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February 18, 2008
Poll: 1 in 4 HR Pros Don't Know Their Industry's Turnover Rate
Over one in four respondents to a recent Compensation.BLR.com poll said that they did not know the voluntary turnover rate for their industry.

When asked "How does your voluntary turnover rate compare to your industry average?," 34 percent responded "Lower than industry average" while 27 percent responded "I don't know what our industry average is." Meanwhile 20 percent responded that their company's turnover rate was "Right about at industry average" and another 20 reported that it was "Higher than industry average."

An employer's rate of turnover is almost always a clue to organizational health. Depending on when, where, and why employees are leaving their jobs, employers may want to make adjustments in management strategies, benefits, or compensation. Tracking turnover is critical to early discovery of trends, both positive and negative, that impact the productivity and vitality of a company.

An employer may become legitimately concerned when industry turnover data reveal a correspondingly high rate of turnover or a significant amount of "flight" to competing employers. In this case, an employer should begin to seek out more information as to why employees are leaving via exit interviews, focus groups, and employee attitude surveys. In this way, the employer may begin to piece together the turnover puzzle and respond accordingly.

Information on turnover rates by industry can be found at the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics website at http://www.bls.gov/jlt.

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