Predicting staff turnover in learning disability social care services
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Predicting staff turnover in learning disability social care services

Karen McKenzie Professor of psychology/clinical psychologist, department of psychology, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, England
George Murray Clinical psychologist (honorary), NHS Lothian, Edinburgh, Scotland
Dale Metcalfe Lecturer, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Aja Louise Murray Lecturer, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland
Kathryn Whelan Psychology graduate, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Rachel Martin Research assistant, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To be aware of research that explored whether a psychological theory linking beliefs to behaviour can predict intention to leave and actual turnover of staff working in learning disability social care services

  • To identify areas that can be addressed to reduce the turnover of staff working in learning disability social care services

  • To consider ways that learning disability nurses can reduce turnover by developing and delivering staff training and mentoring, supervising and supporting colleagues

Background Staff working in learning disability social care services have high turnover rates resulting in disruption to care and financial costs to employers in relation to recruiting new staff.

Aims To explore whether the theory of planned behaviour can be used as a framework to predict intention to leave their job and actual staff turnover, and to identify whether including measures of organisational ‘fulfilment’, work-related stress, perceived job equity and receiving positive behaviour support (PBS) training improved prediction of staff turnover.

Method A quantitative design was used. Respondents were 285 social care staff working in learning disability services. Path analysis was used to explore the relationships between staff turnover and the theory of planned behaviour components, perceived equity score (the extent to which respondents believed they benefited from work compared with what they put into it), organisational fulfilment score (the extent to which respondents believed their organisation offered the elements they valued), stress score and group status (that is, whether respondents had undergone the PBS programme).

Results Staff turnover was significantly predicted by perceived equity score at one and nine months after baseline, by stress score at six months and by whether respondents had undergone the PBS programme at six and nine months.

Conclusion Reducing staff stress, increasing their perceived equity and offering PBS training may be ways of increasing staff retention.

Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2022.e2189

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

k.mckenzie@northumbria.ac.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

McKenzie K, Murray G, Metcalfe D et al (2022) Predicting staff turnover in learning disability social care services. Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2022.e2189

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank all the respondents and members of the positive behaviour support group past and present. Funding was from Middlesbrough Council on behalf of Tees local authorities, NHS England Cumbria and North East and NHS South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) on behalf of regional CCGs

Published online: 14 July 2022

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