What Factors Make Employees More or Less Likely to Quit?

Topic(s): turnover
Publication: Industrial & Labor Relations Review (2002)
Article: Employee voice, human resource practices, and quit rates: Evidence from the telecommunications industry
Authors: R. Batt, A.J.S. Colvin, J. Keefe
Reviewed by: Scott Charles Sitrin

According to a new research study, these are the factors that decrease quit rates:

  1. Union representation
  2. Employee participation
  3. Higher relative wages
  4. Internal promotion policies

These are the factors that increase quit rates:

  1. Contingent staffing
  2. Electronic monitoring
  3. Variable pay


For this study, a single item asking managers for the percentage of their annual voluntary quit rate served as the indicator of quit rates; union membership indicated union representation; the ratio of median pay to the local cost of living served as the barometer of relative pay; use of offline problem-solving groups and the degree to which the company used self-directed teams served as indexes of employee participation; percentage of employees who were internally promoted served as the mark of internal promotion policies; percentage of employees that were employed in a temporary or part-time basis served as the gauge of contingent staffing; percentage of time that an employee’s daily work was electronically monitored served as the measure of electronic monitoring; and the percentage of an employee’s salary that was not fixed (e.g., commission based) was the indicator of variable pay. The overall sample size consisted of 938 managers from the telecommunications industry.