Distinguishing Army Civilian Turnover Intentions Through Employee Engagement

Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

Committee Chair

Jeffrey Ferezan

Committee Member

John Nadalin

Committee Member

Steven Tincher


The U.S. Government Accountability Office (2015) has identified constructive performance conversations with one’s supervisor, career development and training, work-life balance, inclusive work environments, employee involvement, and communication from management as the six most significant drivers of employee engagement as measured by the federal government. This cross-sectional quantitative study examined how perceptions of these practices differ among Department of the Army civilian employees with intragovernmental turnover intentions, extra-governmental turnover intentions, and no turnover intentions. The study utilized secondary data from the 2019 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey with Welch’s ANOVA, the Kruskal-Wallis test, and post hoc analysis to identify significant differences between employees based on their level of turnover intentions. The omnibus tests revealed significant differences between groups for all six drivers of employee engagement; employees with no turnover intentions reported higher levels of satisfaction than their counterparts with intragovernmental or extra-governmental turnover intentions. Furthermore, the intragovernmental turnover intentions group was more satisfied than the extra-governmental turnover intentions group with practices relating to four drivers: communication from management, employee involvement, constructive performance conversations, and work-life balance. No significant differences were found between the intragovernmental and extra-governmental turnover intention groups regarding their perceptions of career development and training and the inclusiveness of their work environments. The findings offer new insight into the relationship between engagement and the different levels of turnover intention experienced by Army civilians; leaders may review this study to better understand the relationship and tailor their human capital strategies accordingly.