Document Type


Publication Date

April 2007


Employee turnover is an unavoidable part of most public park and recreation agencies. Agencies must become increasingly concerned with understanding the repercussions of an employee leaving an agency as they attempt to strategically assess current and future economic and human resource plans. This exploratory study considers the issue of turnover within a cost analytical framework and proposes a model for park and recreation agencies to accurately quantify their employee turnover costs. Specifically, the study incorporates Cascio’s (2000) costing model of turnover to explore the costs associated with the departing employee and the placement of a new employee. Building upon Cascio’s (2000) model we include variables to examine the potential drop in performance and overtime payment required as a result of turnover. Using the proposed model, an exploratory study was conducted within the public park and recreation profession. Turnover data was collected from park and recreation professionals within the state of Illinois. Findings suggest that the separation costs are about two to three times larger than replacement costs making it increasingly important for managers to control unused vacation and sick pay, losses in production and overtime paid to existing staff. Significant differences in pre-employment testing and training costs were found between recreation staff and operations/support staff. The findings and application of the costing model are discussed with suggestions made for further development of turnover cost models that can be applied in public park and recreation settings.