Category Archives: Furloughs/Layoffs/Turnover

Employee Turnover and Organizational Performance: Testing a Hypothesis from Classical Public Administration

Source: Kenneth J. Meier and Alisa Hicklin, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Vol. 18 no. 4, October 2008

Empirical studies of public employee turnover, particularly using turnover as an independent variable, are rare; and most of the literature assumes turnover to have a negative impact on organizations. This study examines a provocative but little supported hypothesis that has recently emerged in the private sector literature–that turnover may provide positive benefits to the organization, at least up to a point. Using data from several hundred public organizations over a nine-year period, we test the proposition that moderate levels of turnover may positively affect organizational performance. We find that while turnover is indeed negatively related to performance for the organization’s primary goal, it does have the hypothesized nonlinear relationship for a secondary output that is characterized by greater task difficulty.

Financial Crisis Shouldered by City Workers

Source: Paul Abowd, Labor Notes, No. 358, January 2009

Last summer’s meeting of the National Conference of Mayors foresaw grim days for American cities — and that was before finance markets folded up in the fall. Now urban governments confront budget deficits that stem from falling tax revenues and the ongoing credit crunch.

More than a quarter of American cities hemorrhaged jobs in 2008. Mayors now propose to add to the jobless by firing yet more city workers. Wall Street’s collapse has opened a $4 billion hole in New York’s $60 billion balance sheet over the next two years–and support from state and federal coffers is less than forthcoming.

US Employees Earn Least Amount of Severance

Source: Right Management, Press Release, December 18, 2008

A new global study by Right Management has found that employees laid off in the United States earn the least amount of severance pay worldwide – no matter what level of employee or amount of tenure with the organization.

The global study across 28 countries draws from more than 1,500 responses from human resource professionals and senior managers responsible for making severance decisions in their organization, including 456 from the United States. US-based employees consistently earn less severance per year of service than colleagues around the world. Top executives earned as little as 2.76 weeks of severance per year of service, compared to a worldwide mean of 3.39 weeks per year of service. The disparity increases as the level of employee decreases.

Automaker Bankruptcies Would Cost up to 3.3 Million U.S. Jobs

Source: Robert E. Scott, Economic Policy Institute, Economic Snapshot, December 17 2008

The United States cannot afford to sacrifice the domestic auto industry. A shutdown would eliminate up to 3.3 million U.S. jobs within the next year in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The loss of total state employment would be anywhere from 4.0% to 8.9% in Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee, and Ohio (see Map below). Traditional auto manufacturing states would certainly be hard hit, but Southern states–including the Carolinas, Mississippi, and Oklahoma–would be, too.

Measuring Worker Turnover in Long-Term Care: Lessons From the Better Jobs Better Care Demonstration

Source: Kathleen Walsh Piercy – Editor, Theresa “Teta” Barry, Peter Kemper, and S. Diane Brannon, Gerontologist, Vol. 48 no. 3, 2008
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Turnover among direct-care workers (DCWs) continues to be a challenge in long-term care. Both policy makers and provider organizations recognize this issue as a major concern and are designing efforts to reduce turnover among these workers. However, there is currently no standardized method of measuring turnover to define the scope of the problem or to assess the effectiveness of interventions. This article draws on our experience of the Better Jobs Better Care Demonstration (BJBC) to explicate some important issues in measuring and interpreting turnover related to interventions designed to improve DCW jobs.

12 Steps for Creating a Culture of Retention: A Workbook for Home and Community-Based Long-Term Care Providers

Source: PHI, August 2008

All long-term care agencies struggle to find and keep sufficient, reliable, and skilled staff capable of meeting client needs and providing great quality care. This workbook offers 12 concrete steps to guide agencies in developing excellent recruitment, selection and retention practices – the three key elements necessary to manage long-term care organizations successfully.

The 12 steps that frame this workbook are based on the principle of “quality care through quality jobs”: Direct-care workers must have quality jobs to provide the highest quality care for consumers.

Staff Stability Toolkit

Source: Quality Partners Rhode Island, Version 1.1, August 2008

Quality Partners Rhode Island has released a Staff Stability Toolkit that provides “how-to” tips and practical tools for nursing homes seeking to reverse turnover rates.

The premise of the guide is that staff stability is the key foundation to implementing other initiatives, quality improvements, or culture change.

The toolkit lays out an overall method and framework for increasing staff retention, discusses management practices that support stability, offers worksheets that allow facilities to gather and analyze data, and lays out options and advice on providing staff training. It also includes a case study that models the methods discussed in the toolkit.

Cost Of Turnover Worksheet

Source: Scott Cheney, PAROS Group, 2006

Myths about turnover abound; some say it is inevitable and there is little that can be done to stop it. Some argue that turnover is a serious symptom of deeper organizational problems. Still others imply that turnover is good since an organization needs to do periodic housecleaning in order to keep things neat and tidy.

In fact, turnover is an indication that something is wrong. At a minimum, the organization and the employee have been mismatched and often the only thing the organization has to show for it is another costly statistic.

In this era of continuing — and increasing — labor shortages, organizations cannot afford the tedious and expensive process of recruiting applicants, only to have them leave in discontent.

But just how costly is turnover? PAROS Group has devised this “cost-of-turnover” worksheet to determine how turnover affects an organization’s bottom line. You may be surprised.