The 4 Industries With the Worst Retention Rates

2 min read
May 23, 2016

The_4_Industries_With_the_Worst_Retention_Rates_1.jpgAcross the board, companies are seeing employees leave sooner. One in four employees would leave their current job for a 10% raise, according to our Employee Engagement Report. Employees aren’t afraid to hunt for a better situation at another company. 

Some industries have it worse than others. While the average employee’s tenure is 4.6 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employees in these industries stay considerably less than that. A variety of factors contribute to why these industries have some of the lowest retention rates.


The Tech Industry

Why are tech companies famous for their generous benefits, sweet perks, and luxurious offices? Because they need to do more to keep employees around.

Google and Amazon have some of the lowest retention rates, according to PayScale, both averaging tenures of around one year. It’s not because they’re bad places to work — in fact, they’re routinely rated as the best places to work. The reason is that the tech industry is extremely competitive. Every company is competing for the most talented employees. Offering a generous package is intended to keep those employees around longer. As we saw in our 2016 Tech Report, turnover in this industry is growing stronger day by day.


The Finance and Insurance Industries

According to one CEO in our Employee Engagement in Finance Services Report, only 11 out of 100 employees last longer than 36 months in the insurance industry. Insperity reports that finance industry turnover is at 17.4% each year.    

Like in tech, companies are seeking talented employees and are willing to pay more to attract them. These are also high-pressure, stressful jobs that can drive away employees in the long term.



Workers in the hotel and restaurant industry have some of the highest turnover rates, 27% according to Compensation Force. The barriers to entry are low — little education is required and the lifestyle seems appealing — but the demands of the job can be high. Employees are often required to work long hours on nights and weekends.



Employee turnover in the healthcare industry in some states is double the national average for turnover in all jobs, according to the Internet Journal of Healthcare Administration. The talent pool in the industry is diminishing. Employees in fields such as nursing are expected to work long hours for low pay.

But some experts are saying that the real reason is because of a lack of human capital management. Poor incentives and outdated management techniques mean that employees feel free to seek work elsewhere.


What Employers Can Do

Some factors in retention are beyond control. However, companies can have an impact on employee satisfaction and improve retention rates. Some important factors include quality of coworkers, workplace culture, and work-life balance.

For example, in the finance industry, we found that only 20% of employees felt valued or appreciated at work. Our Employee Dissatisfaction in Healthcare Services report discovered that healthcare workers have a much lower work-life balance than employees in other industries. Maybe that’s because almost 30% of employees are seeing more than 50 patients per week!

The best thing any employer can do is regularly check in with employees about their level of satisfaction and listen to their concerns. Satisfied, engaged employees are more likely to stay with your company no matter what industry you’re in.



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