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Employee Attrition: Definition, Impact & Cause

Losing a valuable employee can be devastating. There may be nothing you can do about it—the employee may be moving out of the area, have family obligations that take them out of the workplace for a while, or have other reasons beyond your control. Other times, having a good HR program and solid guidelines for keeping employees can help limit employee attrition. Work Institute is here to help you understand employee attrition and how we can help your business.


The Definition of Employee Attrition

Employee attrition is more than losing a valuable employee. It can result from the void the employee left behind, with no replacement coming soon.

Unlike employee turnover, employee attrition is not limited to employees who leave voluntarily but includes involuntary departures as well. Not meeting expectations or the company no longer needing the type of work the employee provides are valid examples.

Depending upon the size of the company, employee attrition can occur within specific departments or companywide.


Why Employees Decide to Leave

Beyond your control, there may be personal reasons for an employee’s decision to leave. However, there are other factors that company policy can help manage. Some of those areas include:

  • Poor management practices
  • A lack of career development and room for promotion
  • A lack of recognition for a job well done
  • An uncomfortable or hostile workplace

The market for businesses and their employees is ever-changing. Sometimes, there is a higher demand for individuals with specific skills and training, leading to limited resources to fill your vacant position. Of course, if the company is undergoing financial difficulties or restructuring its business, filling specific employee vacancies could also be on the back burner.

There is also a growing trend for outsourcing. Rather than hiring from within, some companies choose to outsource specific areas of their business to someone else. All these issues influence employee attrition.


How We Can Help

Gathering information is the best way to learn just why employees are leaving and to understand your employee attrition. One way to gain insight is by hiring an outside firm to conductstay interviews with your employees.

Partnering with a firm with specialized training, such as the Work Institute, will help get the right questions answered and allow your employees to be more open with their opinions.

Likewise, conducting employeeexit interviews after they leave your employment can provide a lot of answers.

Again, choosing the right outside firm that specializes in employee attrition is a cost-effective way to garner the best answers while helping you reduce employee turnover and attrition.

From inside the company, some other positive moves include:

  1. Checking in with and comparing your compensation plan with similar companies.
  2. Proper training for managers in effective employee supervision.
  3. Advancing from within the company rather than seeking someone new to fill a higher position.
  4. Offer transparent communication between employees and supervisors and keep employees in the loop about any upcoming changes to company policy or the work environment that may affect them and their work performance.
  5. Be flexible in allowing for variable schedules, hybrid schedules, and possible shortened workdays or weeks for those heading toward retirement age, whenever possible. Providing a good work-life balance to your employees can pay off in happiness and productivity.


Your Solution to Employee Attrition

The best solutions to employee attrition should be as unique as your company itself. Having your HR department work with an outside, independent firm that specializes in employee attrition is key to keeping your employees happy in the long term. Work Institute provides strategic employee retention services for all types of companies while conducting and sharing onboarding studies, pulse surveys, and stay interviews.

To learn more about employee retention, employee attrition, and engagement strategies fitting your business, contact us.


Image Source: – Yuri A/Shutterstock