Are Your Employees Staying or Leaving? Trends in Turnover from the 2019 HR Metrics Survey

Turnover rates are on the rise according to Employers Council’s recently published 2019 HR Metrics Survey covering employers in Arizona, Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. The average turnover for all states is 19 percent. This data-driven survey tracks HR metrics such as turnover, tenure, job absence rates, compensation expense, and the cost of benefits.

Employers can gain insight into how their turnover compares to benchmark turnover trends within their industry and/or geographic area in this survey. Comparing to benchmark turnover data will allow employers to modify existing policies or implement new policies to reduce turnover in the organization. In our 2019 survey, Arizona, Utah, and Wyoming respondents reported higher 2018 turnover rates for All Employees versus 2017 rates. However, in Colorado the 2018 turnover rate of 19.9 percent is slightly lower than the 2017 rate of 20.8 percent. Utah employers have reported higher turnover rates for the last three years of survey data. The national data for both the West region of the country and the U.S. are showing higher 2018 turnover rates versus 2017 rates. Following is a chart showing the turnover rate for All Employees for the last five years.

The turnover rates in the above chart for Arizona, Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming are from Employers Council’s HR Metrics Surveys. The West region and U.S. figures are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Report.

* The West region includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Does the average age of the workforce in the organization affect turnover rate?

In our 2019 HR Metrics Survey, we found that employers with an average workforce age between 25 and 35 years old had a higher turnover rate than employers with an older average age. The chart below shows organizations with an average workforce age of 25 to 35 years reported a 33.4 percent turnover, which is higher than 2017 at 23.6 percent for this segment. This turnover rate is higher versus other average workforce ages as shown in the graph below. Employers with an average workforce age between 25 and 35 years might want to focus on organizational programs/policies designed specifically for that age demographic to reduce turnover.

Turnover can be a positive result for an employer if the employee who left the organization was a poor performer. This is referred to as “desirable” turnover. According to survey results, the majority of turnovers in 2018 in each geographic area were “neutral” turnover events. Utah respondents reported a higher “undesirable” turnover rate at 32 percent in 2018, which is higher than their 2017 rate of 29 percent. Employers might want to consider focusing efforts on reducing the “undesirable” turnovers in their organization to retain those high-performing and/or key employees in the organization.

What can organizations do to reduce turnover, especially undesirable (regrettable) turnover?
Understanding turnover trends allows employers to focus attention on hiring the right people for the job, onboarding new employees, and retaining high performers to avoid “undesirable” turnover. If turnover is high in your organization—don’t worry! You can begin to implement or enhance policies/programs to reduce unwanted turnover and create a workplace where people want to stay.

The 2019 HR Metrics Survey also includes data on Tenure Rates, Job Absence Rates, Compensation Expense, Cost of Benefits, and Executive Perquisites. For more information on these topics, please visit our website to download the full report. Utah Grandfathered members interested in purchasing a copy of the survey, please contact