Dr. David Allen Featured in CNBC Special Report
For release: April 5, 2013
Dr. David Allen, a Professor of Management, was recently featured in a CNBC special
report. The article titled “You’re Quitting? Employers Could Be Blindsided by Turnover,”
focuses on many of the unexpected negative effects employers may experience due to
the recovering economy. Dr. Allen, who has studied employee turnover extensively,
offered his expertise in report.
Dr. Allen’s primary research interests include the flow of people into and out of
organizations and the role of technology in human resource management. His research
on these topics has been published in Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Perspectives, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Management, Personnel Psychology, Organizational Research Methods, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Human Relations, Human Resource Management and other outlets.
To read the CNBC article, please click this link http://www.cnbc.com/id/100605786, or refer to the text below.
You're Quitting? Employers Could Be Blindsided by Turnover
Published: Monday, 1 Apr 2013 | 8:20 AM ET
By: Allison Linn, NBC News
They've slogged through years of belt-tightening and downsizing, and endured endless
requests to work harder, smarter or just plain longer.
Now, experts say signs of life in the job market could start pushing some employees
to do what they've been dreaming about, perhaps for years: quit. Too bad their employers
probably won't see it coming.
"Most companies are probably not fully prepared for all the … pent up turnover that
is likely to come when the job market really turns around," said David G. Allen, a
management professor at the University of Memphis who has studied employee turnover
Experts say employers appear to have grown pretty complacent about whether their employees
will find a better job somewhere else. And even as many bosses have complained about
how hard it is to find good workers, few have paid much attention to keeping the ones
"People are saying that they can't find the right talent, and yet when they do, they
don't take such good care of it," said Sandi Edwards, senior vice president of AMA
Enterprise, an arm of the American Management Association that helps companies improve
For the most part, employers haven't had to work too hard recently to keep good workers.
The unemployment rate hit a high of 10 percent in the fall of 2009, just as the nation
was officially coming out of recession, and it has remained elevated even as the economy
has slowly added jobs.
Steven Wieting, US Economist, Citigroup, says the typical weakness in employment in
spring, this year will not be as pronounced. Russell Price, Senior Economist, Ameriprise
Financial, weighs in.
The jobless rate stood at 7.7 percent in February, with 12 million Americans actively
looking for work. The March unemployment report is scheduled to be released Friday.
That's left many workers grateful just to have a job, and finding that few new jobs
were available if they didn't like their current one. The job market is improving,
but Allen cautions that it isn't strong enough yet for employees to really have the
There were 3.69 million job openings in January, according to government data, up
from about 3.42 million in January of 2012. About 4.25 million people were hired in
January, up from 4.12 million a year earlier.
But in some fields, experts say they are starting to see workers leave for better
Paul McDonald, senior executive director of staffing firm Robert Half International,
said employers are already seeing it in areas such as specialized accounting.
"If there are employers around and they haven't experienced staff leaving them yet,
they will shortly," he predicted.
McDonald said some employers may be aware that the risk of losing their best employees
is on the horizon, but they aren't necessarily taking the right steps to stop it.
A recent Robert Half survey of 2,100 chief financial officers found that 38 percent
said retaining valuable staff was a top concern for the next year, but only 13 percent
said improving morale and engagement was a top concern. He thinks it's a mistake not
to be working harder to make employees happy.
"The main reason people leave is unhappiness with management," McDonald said.
It's not necessarily a bad thing for some unhappy employees to quit. Peter Hom, a
management professor at Arizona State University, noted that workers who are just
there because they can't find a better job aren't usually the best ones, anyway.
"They don't perform as well or they don't engage in a lot of things that fall outside
of their job description," he said.
Still, Allen notes that that the first employees to quit when the job market improves
are usually the ones you least want to lose. That's because a company's most valuable
employees are often the most sought after.
Many researchers argue that it's not just money that keeps workers loyal, although
a nice pay package and good benefits certainly help. But Allen said his research has
shown that workers also place tremendous importance on relationships with other colleagues,
and especially bosses.
"I think smart companies need to make sure that they're making their employees feel
valued," Allen said. "If they're asking more from them, then they have to give more,
in some way. It doesn't necessarily have to be money."