Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Keep the Quitters Out

Every company from time to time deals with turnover. When an employee quits, the cost of recruiting and training new employees takes its toll on the company’s books, as well as wastes valuable time. Luckily, Ryan Zimmerman, an industrial psychologist and management professor at Texas A&M University, has been studying the personality traits of employees. Zimmerman has discovered there are patterns in the personalities of those employees that are consistent quitters and those that stay at their jobs.

Zimmerman’s research examined three key characteristics that can be measured: agreeableness, conscientiousness, and emotional stability. Those that tend to be agreeable are less likely to walk away from a job because of their ability to go with the flow. People who are more conscientious have strong work ethics and are dependable and reliable. Emotionally stable employees are less likely to quit their job because they are more calm and secure.

"By focusing on hiring individuals who are higher on these traits, organizations can reduce the amount of turnover they have," Zimmerman advises. "An organization can actually avoid turnover before an employee is even hired by looking at the personality traits ahead of time."

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