Research Handbook on Employee Turnover
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Research Handbook on Employee Turnover

Edited by George Saridakis and Cary L. Cooper

Covering the period of the financial crisis, this Research Handbook discusses the degree of importance of different driving forces on employee turnover. The discussions contribute to policy agendas on productivity, firm performance and economic growth. The contributors provide a selection of theoretical and empirical research papers that deal with aspects of employee turnover, as well as its effects on workers and firms within the current socio-economic environment. It draws on theories and evidence from economics, management, social sciences and other related disciplines.
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Chapter 5: Analysing, monitoring and costing labour turnover

Stephen Bevan


Labour turnover is a phenomenon which has been studied over the years by economists, psychologists, sociologists and human resources (HR) professionals (Gardener, 1982; Mobley, 1983; Gregg and Wadsworth, 1995; Bevan et al., 1997; Phillips, 1990). At first sight, its nature, causes and consequences seem straightforward, with concomitantly simple prescriptions for keeping it under control. Yet, as with so many phenomena which involve human decision-making, the laws of the labour market, organizational culture, rewards and the caprice of human motivation in such complex and highly individual interplay, it is now clear that the wide variety of drivers of labour turnover require much more nuanced and tailored strategies to be deployed if organizations are to exercise any sustained control over it. It is possible to look at any workforce as a series of ‘stocks’ and ‘flows’. The ‘stocks’ – the cohorts of workers organized in teams, or defined by their pay-band or their grade or their function – each have ‘flows’ into, within and out of them. These can be recruits, promotes, lateral transfers, secondees and, crucially, leavers. Of all of the ‘flows’, leavers are the only group where the organization has only minimal influence over the number, identity and timing of the leaving decision.

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