- Employee attrition is the loss of an employee due to reasons other than job satisfaction
- There are apparent downsides to employee attrition, being the associated costs, damaging your brand, and a smaller workforce
- Although there are a few steps employers can take to avoid it, employee attrition is a natural process for any organization
What is Employee Attrition
The loss of an employee due to reasons other than job satisfaction is referred to as employee attrition. This can be anything from an organization needing to downsize or an employee choosing to retire. With attrition, the job position may not always be filled immediately. In this blog post we explain the different types of employee attrition and why it happens.
Types of Employee Attrition
Employee attrition can be voluntary, even when it doesn’t have anything to do with job satisfaction. Common examples of voluntary attrition include:
- Returning to school
- Taking time to start a family
- Taking care of a family member full-time
Involuntary attrition refers to the more uncontrollable employee losses like layoffs, downsizing, or the death of an employee. These reasons for attrition are ones that typically lead to an unfilled position for a longer period of time.
External and Internal Attrition
Both external and internal attrition act as subcategories of voluntary and involuntary attrition. The basic definition of each relies on where the employee ends up after leaving a position. For example, if an employee leaves your company to move to a new area and ends up starting a new job, that would be considered external attrition, because the employee is now at a different organization. But, if you have someone who you promote to a new position within your same organization, that is referred to as internal attrition. Although you have kept that employee within your organization, they still left their position for reasons other than satisfaction and that position is now unfilled.
Best Practices to Avoid Employee Attrition
There are apparent downsides to employee attrition, being the associated costs, damaging your brand, and a smaller workforce. Although it is not always avoidable, there are some steps you can take to reduce some types of attrition.
1. Know Who You’re Hiring
It is important to know and understand your employees and what they’re plans are. Be prepared if your employee is thinking about moving to another area or if they are looking to go back to school. In cases like this, you can offer reasons to stay within the organization like remote work or a part time schedule. You can even offer higher compensation or additional benefits.
2. Offer Development Opportunities
Most employees want to see a future in their career so they have the ability to continue building through their company. Be sure to offer development opportunities in order to accelerate their professional growth. This will give your employees something to work towards, including pay raises and promotions.
3. Solicit and Accept Regular Feedback
It is important for employers to give their employees regular feedback to ensure that they know what they are working towards and what they need to work on. Similarly, employers must accept and encourage their employees to solicit feedback as well. To ensure a healthy relationship between you your employees, ask them what you can do to help and check in with them regularly.
Although there are a few steps employers can take to avoid it, employee attrition is a natural process for any organization. Fully understanding this term will prepare employers to be able to properly approach it in the workplace.