SAFETY & TURNOVER: HOW ARE THEY RELATED?

By: Millie Springer, Director of HR


In a study done by in 2016 by Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, it was found that not only does employee safety climate perception impact an employee’s job satisfaction, it impacts employee engagement/performance as well.  

In this study, two companies were examined.  In each case, it was determined that the more the employee felt that there was a positive safety climate at the company and group/department level, the higher the employee rated his or her job satisfaction.  It is important to note that the employee needed to feel like this was a priority at both the company level and the group or department level.  Having either one of these missing, could impact the results.  

Employees who have higher job satisfaction, in turn, have increased productivity and engagement.  Increased productivity is a goal for many reasons.  Not only does increased productivity mean that an employee is working to their potential, that can lead to reduced overtime hours and, potentially, reduced staffing requirements.  These are both positive outcomes for labor costs.  Increased engagement means that the employee “buys in” to the company process and goals.  Because the employee feels more engaged, there is a better chance of the employee participating in process improvement and growth opportunities.  

All of these things are related to turnover rate.  As employee satisfaction rate and engagement rate go up, typically turnover rate goes down.  Turnover is one of the biggest expenses a company has.  It is estimated that training a new person for a position can cost the company anywhere from one-half to two times the employee’s annual salary.  This replacement cost increases based on the level within the company.  The higher the position, the higher the replacement cost.   

When looking at ways to reduce turnover, a company should always consider their safety focus at both the organization and group level.  In the long run, having a strong safety focus can significantly impact turnover rate.  Reduced turnover is important for growth and success of any business.  

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