Posted at 4 p.m. Nov. 22, 2016
Turnover rates remain steady
HR director: Exit interviews have not revealed any red flags
The annual average turnover rate for faculty of Laramie County Community College is anywhere between 12-15 percent, according to the college’s top human resources official, and with the recent budget cuts and the interim positions that the college still has to fill, students and staff might feel the turnover is even higher.
But Tammy Maas, the executive director of Human Resources for LCCC, said the turnover rate is only at 12.85 percent.
“We’re comfortable with the turnover rates, but it is something that we’re always looking at,” Maas said.
The college started conducting exit interviews at the request of Board of Trustees members, after receiving a report at a board meeting on Sept. 17, 2014, that the college’s turnover rate was 13 percent.
At that time, LCCC President Dr. Joe Schaffer said that he asked Human Resources to develop strategies to address what he called an “exit phenomenon.” In the article published on the Wingspan Online, Schaffer went on to say he would like to find a theme to this exit phenomenon, but exit interviews would be only one component of a comprehensive approach. Other components would include different metrics and measures, good hiring pools, recruitment capability, and steering away from hiring interims.
The turnover rate in 2015-2016 was no lower, according to Schaffer’s Aug. 23, 2016, State of the College address, in which the college’s 12.9 percent turnover rate was listed as a challenge under the campus climate measure, for which Schaffer gave the college a “C.”
Maas said people sometimes do not fully understand what turnover is, which she added should not count retirees.
Turnover rate is calculated by “resignations, separations and terminations,” Maas said. Retirees are considered a “natural evolution” and is found in every career, Maas said, while turnovers are losses that are not planned.
Maas said the areas with the highest turnover rates are the Health Science department, specifically the clinical instruction programs, and the Children’s Discovery Center.
“Last year we saw some turnover in IT that seems to have slowed down a little bit,” Maas said.
Bobby Baker, Human Resources specialist for training and development, said in comparison to other jobs available, such as retail, that the school’s turnover is at a much lower rate.
“People are going to move – there’s just a normalcy to that, especially in terms of career progression,” Baker said.
Any faculty that leaves goes through an exit interview, Maas said. With the results, the college can examine if there are trends forming in why individuals are leaving. But, Maas said, with the turnover rate staying consistent annually, no red flags have been identified.
One area where the turnover rate may be most apparent to students is advising. “When you enroll, you want the same advisor so they get to know you and your career plan,” Maas said. And turnover in this area could affect students.
While Maas said she did not have statistics from the other community colleges across the state, the college compares numbers with other schools periodically.
Baker added that when they meet with the other schools, a lot of the same issues come up.
According to the 2014-2015 strategic plan for Central Wyoming College, the school has set a goal to keep their turnover rate to less than 10 percent, and a May 6 article in the Riverton Ranger said that the 2015 turnover rate for CWC was 9 percent.
Western Wyoming Community College reported a 7 percent turnover rate, including retirements, in its 2012 Systems Portfolio report. The turnover rate for professional staff was 4 percent, a year in which the Chronicle of Higher Education identified WWCC as one of the “Great Colleges to Work For.”
In a May 27, 2010, article in the Powell Tribune, Northwest College reported a turnover rate of 5 percent.
According to an LCCC human resources vacancy report posted on Eagles Eye as part of the College Council agenda information dated Nov. 11, 40 employees resigned from the college in fiscal year 2016. Ten retired and four were terminated in 2016.
So far for fiscal year 2017, 10 employees have resigned and four have announced their retirement. Additionally, the college plans to cut 9 currently filled positions as part of the effort to balance the budget for the next fiscal year, and a number of departures and retirements were announced during the Nov. 16 Board of Trustees meeting.
The college employs 378 full-time employees.