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Percent of Employees Retained After 1 Year & Turnover

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Of the employees hired during the third quarter of the 2018 Fiscal Year, 68% were still employed with the County after one year, indicating that they had passed their probationary periods. For the third quarter of the 2019 Fiscal Year, the turnover rate for all non-temporary and non-seasonal employees of McHenry County was 1.67%. McHenry County hopes to see an increase in the percentage of employees staying with the County past their probationary periods as this indicates that they are good recruits for their positions.  At the same time, the County's goal is to see turnover decrease to show that the qualified employees recruited are staying with the County in the long-term.

Why Is It Important?

  • Turnover is costly because it requires the County to pay for job advertisements, overtime, interview time, background checking, applicant testing and training investments.
  • It takes time for employees to ‘learn the ropes’ and become the best employees possible.
  • Due in part to low unemployment rates, McHenry County is having difficulty recruiting and retaining qualified employees.
  • Higher levels of employee retention helps the County reduce productivity losses and potential overtime.
  • The County should be able to reap the benefit of its investment in good workers through high employee retention.
  • Time and money not spent on employee recruitment and new employee trainings can be utilized for providing County services.

What is McHenry County Doing to Reduce Turnover, Increase Retention and “Become an Employer of Choice?”*

  • McHenry County has implemented the recommendations of the 2018 Compensation Study by adjusting non-union wages to meet the middle of the local market rates.
  • McHenry County has also recognized that employees do not leave organizations, they leave supervisors. To this end, McHenry County has begun quarterly Supervisor Trainings. These trainings help mid and upper level managers throughout the County to learn about the best supervisory practices.
  • McHenry County has adopted organizational values of Respect, Accountability and Integrity to instill professionalism and pride into our workplace.
  • McHenry County has also conducted employee surveys and forums to find out what the County can do to become an employer of choice.
  • Beginning in October of 2018, McHenry County began having employees evaluate their supervisors.

Relationship to Strategic Plan Long-term Goal: Operate at the Lowest Possible Tax Levy

Turnover is costly. Filling positions often requires costly job advertisements, overtime to cover the duties of the vacant position, staff time to test, interview and check the background of applicants, and training time. Also, there is the reality that a new employee will need time to ‘learn the ropes’ to become the most efficient and effective employee possible. Further, there is the risk that the employee may not work out for the position and the costs continue. Sometimes this process can take years, and that is without a high turnover rate. Once a qualified employee is hired and trained, the County needs to retain that employee as long as possible to get the maximum return on its investment into that employee. A lower turnover rate and a higher retention rate will save the County money, money that need not be levied on the taxpayers.


Retention is described by the first part of this measurement, namely, the percentage of employees retained after one year. The longest probation period in McHenry County is one year. Therefore, any employees that are unqualified to perform their duties will be terminated within one year. The County will be successful in reducing turnover if the percentage of employees retained after one year increases. Success of the 2018 Compensation Study could be inferred with decrease in turnover because more qualified employees are more likely to apply and be hired for competitive wages.  Retention is determined by calculating the number of employees hired within a fiscal year quarter, then determining whether those same employees have continued their employment with the County beyond one year.  

Turnover is described by the second part of this measurement, and is calculated by taking the total number of voluntary terminations and dividing it by the average number of employees during the quarterly period. The resulting rate is then converted into a percentage.


The following graph shows the percentage of employees recruited during a quarter of a fiscal year that were still employed with McHenry County after one year. It should be noted that there has been a 12.47% increase in employees that have passed their probationary period between the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2017 and the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2018.

 Recruits Retained FY 18 Quarter 3

 The next graph shows McHenry County's quarterly employee turnover percentages. Turnover Quarter 3

Additional Links 

 To view available employment opportunities with McHenry County, please visit our Human Resources page at

 *Strategic Plan: Organizational Advancement and Services, Goal 1- Promote McHenry County Government as a good place to work.