Survey: Retaining Employees a Huge Challenge, Total Turnover Reaches 25%

ASE, an employer association based in Troy, released the results of its 2022 Employee Turnover Survey, which shows employers of all types are facing unprecedented employee retention challenges.
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Letter of resignation with fountain pen
The results of the 2022 Employee Turnover Survey from Troy’s ASE shows employers are struggling greatly to retain employees. // Stock Photo

ASE, an employer association based in Troy, released the results of its 2022 Employee Turnover Survey, which shows employers of all types are facing unprecedented employee retention challenges.

“2021 was a year like few others in modern memory, and employers continue to struggle with retaining and attracting talent,” says Mary E. Corrado, president and CEO of ASE. “There are many signals that the challenges we are facing now as employers are here to stay, and employers will need to take a new approach to employee retention.”

According to the survey, annual voluntary turnover rates for 2021 reached nearly 17 percent among all employee types. Voluntary turnover among hourly employees reached nearly 26 percent and almost 12 percent for white collar employees. This is a dramatic increase from pre-pandemic levels where voluntary turnover rates were under 10 percent.

Total turnover, including employer-initiated separations, reached 25 percent in 2021. ASE notes that the survey does not contain large quantity data from retail operations or fast-food operations that witnessed historically high levels of employee attrition.

According to participants, compensation demands, retirements, and personal problems — family, health, and more — lead the reasons given for separations.  Employers have responded by implementing a variety of employee retention initiatives including:

  • Conducting exit interviews — 80 percent
  • Allowing remote work — 71 percent
  • Assessing compensation rates to the market — 59 percent
  • Implementing or improving the employee onboarding experience — 51 percent
  • Expanding or introducing flexible work options — 43 percent

The survey also calculated the net hire ratio of participants. The net hire ratio measures the extent to which employers might be expanding their workforce or contracting.  The results suggest overall that employers are replacing as many employees as they are losing to turnover, but not expanding.

The exception was in the service sector, where results show a net hire ratio of 1.15. ASE says this finding is not surprising given data from Bureau of Labor Statistics that show job openings peaking in December of 2021 at over 11 million — many of those openings going unfilled.

Non-ASE members can purchase the full survey results for $825 here.

ASE members can download the full survey results from their ASE Member Dashboard.

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