Why Do Canadian Employees Quit? Results from Linked Employee-Employer Data
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Employee turnover is a fairly common phenomenon across organizations throughout the globe, which creates both direct and indirect costs to companies (Lambert et al., 2012). Though numerous authors have investigated the problem, only a small number have studied the Canadian labour market. Furthermore, few have examined how various hiring or screening tests during the hiring process affect worker attrition. The thesis aims to complement existing research about employee voluntary turnover (vs. involuntary turnover) and retention by further investigating some of the root causes and potential solutions from a Canadian perspective. Using longitudinal data from the Workplace and Employee Survey (WES) supplied by Statistics Canada through an 8-year period, it explores 5 hypotheses relating to the initial hiring process (ten screening tests), the gender and marital status of employees, compensation, and employees’ seniority in the company. The survey datasets are based on respondents of, on average, 6,268 companies and 20,387 corresponding workers from 1999 to 2006. Logit and probit regression models are employed for the empirical tests. The results are surprising, and seem to differ from most studies in other countries. In Canada, it appears wage has no effect on workers’ turnover at all, employee engagement programs negatively affect workers’ decisions to stay, women are more likely to quit than men are, married employees are no more likely to quit than anyone else, children seem to have no impact on employee attrition, and workers with lower status in the company are more likely to stay. The concluding chapter discusses implications of these findings and how they might help Canadian organizations deal with employee voluntary turnover.