Preliminary results issued in newspaper departure study p. 23

By: Editorial Staff

Newspaper Association of America, in cooperation
with the Newspaper Personnel Relations Association,
releases industry-wide results sp.

ONLY 25% OF full-time employees who leave newspaper jobs stay in the field, according to preliminary results of a study released by the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), in cooperation with the Newspaper Personnel Relations Association (NPRA).
Fourteen percent go to communications-related positions, and 61% leave the industry altogether.
Early results of the survey were released this week during the NAA’s annual convention in New Orleans. Figures were based on responses received through April 7. The final survey will be based on responses received through the end of April.
The study polled more than 2,600 employees at over 300 newspapers. It established an industry-wide departure rate from newspaper at 13% for full-time employees, 65% for part-timers.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management/Saratoga Institute’s “1993 Human Resource Effectiveness Report,” the banking industry had the highest turnover rate at 22.4%, followed by the computer software business at 21.6%, and the service industry at 18.6%. The chemical industry had the lowest turnover rate with 8.1%.
“To be successful in attracting and retaining the diverse talent our industry desires and needs, we must first understand what factors cause employees to leave,” said Cathleen Black, NAA president and CEO. “This study gives the industry information it never had before, and gives us a bench mark to make positive changes.”
The survey, which examined the year 1994, revealed that 80% of the full-time workers who left newspapers did so voluntarily, and 13% retired.
Two out of three full-timers left for “career reasons,” while the other third left for “family reasons.”
Forty-five percent of those who departed newspapers took lateral positions. Sixty percent left for higher-paying jobs, 21% accepted lower-paying jobs, and 19% accepted jobs that paid similarly to their previous positions.
The survey detailed the reasons why people leave newspapers. It found that opinions about employers varied little between those of union and nonunion workers.
The survey also showed that the majority of those who leave newspapers didn’t do so because of workload.
Minority respondents expressed skepticism about newspapers’ commitment to diversity. Hispanics had the least confidence in top management’s efforts and awarded consistently the least favorable ratings for newspapers overall. What determined workers’ decision to leave?
Respondents listed the following issues, in decreasing order of importance: fairness in promotions; involvement in decision-making; opportunities for advancement; supervisor concern for employees’ personal success; fairness in pay; equitable treatment; and contributions in value.
“Our committee members will be reviewing the results of the study to formulate plans and programs to address the issues,” said Orage Quarles III, chairman of NAA’s diversity committee.
A summary of the survey will be available in June.

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