This rigorous study, the first large scale review of this issue, shows that unfairness costs U.S. employers $64 billion on an annual basis –a price tag nearly equivalent to the 2006 combined revenues of Google, Goldman Sachs, Starbucks and Amazon or the gross domestic product of the 55th wealthiest country in the world. This estimate represents the cost of losing and replacing professionals and managers who leave their employers solely due to workplace unfairness. By adding in those for whom unfairness was a major contributor to their decision to leave, the figure is substantially greater. This study also shows how often employees who left jobs due to unfairness later discouraged potential customers and job applicants from working with their former employer.
A study of U.S. employees, conducted in January 2007, this report takes an in-depth look at: (1) the effect of unfairness upon an employee’s decision to leave their employer, (2) the financial cost to employers due to voluntary turnover based on unfairness and (3) what, if anything, employers could have done to keep employees who left due to unfair ness. We focused our study on professionals and managers in the corporate workforce who voluntarily left their employers or volunteered for a layoff within the past five years. We began with a sample of 19,000 potential survey subjects to yield 1,700 professionals and managers who met our criteria and completed the survey.