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What Is Turnover Intention?

By Alex Newth
Updated May 17, 2024
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Turnover intention is an aspect of employee turnover in a business and cannot always be measured adequately through charts or surveys until after the actual turnover occurs. There are two types of turnover intent: voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary turnover is when someone leaves of his or her own accord, either because that person is dissatisfied with the job or has found a better job somewhere else. Involuntary turnover is when a person is fired because of poor performance or wrongdoings, or if the employee dies. Managers must understand turnover intent to know how to curb it, because this places monetary and indirect stress on the company.

Employee turnover is the analysis of employees that leave a company during a particular time period. High turnover rates are usually considered bad, because firing or losing employees costs the business money. To keep from losing an excessive amount of employees, managers must be able to analyze turnover intent if they are to avoid high rates. They can do this by talking to departing employees or checking their business system.

With voluntary turnover intention, the employee is not asked to leave but leaves of his or her own will. This rate is high is businesses where high school and college students typically find jobs but usually lower in corporate jobs. Other factors that go into voluntary turnover are job dissatisfaction, poor training, and the employee finding a job elsewhere or having to move. To find out why voluntary turnover intention is at a particular rate, managers can ask employees why they are resigning and what problems they had with the job, or they can analyze the employees’ behavior for clues.

Involuntary turnover intention is when the employee is terminated or dies. In terms of termination, this usually comes down to poor performance or the employee doing something illegal like stealing money or information. While the manager cannot do anything about an employee dying, unless on-the-job safety is an issue, he or she can ask the employee what caused his or her poor behavior.

Analyzing turnover intention and understanding how to curb it to avoid additional turnover are essential to keeping a business alive. Financial stress is placed on a company with a high turnover rate, because it loses money when employees leave. Indirect stress also is on the company, because everyone else has to work harder until a replacement is found. By understanding intent and what factors affect the employee, the manager can improve the job to help keep employees from leaving.

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