What are the main drivers of employee turnover?

Employee turnover is one measure that most organisations would like to keep as low as possible.

Recruitment hassles aside, constantly having to hire new staff to replace departed ones can be an extremely costly exercise. Having to advertise a position, scour through applicants and conduct interviews can be a huge drain on your company's time and resources.

It is especially galling when a new employee, who you've invested so much effort into hiring, leaves only a few months into the job. This can indicate a poor fit between candidate and role and perhaps even some flaws in your recruitment and selection procedures.

So what are some of the main reasons new staff are likely to leave within the first year at a business? The recent 'Workplace America: Employee Engagement and Retention Trends' report from TalentKeepers sought to answer the question.

According to the employee engagement specialists, workers are often compelled to leave when the actual duties and workload of the job don't align to their initial expectations. More than a third (34 per cent) of employers in the US cited this as the main reason new hires leave within the first 12 months.

A similar proportion (33 per cent) blamed early turnover on a poor fit between the new hire and the skills required. Meanwhile, 15 per cent said it was down to a lack of advancement opportunities.

The potential implications of high turnover can be wide-ranging. According to 57 per cent of respondents, productivity takes a hit when turnover is high and employee engagement is low.

Other areas that can be affected include morale and culture (50 per cent), team performance (43 per cent) and service quality (40 per cent).

To cut down turnover at your organisation, one of the first steps it should take is to avoid hiring the wrong people in the first place. Fortunately there are a range of effective candidate screening tools now available, such as personality assessments to gauge an individuals preferred behaviour and cognitive assessments to gauge an individuals capacity to solve problems.