An Analysis of Turnover Among the Civil Service Components of the Department of Defense Acquisition and Medical Workforces
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This study is an analysis of workforce turnover behavior among two segments of the Department of Defense (DoD) civilian workforce. Its research objective is to identify turnover trends among the civil service medical healthcare workforce and the civilian component of the defense acquisitions workforce. The focus on the civilian medical workforce is notable because the Defense Health Agency is currently undergoing a significant reorganization. Establishing baseline turnover patterns prior to the completion of the reorganization will facilitate future program evaluations of the impact of the reorganization on the medical workforce. In both groups the overall pattern of attrition was consistent with the lifecycle model of turnover behavior. Employees that are not yet eligible for retirement had higher propensities to separate at early stages of their careers and relatively low attrition rates as they approach retirement eligibility. Retirement-eligible personnel conversely separate at an accelerating rate as they move past their earliest eligibility date. The preliminary statistical analysis illustrated how these two overall patterns hold for both medical and acquisitions employees, but also highlighted how the acquisitions workforce benefits much more from midcareer appointments. This surge of older appointees flowing into the workforce from uniformed services also affects the outflow years later as these employees retire. Even if medical and acquisitions employees respond relatively similarly to advancement in age and tenure, the difference in the composition of the workforce will change the recruitment, training, and succession planning strategies needed to manage the two types of employees. Another finding from this study is that the Department of Defense can do much better in hiring racial minorities into technical and "white-collar" positions. This analysis of the medical workforce found that personnel identifying as Black, Native American, and Hawaiian or Pacific Islander were almost twice as likely to be employed in blue collar work, while employees identifying as White or Asian were nearly evenly distributed between the two labor categories. Pursuing diversity and representation within occupational categories and not just within the workforce as a whole is essential to achieving public workforce that aligns with the American public. Furthermore, our attrition analysis found that employees identifying as Black, Asian, and Hawaiian and Pacific Islander had lower likelihoods of voluntarily separating when compared to white employees. Attaining diversity within these technical fields will also bring a more stable workforce. For the acquisitions workforce, the study employed command-level employee satisfaction survey results to estimate whether organizational climate affects turnover behavior. On this point the model output was inconclusive and no statistically significant relationship between turnover and employee satisfaction was identified. Sensitivity analysis revealed a similar lifecycle trend for employees in both the medical and acquisitions workforces. The primary difference in turnover incidence between the two segments of the workforce is the much larger intake of employees at the mid-career level of experience within the acquisitions workforce. This difference in the inflow of acquisitions personnel leads to a different demographic profile of the workforce when compared to the medical professionals.
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NPS Report NumberSYM-AM-21-122
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Turnover Among the Civil Service Components of the Department of Defense Acquisition and Medical Workforces Brien, Spencer (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 2021-05-10); SYM-AM-21-102This study is an analysis of workforce turnover behavior among two segments of the Department of Defense (DoD) civilian workforce. Its research objective is to identify turnover trends among the civil service medical ...
CHARACTERISTICS OF ATTRITION AMONG NAVY ACQUISITION EMPLOYEES AND THE SIGNIFICANCE OF EMPLOYEE SATISFACTION RESPONSES Mccauley, John W. (Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School, 2020-03);This study examined government civilian employee attrition, primarily with Navy acquisitions personnel, and attempted to find trends that contribute to resignation turnover. Civilian attrition within the Department of ...
UNDERSTANDING FACTORS RELATED TO ATTRITION OF DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES USING NON-PARAMETRIC SURVIVAL METHODS Morgan, Brittany (Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School, 2019-03);Government success depends on employees with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) qualifications to support critical roles within the Department of Defense (DoD), so it is important to understand attrition ...