Factors Influencing Employee Turnover Intentions

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The purpose of the report is to present the findings of a narrative review study on the factors influencing employee turnover intentions. Employee turnover is a significant issue in contemporary management because it impacts the effectiveness of the workforce and leads to additional human resource expenses due to the need to hire and train new personnel. Research in employee turnover showed that certain factors could lead to higher turnover rates, including environmental, organizational, and individual characteristics (Harhara et al., 2015; Zeffane & Melhem, 2017). The present study sought to summarize the findings gained from previous research through a narrative review, thus creating a synthesis of modern knowledge on the topic. Further sections of the report will present a literature review, methodology, results, discussion, conclusions, and recommendations for further research. It is anticipated that the review will assist managers and scholars in obtaining relevant information on the factors influencing employee turnover, thus contributing to research and practice.

Literature Review

Employee turnover is a persistent challenge for managers, regardless of the nature of the business and the sector in which it operates. Research distinguishes between voluntary and involuntary turnover, depending on whether employees are dismissed from their organizations or choose to leave (Harhara et al., 2015). Voluntary turnover is of particular interest to researchers and practitioners since it causes organizations to lose potentially valuable workers. Furthermore, both involuntary and voluntary turnover can be expensive due to the need for the organization to replace the worker who was dismissed or left and train the new employee (Harhara et al., 2015). Hence, scholars from all over the world sought to examine employee turnover in greater depth to provide companies with tools and methods to assist in reducing turnover rates, thus saving money and retaining talent. Research on voluntary turnover assisted in shaping the term “turnover intentions,” which refers to “the thoughts occupying employees regarding voluntarily leaving their organizations or quitting their jobs” (Harhara et al., 2015, p. 494). Turnover intentions are crucial to managers because they can be addressed before an employee quits the company. As a result, research focused heavily on the correlates of turnover intentions as the factors influencing employee turnover in various organizations.

Prior research has shown that turnover depends on a variety of factors. For example, a study by Zeffane and Melhem (2017) found that employees’ turnover intentions are related to their perceptions of organizational performance, job satisfaction, and trust in the organization. Research by Harhara et al. (2015), in turn, focused on corporate, individual, and environmental factors determining turnover intentions. This study showed that turnover intentions were associated with poor work-life balance, working in remote areas, unfavorable leadership behaviors, limited growth opportunities, continuous operations, age, tenure, marital status, and education (Harhara et al., 2015). Therefore, research studies present various views on turnover intentions, and there is a need for a synthesis of the information to support practice improvement.


To synthesize information from various research sources, a narrative review methodology was selected. This research design allowed reviewing a large number of past research studies on the topic and synthesizing them to outline the key findings that would be useful to managers and their organizations. The selected methodology did not include any primary data collection, which means that the validity and reliability of the results rely on the researchers who performed original studies. The search for scholarly articles on the topic was conducted in Google Scholar, Elsevier, and Emerald Insight databases using the keywords “turnover intentions” and “factors impacting turnover.” The results were filtered to ensure that only the most recent and relevant studies were included. Studies published over five years ago were excluded from the analysis to ensure that the results represent the contemporary state of research. The variables researched as part of the study were turnover intentions and individual, organizational, and environmental factors influencing employees, such as job satisfaction, career opportunities, leadership, and more. The main hypothesis of the study was that employee turnover intentions would be significantly related to specific organizational, individual, and environmental variables. The null hypothesis was that there would be no significant relationship based on the research between turnover intentions and other factors. Detailed findings are presented in the next section.


Turnover intentions were studied by a large number of scholars and about a variety of variables. Individual and organizational variables proved to be the most important in predicting turnover intentions. For instance, a study by Lu et al. (2016) showed that turnover intentions differ based on employees’ positions, with workers in supervisory roles having lower turnover intentions than those in subordinate positions. Additionally, dedication to work was a significant factor influencing turnover; employees who were dedicated and showed higher levels of engagement were less likely to have turnover intentions (Lu et al., 2016). The identified relationship between employee roles and turnover intentions is likely due to the importance of career satisfaction. According to a study by Chan and Mai (2015), career satisfaction reflects the degree to which an employee finds their current position and future growth opportunities favorable for them. Career satisfaction plays a significant role in determining turnover intentions based on research, with employees who are not satisfied with their current job and prospects are more likely to leave the workplace and seek employment elsewhere (Chan & Mai, 2015). This correlates with the findings of Hanhara et al. (2015), who suggested growth opportunities to be an important predictor of turnover intentions. The demographic factors moderating turnover intentions, including age, tenure, and education, are also important. According to Hanhara et al. (2015), workers who leave voluntarily tend to be younger, have higher levels of education, and lower tenure. Researchers suggest that this could be because these types of workers enjoy better growth opportunities outside of the company and are not as committed to it (Hanhara et al., 2015).

