobless, anemic economic recovery. Voluntary turnover rates decrease as unemployment rises. In January 2009, when the unemployment rate passed 7.5 percent, the number of nonfarm employees voluntarily quitting their jobs sank to 2 million from 3.5 million in January 2001, when the unemployment rate was just above 4 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The quit rate has remained low since 2009 as employees hunkered down, many thankful to have jobs. Executives “say they’re not worried about turnover right now because their turnover is low … because there’s nowhere else for people to go,” explains David Allen, SPHR, professor of management at the University of Memphis.
That’s beginning to change. In May, the U.S. unemployment rate stood at 8.2 percent, a decrease from a year earlier. As the labor market opens up, HR professionals may face a turnover crisis.
The length and depth of this economic downturn has researchers predicting massive turnover in the near future. A whopping 84 percent of employees said they planned to search for a new job in 2012, according to a November 2011 online survey of more than 1,000 people in the United States and Canada by Right Management.
The results of an October 2011 Mercer survey were significant but not as startling. The percentage of workers seriously considering leaving their organizations jumped from 23 percent in 2005 to 32 percent in 2010, according to the survey of nearly 30,000 workers in 17 geographic markets, including more than 2,400 U.S. workers.
Already, 34 percent of HR and hiring managers have reported that voluntary turnover at their organizations rose in 2011, according to CareerBuilder’s 2012 U.S. Job Forecast report, which was based on a survey conducted by Harris Interactive. The desire for higher compensation and feeling overworked were the top reasons employees gave for resigning in the survey of more than 3,000 hiring managers and HR professionals across industries and company sizes. Thirty percent of employers said they lost top performers in 2011, and
43 percent said they were concerned that top talent could jump ship in 2012.
“We have pent-up turnover because of the jobless economy,” Allen says. HR professionals have “to work now to tweak the employee experience so that they will stay and be engaged. You need to know who is at risk and how to retain them.”
Tracking, dissecting and predicting turnover can keep your organization from falling victim to the predicted wave of exiting employees.
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To read the complete article please click here.
Adrienne Fox, a contributing editor and former managing editor of HR Magazine, is based in Alexandria, Va.