Predictors of quit rates (Human Resource Management)

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

In honor of March Madness, let’s play a game. Here are variables related to quit rates:

  1. union representation
  2. employee participation
  3. higher relative wages
  4. internal promotion policies
  5. contingent staffing
  6. electronic monitoring
  7. variable pay

Now, set your bracket and guess which factors increase quit rates and which factors decrease quit rates. If you’re really feeling sporting, establish some sort of office pool. Since the suspense is probably overwhelming, I’ll now reveal the answers.

Here are the factors that decreased quit rates:

  1. union representation
  2. employee participation
  3. higher relative wages
  4. internal promotion policies

Here are the factors that increased 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.