In addition, research into organizational factors proved to be important in defining the antecedents of turnover intentions. For example, research by Timms et al. (2015) found the supportive organizational culture to be important in reducing turnover intentions. According to researchers, a supportive culture leads to reduced stress, improved work-life balance, and higher organizational commitment, thus connecting corporate factors with individual characteristics influencing turnover (Timms et al., 2015). Support was also found to be a significant factor in reducing turnover by Nazir et al. (2016). The research showed that supervisor and coworker support had a positive influence on affective and normative commitment, which, in turn, lowered turnover intentions (Nazir et al., 2016). Other organizational factors impacting turnover were autonomy, training, participative decision-making, reward schemes, and positive working conditions (Arnoux-Nicolas et al., 2016; Nazir et al., 2016). Hence, research supported the notion that turnover intentions are influenced by organizational and individual variables, and provided further details into how different factors could exacerbate or reduce turnover intentions.


The results are relevant to the contemporary management context because they highlight the need for managers to address employee-related and organizational variables to enhance the workforce and prevent talent loss. The research fits into the general theoretical framework of employee turnover intentions being affected by various forces within the individual and the organization as a whole. Hence, the research supported the hypothesis. The study fulfilled the goal of identifying and explaining the factors influencing employee turnover through a synthesis of the literature.


The research combined the findings of various recent studies on the topic of employee turnover and found it to be correlated with various individual and organizational variables, including job satisfaction, career satisfaction, growth opportunities, and organizational support. However, the research has some limitations due to the low number of studies considered and the narrative design that does not include any quantitative data analysis. Further research into the environmental factors influencing turnover intentions is advised, as evidence of their impact is currently limited.


The primary recommendation for practicing managers is to develop a supportive organizational culture and ensure that employees at all organizational levels have growth opportunities. Based on research findings, these actions are likely to decrease turnover intentions and improve employees’ commitment. Additionally, scholars are advised to focus on environmental factors influencing turnover intentions, as these could prove to have a significant impact on employees. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses of findings based on a larger number of studies and combined data analyses would also be helpful.


  1. Arnoux-Nicolas, C., Sovet, L., Lhotellier, L., Di Fabio, A., & Bernaud, J. L. (2016). Perceived work conditions and turnover intentions: The mediating role of meaning of work. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 704-712.
  2. Chan, S. H. J., & Mai, X. (2015). The relation of career adaptability to satisfaction and turnover intentions. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 89, 130-139.
  3. Harhara, A. S., Singh, S. K., & Hussain, M. (2015). Correlates of employee turnover intentions in oil and gas industry in the UAE. International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 23(3), 493 – 504.
  4. Lu, L., Lu, A. C. C., Gursoy, D., & Neale, N. R. (2016). Work engagement, job satisfaction, and turnover intentions. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 28(4), 737-761.
  5. Nazir, S., Shafi, A., Qun, W., Nazir, N., & Tran, Q. D. (2016). Influence of organizational rewards on organizational commitment and turnover intentions. Employee Relations, 38(4), 596-619.
  6. Timms, C., Brough, P., O’Driscoll, M., Kalliath, T., Siu, O. L., Sit, C., & Lo, D. (2015). Flexible work arrangements, work engagement, turnover intentions and psychological health. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 53(1), 83-103.
  7. Zeffane, R., & Melhem, S. J. B. (2017). Trust, job satisfaction, perceived organizational performance and turnover intention. Employee Relations, 39(7), 1148-1167.

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1. BusinessEssay. "Factors Influencing Employee Turnover Intentions." January 18, 2022. https://business-essay.com/factors-influencing-employee-turnover-intentions/.


BusinessEssay. "Factors Influencing Employee Turnover Intentions." January 18, 2022. https://business-essay.com/factors-influencing-employee-turnover-intentions/.