Predictors of Turnover Intention in U.S. Federal Government Workforce: Machine Learning Evidence That Perceived Comprehensive HR Practices Predict Turnover Intention

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This study aims to identify important predictors of turnover intention and to characterize subgroups of U.S. federal employees at high risk for turnover intention. Data were drawn from the 2018 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS, unweighted N = 598,003), a nationally representative sample of U.S. federal employees. Machine learning Classification and Regression Tree (CART) analyses were conducted to predict turnover intention and accounted for sample weights. CART analyses identified six at-risk subgroups. Predictor importance scores showed job satisfaction was the strongest predictor of turnover intention, followed by satisfaction with organization, loyalty, accomplishment, involvement in decisions, likeness to job, satisfaction with promotion opportunities, skill development opportunities, organizational tenure, and pay satisfaction. Consequently, Human Resource (HR) departments should seek to implement comprehensive HR practices to enhance employees’ perceptions on job satisfaction, workplace environments and systems, and favorable organizational policies and supports and make tailored interventions for the at-risk subgroups.