Difference Between A Voluntary And A Involuntary Employee Separation

Despite the costs and disruption that occur when an employee leaves a job, turnover, as measured by the business’s turnover rate, is exceptionally high in some segments of the hospitality industry.

Turnover inevitably leads to an increase in managerial time and other real financial costs. All managers agree that the costs associated with employees who leave the organisation are high and should be avoided whenever possible. HR managers will no longer need to constantly recruit new employees and shepherd them through the costly and time-consuming orientation and training processes.

Some turnover is unavoidable and beneficial to a business because it allows for the recruitment of new employees with diverse attitudes and ideas. Excessive turnover rates, on the other hand, are detrimental to an operation’s ability to maintain quality standards and costs, and, in some cases, to remain financially viable. Employee separations can be classified as voluntary or involuntary, and both types are covered in the following information.


Voluntary employment separations are inevitable. Employees graduate from school, retire, move away, and, for numerous other reasons, elect to resign from a job. While these employee – initiated separations are often inconvenient, they rarely cause significant replacement issues. In the best – case scenario, the employee will inform managers about the pending departure in enough time that a replacement can be recruited and trained.


Involuntary employment separations are frequently caused by poor employee performance. However, management may also have failed to properly select, orient, train, and direct the work of these employees.

Involuntary employee separations affect more than just immediate employee replacement and training costs. In most states, employees who are involuntarily separated qualify for unemployment compensation payments. While there are exceptions (e.g., for employees dismissed for theft, assault, or other illegal activities), significant increases in payments to employees who are involuntarily separated will result in an increase in the amount the employer must pay into the state ’ s unemployment compensation accounts.

We have examined employment separation from the perspectives of employees who leave the organization for good reason and those who are asked to leave. A third case, however, is the employee who leaves voluntarily but does so involuntarily! In other words, the employee decides to leave the job, but the reason relates to the job.

Consider Juby, a good employee who likes her job, but who is leaving for another job doing the same work at the same rate of pay. She feels her manager does not appreciate her, and recognition of a job well – done is important to her (as it is to many employees). Because Juby does not receive the recognition she seeks, she will leave the organization. Often, the motivations of employees like Juby remain unknown. In other cases, exit interviews can help uncover reasons for the involuntary/voluntary separation of employees.