Study Document

Strategies to Improve Retention Rates at a Consulting Firm Research Proposal

Pages:8 (2352 words)



Topic:Turnover Rate

Document Type:Research Proposal


Executive Summary

Although the precise causes differ from organization to organization, the high costs that are associated with unplanned turnover are well documented. In fact, in some professions, replacement costs for employees can easily equal their annual salary or even more, so identifying strategies to reduce turnover rates represents a valuable and timely enterprise. To this end, the purpose of this proposal is to provide a description of the problems of interest and what can be done to mitigate these issues. A description of the implications of implementing the career management program is followed by the key recommendation that emerged from the research. These recommendations include providing employees with a career management plan that motivates them to acquire additional education and training as well as instilling an enhanced sense of organizational loyalty to reduce turnover levels. In addition, a secondary recommendation concerns the need to encourage employees to develop their knowledge and expertise in successfully navigating their career ladder In order to achieve their full professional potential. Finally, a summary of the proposal and key findings that emerged from the research are presented in the conclusion.

Career Management/Development Proposal

This proposal sets forth relevant recommendations for ABC HR Consulting together with the corresponding rationale in support of their approval. In addition, the background, history and the symptoms and causes of the problems discussed herein as well as the implications of the adoption of these recommendations with respect to their cost, legal consideration and effects on organizational relationships. In addition, a discussion concerning the timing of the implementation and evaluation of these recommendations is followed by a description of comparable practices in other companies. Finally, a summary of this proposal and the key findings that emerged from the research are provided in the conclusion


Based on an analysis of the problem situation at ABC HR Consulting (hereinafter alternatively “ABC” or “the company”), the following recommendations are provided:

· Recommendation #1: Immediately eliminate the practice of using sign-on bonuses as an incentive for recruitment;

· Recommendation #2: Immediately begin conducting exit interviews with employees that announce their intention to quit in order to identify underlying causation; and,

· Recommendation #3: Provide all lower-level employees and staff members of ABC with on-the-job training concerning their respective career management planning and optimal strategies for advancing on the company’s career ladder (see Figure 1 in the background section below).


The above-listed recommendations are based on the following respective rationale as identified in the relevant peer-reviewed and scholarly literature:

Recommendation #1: Immediately eliminate the practice of using sign-on bonuses as an incentive for recruitment

Although the antecedents of unplanned turnover differ depending on a number of factors including the type of industry and the availability of alternative employment opportunities, one recruitment and retention strategy that has demonstrated ineffectiveness is the use of sign-on bonuses (Hansen, 2009). In this regard, Hansen (2009) emphasizes that, “Signing bonuses generate job hopping, damage morale among existing employees and exacerbate financial pressures. Although sign-on bonuses are common, we find that the practice can almost encourage job hopping from bonus to bonus” (p. 2). Moreover, sign-on bonuses are only a stop-gap measure to truly effective recruiting and retention practices and they add significantly to the overall costs that are associated with turnover (Dobbs, 2009).

Recommendation #2: Conduct exit interviews with employees that announce their intention to quit in order to identify underlying causation:

As noted above, the precise reasons for employees leaving their job differ from person to person, but there may be some commonalities involved that can be identified through the use of exit interviews (Christie, 2014). In this regard, Johns and Gorrick (2016) report that, “Exit interviews are a practice used to monitor and analyze employee turnover with a view to improving overall organizational effectiveness” (p. 26). In sum, exit interviews represent a highly cost-effective strategy for identifying the underlying causes of turnover, especially since these interviews can be conducted…

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…of turnover that are being experienced by the company to continue to the detriment of its profitability as well as overall organizational performance due to diminished job satisfaction and morale levels among lower-level employees. The third recommendation concerning in-house training for all employees concerning strategies to successfully navigate the company’s career ladder will begin one month following acceptance of the recommendations set forth herein.

A specific timeline for implementation and administration of the three above-listed recommendations using the existing 32.5% turnover rate as a benchmark is provided in Table 2 below.

Other companies’ practices:

Other companies in different industries have recognized the counter-productivity using sign-on bonuses to attract qualified candidates, even during periods of labor shortages (Hansen, 2009). Likewise, a growing number of companies of all sizes and types are using exit interviews as a strategy to reduce their unplanned turnover rates (Christie, 2014). In addition, a growing number of companies have also recognized the need to provide employees with the training and tools they need to successfully navigate their career ladders (Ohunakin & Adeniji, 2018; Tatham, 2008).


The re-evaluation of the effectiveness of the three recommendations outlined above will be performed as indicated in Table 2 above.


Today, ABC HR Consulting is at a critical juncture it its organizational history. The research was consistent in showing that this company has sustained an inordinately high level of turnover for the past 6 years and little or nothing has been done to address this costly issue in response. The research also showed that the precise antecedents of turnover vary dramatically from industry to industry as well as from individual to individual, by some of the most common issues that are involved in compelling employees to search for better employment opportunities elsewhere include diminished levels of job satisfaction and morale, both of which are adversely affected by the use of sign-on bonuses for new hires. In addition, other causes of turnover at ABC include the inability of current…

Sample Source(s) Used


Christie, J. (2014, September). Cochrane review brief: Exit interviews to reduce turnover amongst healthcare professionals. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing. 19(3), 7-11.

Dobbs, K. (2009, April). Knowing how to keep your best and brightest. Workforce, 80(4), 56-60.

Hansen, F. (2009, March 27). Refining signing bonuses. Workforce Management, 85(6), 1-3.

Johns, R. & Gorrick, J. (2016, April). Exploring the behavioral options of exit and voice in the exit interview process. International Journal of Employment Studies, 24(1), 25-29.

Ohunakin, F. & Adeniji, A. (2018, March). Perception of frontline employees towards career growth opportunities: Implications on turnover untention. Business: Theory and Practice, 19(1), 278-283.

Tatham, P. (2008, Spring). At my desk. Australian Journal of Career Development, 17(3), 6-9.

Turnover rates by industry. (2019). Compensation Force. Retrieved from

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