Execs predict turnover to worsen in 2007

More than half of attrition happens in the first year

Nearly half of executives predict turnover will increase this year, according to a new study.

Global employee retention firm TalentKeepers, surveyed 547 United States-based firms on employee turnover trends. For the first time, the forecast by employers was decidedly gloomy. Only three per cent predicted turnover will decrease for their industry, while 45 per cent predicted an increase in turnover. Another 52 per cent see the problem remaining the same for 2007.

Many workers are leaving jobs after less than a year. The study found that while few workers quit during initial training (accounting for only one per cent of turnover), that number quickly jumps to 15 per cent during the first 90 days.

Another 25 per cent leave around one year into their jobs. Added together, 59 per cent of all voluntary attrition occurrs in the first year of employment and begins declining only after the one-to-two-year period.

When asked to report the areas most affected by the loss of employees, lost productivity and service quality topped the list. These, and related business issues, have overtaken the typical direct employee-replacement cost normally associated with the cost of turnover.

“Employee turnover is a business problem. No longer can the loss of talented employees be viewed as a 'people' problem where responsibility and solutions reside with the Human Resources department,” said Craig Taylor, who led the study for TalentKeepers.

“Retention strategies can best be successful through an organization-wide commitment and accountability for results. If a business problem was costing millions of dollars a year, wouldn’t you hold leaders throughout the organization accountable for fixing it?”

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