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Understanding the retention of high potential employees: A comparison of survival analysis techniques Open Access

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Turnover is an organizational level outcome of interest to organizations as it can represent the loss of highly valued employees as well as organizational resources such as time and money. Organizations are interested in selecting and retaining their high potential (HiPo) employees and consequently invest valuable resources into selecting and developing these individuals. Unfortunately, many organizations are failing to see a return on their investments in HiPo programs due to high rates of turnover for these valuable employees. This study seeks to address and understand this issue through integrating various literatures and then applying analyses that take a temporal approach. Results demonstrate that personality and developmental experiences are significantly related to the likelihood of turnover at any given point in time. Both formal and informal development were predictive of turnover, but these effects was found to diminish over time. Further, the pattern and strength of the relationship between personality, leadership, gender, and turnover varied depending on the type of analysis, the way time was accounted for in the analysis, and whether voluntary and involuntary turnover were considered together or separate. These results demonstrate that accounting for time influences the results and inferences that can be drawn from analyses and highlight the need for greater care and specificity when testing organizational theories.

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