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Overview of Types of Employee Turnover

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Table of contents

  1. Voluntary vs. Involuntary Turnover
  2. Internal vs. External Turnover
  3. Skilled vs. Unskilled Turnover

Voluntary vs. Involuntary Turnover

Voluntary turnover can be defined as “The turnover in which employee has own choice to quit or instances of turnover initiated at the choice of employees”. Voluntary turnover occurs when the employee chooses to leave the organization. In this case, the organization loses a valuable employee who has to be replaced. Employees leave employment for many reasons but research shows that the primary reasons are conflict or dislike of a boss or supervisor, not fitting into the organizational culture, or being attracted to another employer that offers more of what the employee is looking for in a job.

Where involuntary turnover can be defined as “The turnover in which employees have no choice in their termination e.g. sickness, death, moving abroad or employer’s initiated termination” In employment, turnover refers to any time a current employee leaves the company and is replaced by a new employee. Involuntary turnover is one type of turnover that happens when an employee is terminated from a position. Employees may be let go for a wide range of reasons, including unsatisfactory job presentation or unsuitable behavior, is called counterproductive work behavior (CWB).Many of the issues that cause involuntary turnover can be minimized by administering pre-employment test in the hiring process. For example, one of the main causes of involuntary turnover is that new employees do not take on board and apply the training they are given in a satisfactory method; ability and skills tests can predict learning ability and the probability that an interviewee will successfully complete training.

Internal vs. External Turnover

Turnover can be classified as “internal” or “external”. Internal turnover involves employees leaving their existing positions and taking new positions within the same organization. Both positive and negative effects of internal turnover exist, and therefore, it may be equally important to monitor this form of turnover as it is to keep an eye on its external counterpart. Internal turnover might be moderated and controlled by typical Human Resource mechanisms, such as an internal recruitment policy or formal succession planning.

Internal turnover, called internal transfers, is generally considered an opportunity to help employees in their career growth while minimize the more costly external turnover. A large amount of internal transfer departure a particular department or division may signal problems in that area unless the position is a chosen stepping stone position.

Skilled vs. Unskilled Turnover

Unqualified, inexperienced and unskillful positions often face high turnover rate. Without the organization or business incurring any loss of performance, employees can generally be replaced. On the other hand skilled and educated positions may create a risk to the organization while leaving. Therefore turnover for skilled and educated professionals incur replacement costs as well as competitive disadvantage of the business. Unskilled positions often have high turnover, and employees can generally be replaced without the organization or business incurring any loss of performance. The ease of replacing these employees provide little incentive to employer to present generous employment contracts; on the other hand, contracts may strongly favor the employer and lead to increased turnover as employees seek, and eventually find, more favorable employment.

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Overview of Types of Employee Turnover. (2018, December 17). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 24, 2023, from
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