Turnover rates continue to increase, MRA survey finds

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.

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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.