The Training – Turnover Paradox


High performing and high potential employees want career adaptability and development opportunities, but managers often fear that training employees is no more than preparing them to work for the competitor. A paradox – yes.

Yet, there is an even greater training-turnover paradox. Career adaptability (the readiness to change with the changes of one’s work and career) is positively correlated with both organizational commitment and intention to quit. How can career adaptability correlate positively with both organizational commitment and intention to quit? The answer is advancement opportunities.

Advancement opportunities moderate whether career adaptability leads to an employee’s commitment to the organization or intention to quit the organization. (A moderator is a variable that changes the relationship between two other variables. One crude example often given of a moderator is alcohol. Isn’t it funny how women [or men] at a bar tend to get more attractive as the night progresses – thanks to the effects of alcohol?)

The take-away? Drink less alcohol? Maybe.

The take-away for managers? Provide strong training and development opportunities for your high performing and high potential employees, coupled with internal career advancement opportunities.

More on this and other employee retention strategies in my 2012 book, Managing Employee Turnover.

© Dr. Phil Bryant

Dr. Bryant is an Assistant Professor of Management at Columbus State University and co-author of Managing Employee Turnover.

References

Grossman, R.J. (2011) The care and feeding of hig potential employees. HR Magazine, August: 2011, 34-39.

Ito, J.K., & Brotheridge, C.M. (2005) Does supporting employees’ career adaptability lead to commitment, turnover, or both? Human Resource Management, 44:1, 5-19.

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