Voluntary Employee Turnover – Survey Results

Calgary, January 21, 2013:  A recent survey conducted by David Aplin Group revealed the motivations behind voluntary employee turnover.  Over 1,800 respondents were asked to recall a former employer whom they had chosen to leave of their own accord and answer some questions as honestly as possible.  When asked to indicate up to but no more than 5 factors that caused them to start thinking seriously about leaving their organization, the top 5 answers were:

  1. Insufficient pay or unfair pay practices
  2. Lack of honesty/integrity/ethics
  3. Lack of trust in senior leaders
  4. Lack of work-life balance
  5. Unhealthy/undesirable culture

When managers of people and Human Resources professionals were asked to fill out a similar survey, the factors they considered to be the greatest contributors to voluntary employee turnover in their organizations were:

  1. Insufficient pay or unfair pay practices
  2. Unmet personal goals and dreams
  3. Excessive workload
  4. Unexpected job/career opportunity
  5. Lack of feedback or recognition

There appears to be a serious disconnect between employers and employees.  With 49% of managers and HR professionals indicating that voluntary turnover is a problem for their organizations, it’s time that organizational leaders recognize the real causes for voluntary employee turnover.

50% of employees indicated that the thought of leaving their employer caused them to give less effort to their job.  “The survey results back the fact that employee turnover affects your bottom line,” said Jeff Aplin, President of David Aplin Group.  “What’s more is the cost of replacing an employee is estimated to be between 75% and 200% of the employee’s annual compensation.”  Though insufficient pay or unfair pay practices is listed as the number 1 factor causing employees to think seriously about leaving their organization, 61% of employees indicated that they would trade financial or base compensation for extra vacation days or a shorter work week and only 52% indicated that a higher salary or pay raise would increase their tolerance for the undesirable aspects of their job.

38% of respondents revealed that they were motivated more by their dissatisfaction or desire to leave than by the attraction or availability of an outside opportunity.  In contrast, 47% of managers and HR professionals indicated that their departing employees were motivated more by the attraction of an outside opportunity than by their dissatisfaction or desire to leave.

“From Vancouver to Halifax we are seeing a return to the almighty dollar as the top driver of why people quit jobs in Canada. This is a shift from the softer influences on turnover such as life balance that we’ve seen previously. After a few years of sluggish growth, people are more motivated than ever to get ahead economically.”  Mr. Aplin continues, “The implications for Canadian society deserve a closer look or managers will continue to ignore these results at their own peril.”

For more information please contact:

Jeff Aplin, President

David Aplin Group



About David Aplin Group: David Aplin Group was established in 1975 and today is one of Canada’s largest and most accomplished recruiting firms. From Vancouver to Halifax we provide the strongest talent for every organization we help – from local entrepreneurs to Fortune 500’s. We work hard for our customers to deliver deeply specialized, full-service recruiting and HR solutions – all from one source.