MRA survey shows turnover high among Midwestern manufacturers

The full-time employee turnover rate among Midwestern manufacturing companies is about 18 percent, according to new survey from MRA-The Management Association.

The survey included manufacturers from 651 participating companies representing more than 20,000 employees in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Iowa.

According to MRA, a healthy turnover rate is between 10 and 15 percent. Manufacturers reported the turnover rate was highest among production and maintenance employees, at 22 percent. Office and Technical employee turnover is at about 16 percent, while managerial and professional turnover stands at 12 percent.

“Turnover may be a metric senior management is interested in, but the definition of employee turnover varies by industry and by employee groups, which can be confusing,” said Pam Renick, director of surveys and research. “We wanted to add clarity around key employee groups and to make it clear that not all turnover is bad, as boomers retire and newly hired millennials bring fresh new ideas to the workplace.”

In response to the high turnover rate, employers are investing more in training and development, adjusting their processes for new hires and increasing communication internally. It’s a shift from last year’s survey, when employers reported they were conducting exit interviews to determine the reasons for the turnover.

“Employers have switched their strategy and are becoming more proactive,” Renick said. “These are all strategies which indicate employers are actively trying to engage and retain employees.”

MRA-The Management Association is a nonprofit employer association that works with more than 4,000 Midwestern employers on issues related to human resources.

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