Attrition and Retention of Laboratory Personnel

Dr. Susan Beck worked with a colleague at Michigan State University, Dr. Kathryn Doig, on the issue of attrition and retention of laboratory personnel. Their work is described in several articles in the journal Clinical Laboratory Science:

  • Are New CLS Practitioners Prepared to Stay? 2007: 20(3):161-171.
  • Factors contributing to the retention of clinical laboratory personnel. 2005: 8(1):16-27.
  • Laboratory Managers’ views on attrition and retention of laboratory personnel. 2005:18(4):238-247.

The results of these studies show that number of laboratory employees leaving the profession exceeds the number of new graduates entering the profession making the retention of employees essential. Most laboratory employees who left did so to take another laboratory position; however, reasons for leaving varied with years of experience. Both laboratory managers and practitioners identified salary as a key issue in the retention of employees. Practitioners who stayed in the clinical laboratory profession listed their interest in the work, job security, good working relationships with colleagues, and a good location as major reasons for staying. Early career employees (working for one to three years) indicated that they are prepared to stay in the profession for at least ten years if the work remained interesting, the salaries were acceptable, and there were opportunities for career advancement.