Predictors of turnover intention in the non-government alcohol and other drug sector

Alice McEntee, Ann M. Roche, Victoria Kostadinov, Sianne Hodge, Janine Chapman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Effective delivery of alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment is reliant on a skilled, experienced, and satisfied workforce. The need to recruit and train workers is universally acknowledged. It is equally important to retain staff, given global shortages of health and human services workers. As few studies have investigated predictors of turnover in the AOD sector, this study examined a range of potential work-related predictors. Methods: An online survey of 294 non-government AOD workers addressed demographics, health, wellbeing, organizational characteristics, and working conditions. Bivariate analyses were performed, followed by a hierarchical linear regression. Results: The bivariate analysis found significantly higher turnover intention among workers who were younger, believed they were inadequately paid, on fixed-term contracts, had poor work-life balance, were dissatisfied with the non-government AOD sector, and had high workloads. In the subsequent linear regression significant predictors of turnover intention were dissatisfaction with the sector, high workloads, and tenuous employment status. Discussion: These findings can inform retention strategies including greater provision of permanent contracts and more manageable workloads. Reported sector dissatisfaction warrants further examination. Prioritizing retention as a core workforce development strategy may help retain trained and experienced workers, maximize return on investment and enhance provision of quality care.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)181-189
    Number of pages9
    JournalDrugs: Education, Prevention and Policy
    Issue number2
    Early online date29 Apr 2020
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


    • drug and alcohol workers
    • maximizing return on investment
    • non-government alcohol and other drug sector
    • Turnover intention


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