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Why Should I Try to Retain Employees?

The average turnover rate among substance abuse treatment counselors is 18.5%.

This rate far exceeds the national average of 11% across all occupations and is significantly higher than the average annual turnover rates of teachers (13%) and nurses (12%), occupations traditionally known to have high rates of turnover.8

Retaining qualified workers is a priority issue for the addictions treatment and recovery field. A sound infrastructure must be in place to ensure continuity, a positive work environment, and the presence of a skilled workforce ready to meet the needs of those requiring alcohol or illicit drug treatment.

High turnover rates result in significant costs to the treatment care system, including:

  • Time and expense of recruitment, selection and training of new staf
  • Inefficiencies related to entry of new staff
  • Decreased group morale and productivity
  • Disrupted continuity and quality of patient care and treatment services
  • Greater demands on an already overworked staff9

Consider the following:

Each year U.S. businesses spend billions of dollars recruiting & replacing their employees. Individually, it costs between $4,000 - $14,000 to replace an hourly employee, and upwards to $40,000 to replace a manager.10

Turnover Replacement Costs by Industry: (per employee)
Construction: $14,500
Manufacturing - $14,000
Trade & Transportation - $12,500
Information - $19,000
Financial Activities - $18,000
Professional & Business - $15,500
Education & Health - $14,000
Leisure & Hospitality - $7,000
Other Services - $12,750
All Private - $14,000

Source: Employment Policy Foundation tabulation and analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employer Cost of Employee Compensation data.

Click here to learn how management practices influence turnover.

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