National Involuntary Staff Turnover surprisingly decreased in 6 months to June 2020

The New Zealand National Staff Turnover Survey is now in its 13th year. The survey provides organisations a benchmark of the success of their recruitment, onboarding, retention and development activities.

CEO’s have become more focused on the costs of staff turnover in the last decade as business competition increases, there is a drive for cost reduction and skills are in short supply.


Staff turnover impacts both direct and indirect costs to a business. These include:-

– The cost of hiring a new employee including the advertising, interviewing, screening, and hiring.

– The cost of onboarding, including training and management time.

– Lost productivity—it may take a new employee 6 to 18 months to reach the productivity of an existing person.

– Lost engagement—other employees who see high turnover tend to disengage and lose productivity.

– Customer service and errors—for example new employees take longer and are often less adept at solving problems.

– Training cost—for example, over two to three years, a business likely invests 10 to 20 percent of an employee’s
salary or more in training

– Cultural impact—whenever someone leaves, others take time to ask why.

Covid-19 and its impact on Staff Turnover

The average Involuntary National Staff turnover rate for 2019 was 3.6%. In 2020 despite Covid-19 this decreased to 3.1%

Normally as a result of difficult economic conditions we expect to see a rise in National Turnover. Surprisingly Average National Staff turnover dropped from 19.7% in 2019 to 10.3% in the first 6 months of 2020. National Turnover is made up of Voluntary and Involuntary Turnover and again we would expect that under the conditions of Covid – 19 we would see a significant rise in Involuntary turnover as businesses are forced to make positions redundant with a corresponding drop in Voluntary Turnover as employees become more cautious in the employment market preferring to stay with their current employer.

What we have instead seen is as a direct result of the Government support through products such as the Wage
Subsidies, Involuntary turnover in the first 6 months of 2020 has decreased by 14%. As expected Voluntary turnover dropped by 69% to 6.3%, indicating that people became very cautious, preferring to hold onto the jobs they had.

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