Turnover rates continue to increase, MRA survey finds

Last updated on March 17th, 2020 at 01:31 pm

Employee turnover across four Midwestern states continued to increase in 2019, with the largest increase coming among production and maintenance employees, according to a new survey by Waukesha-based employer association MRA.

Turnover increased from 22% to 24.3% across Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Iowa the survey of 211 organizations found. The turnover rate in Wisconsin was 24.7%.

Production and maintenance workers had the highest turnover rate at 31.4%, up from 28% in 2018. The rate has steadily increased since 2015 when it was at 21.9%.

Managerial and professional employees have also seen a steady increase in turnover for the last five years, from 12% in 2015 to 16.5% last year.

The office and technical category has been more mixed. It is up from 15.6% in 2015 to 18.3% last year, but that finding was actually a slight drop from 2018.

The executive employee category, introduced to the survey in 2018, was down slightly from 9% to 8.9%. However, nearly half, 46.6%, of executive departures were by high-performing or high-potential employees, according to the survey.

The top reasons given for departures include employee performance, cited by 65% of respondents, another employer with a similar job, 61%, higher salary or better benefits, 60%, personal issues, 56%, and attendance, 52%.

Two-thirds of employers said they respond to turnover by conducting new hire, stay and/or exit interviews while majorities also said they plan process improvement or review or improve their workplace culture.

Just 41% said their response includes investing in learning and development and 35% responded with overtime hours.

Get our email updates

Arthur Thomas
Arthur covers manufacturing for BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.