Book Review: Retaining Valued Employees

AuthorCarl L. McCoy
Published date01 September 2002
Date01 September 2002
Subject MatterArticles
Griffeth, Roger W., & Hom, Peter W. (2001). Retaining Valued Employees.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 278 pp.
Efforts to devise and implement innovative strategies for managing turn-
over are an ongoing challenge for employers and human resource profes-
sionals. Retaining Valued Employees is a useful resource in the war on turn-
over. Ultimately, this book is about retaining a quality workforce. The
authors examined recent research in the area of employee turnover to iden-
tify effective strategies for reducing it.
The book is also an offshoot of the authors’ many years of turnover
research and their frustration with anything less than a scientific approach
to studying personnel retention. The authors’ disappointment in earlier
turnover writings stretches beyond the scholarly community, where they
believe some of the academic reports offered “limited practical solutions”to
the problem. They also noted problems with the approach of the popular
business press, journalists, and consultants. Griffeth and Hom argue these
groups appear to rely too heavily on either “anecdotal evidence or testimo-
nials” or “organizational success stories” instead of scientific data (p. vii).
The text is divided into nine chapters and four interactive appendices,
for example, rating forms and surveys. A primary goal of this book is to
demonstrate how the use of recent turnover research methods and findings
can translate into solutions to personnel retention problems.
The opening chapter summarizes how turnover is costly to organiza-
tions. “Generally speaking, human resources professionals and researchers
project that the cost of one turnover incidence ranges from between 93% to
200% of a leaver’s salary, depending on his or her skill and level of job
responsibility” (pp. 1-2). This chapter, along with its diagnostic models,
charts, graphs, and succinct summary,propels the reader into the rest of the
The authors’ research produced several proactive suggestions for han-
dling turnover. For instance, chapter 5, which deals with employee selec-
tion, offers timely, scientific recommendationsfor human resource profes-
sionals and employers involved in the job and applicant matchmaking
process. The authors remind us that an effective hiring program is a proven
personnel retention solution. They note, “The concept of person-organization
or person-job fit is at the very heart of employee selection. Without appro-
priate and valid methods, employers are doomed to high turnover” (p.94).
Griffeth and Hom summarize some of the tested methods used to attract
Review of Public Personnel Administration,Vol. 22, No. 3 Fall 2002 246-247
© 2002 Sage Publications
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