Costing turnover: Implications of work/ family conflict at management level

Jacqui Abbott, Helen Cieri De, Roderick D. Iverson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Workyforce demographics are changing and increasing in diversity. More women are entering the workforce and successfully attaining management positions. Many women choose to postpone child-rearing until their careers have been established and the decision to return to the same employer after childbirth is dependent on the ability to balance family and work commitments. An organization's need to attract and retain valued employees in a highly competitive labour market is a strong motivating factor for increased organizational awareness and action with regard to work/family conflict and family-friendly policies. Family-friendly policies have been reported to enhance an employee's quality of work life and to reduce absenteeism and turnover. In the absence of family-friendly policies and of a culture accepting of multiple commitments, employees may decide to leave the organization, resulting in loss of skill, disruption of client relationships, and significant dollar cost to the organization. This paper provides a case-study documenting the total costs associated with the exit of high-performing women at management level within a large professional services business. The total costs (direct and indirect) associated with the separation, replacement, and training of these and new employees approximates A$75 000 per employee.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-43
Number of pages19
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Human Resources
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1998

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