Types of Termination: Attrition, Layoffs, Resignation, Retirement & RIF

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Impulsive, Comparison, Pre-Planned & Conditional Reasons Employees Quit

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:02 Overview of Termination
  • 0:26 Voluntary Terminations
  • 2:36 Involuntary Terminations
  • 4:05 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shawn Grimsley

Shawn has a masters of public administration, JD, and a BA in political science.

An organization's labor force is almost always in flux: sometimes employees need to be replaced and sometimes they don't. In this lesson, you'll learn about the different ways employment can be terminated. A short quiz follows the lesson.

Overview of Termination

Rebecca is the vice president of human resources for a construction company. Part of her job is to oversee the staffing of her company to ensure that it has the right employees in place to achieve its goals. A related responsibility is managing the process when an employee's employment is terminated. You can break employment termination into two general categories: voluntary termination and involuntary termination. Let's take a look at each.

Voluntary Terminations

Some employee terminations are within Rebecca's control, and some are not. An employee is voluntarily terminated from employment when the employee decides to leave. Employers cannot stop an employee from quitting. The primary means by which employees voluntarily leave Rebecca's company is through resignation or retirement. Resignation is simply quitting a current job, while retirement tends to be a permanent exit from either the workforce or a specific career. Of course, some employees 'voluntarily' leave by way of death.

The decline of a company's workforce through voluntary termination, including resignations, retirements and deaths, is referred to as employee attrition. In fact, sometimes a company will use employee attrition to reduce its labor force 'naturally.' No one gets fired; employees are just not replaced. Of course, attrition can also adversely affect a company if valuable employees that are hard to replace leave. Rebecca knows that there are three general factors that affect an employee's decision to voluntarily terminate employment.

First, desirability of leaving is an important factor. Some employees will find it desirable to leave because they find their work or work environment dissatisfying. On the other hand, some may find it desirable to leave for reasons that really aren't related to jobs, such as having one's first child or having a spouse receive an overseas job offer.

Second, how easy it is for an employee to leave employment is also a very important factor. Most people need to work to provide for life's necessities. If an employee has a set of knowledge, skills and abilities that are in high demand and the labor market is favorable to job applicants, then it will be easier to leave current employment. On the other hand, if an employee's skills are narrow and specific to his current company and there is a high rate of unemployment, it may be pretty tough to leave.

Third, alternatives currently available to an employee are also a large factor determining whether an employee will leave. For example, an employee with highly valuable skills in high demand may be offered a better deal from a competing company even before that employee makes the decision to quit.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account