Missouri Department of Transportation Director Patrick McKenna says MoDOT is experiencing a historic 13% annual turnover rate. During a Missouri House subcommittee budget hearing Wednesday, McKenna says he expects well over 700 employees could leave during the current fiscal year.
“We do consider that a crisis because we need skilled and trained people and professionals to be out providing the services throughout,” says McKenna. “We recognize that we’re not alone in state government with this and in fact, sometimes when you look at the numbers of the Department of Transportation relative to other agencies, you might think we don’t have a problem.”
According to MoDOT, employee turnover could potentially reach 15% in FY20 based on over 190 employees leaving MoDOT in the first quarter of FY20.
McKenna says the turnover rate is generational, but indicates pay is also part of the problem.
“Kansas City – we have a turnover of nearly 200 professionals a year going on,” says McKenna. “In St. Louis – over 150. That’s an extraordinary load.”
In FY17, 554 workers left the department through termination, retirement or voluntarily. The following year, the agency had 611 employees depart. In FY19,
679 workers did.
“Just the challenge of replacing those folks and getting them trained and ready to go is extraordinary,” says McKenna. “But we also calculate the cost of that turnover to the taxpayers – both the hard and soft costs, as well as leave payouts. It well exceeds 30 million dollars a year.”
MoDOT estimates that overall turnover cost the Department $36.9 million in FY19 stemming from $2.1 million in hard costs (e.g., employee labor to fill the job, and related costs such as advertising, drug testing, background checks, and physicals); $2.2 million from leave payouts following all separations; and $32.6 million in soft costs (e.g. loss of productivity, onboarding, rework, retraining, and distraction of supervisor and co-workers).
In FY19, MoDOT filled 895 maintenance positions and 541 non-maintenance positions. At this time, MoDOT employs 718 Maintenance Workers (average salary of $31,742), 270 Intermediate Maintenance Workers (average salary of $34,017), 1069 Senior Maintenance Workers (average salary of $37,693), 418 Maintenance Crew Leaders (average salary of $40,967), 69 Assistant Maintenance Supervisors (average salary of $45,084), 170 Maintenance Supervisors (average salary of $50,059). These six positions account for over 50 percent of our total salaried workforce.
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