When employees leave organizations, it impacts the attrition rate of the organization. The reasons why employees leave an organization...

5 Ways to Limit Employee Attrition

When employees leave organizations, it impacts the attrition rate of the organization. The reasons why employees leave an organization could be either voluntary or involuntary. Attrition could arise from resignation, termination, death or even retirement. The attrition rate of an organization is calculated as the rate at which employees leave an organization divided by the average number of employees in the organization at that period of time.

Table of Contents

  • Different types of attrition
  • How does attrition happen?
  • Tips to manage attrition
  • Conclusion

Most companies look to retain the talent that they have on board and thus keep the attrition levels low. When there is a match between the values of the organization and that of the employees, there is greater appeal for the employee and they are less likely to leave the organization. Business leaders strive to keep attrition levels low and thus ensure that it does not affect the existing workflow and the morale of the remaining employees in the organization.

There are different types of attrition

  1.  Retirement: Natural progression of leaving the company.
  2.  Internal attrition: Leave to join another department within the same organization.
  3.  Involuntary attrition: Termination due to lack of performance or ethical misconduct.
  4.  Voluntary attrition: Leave on their own for better pay and opportunities
  5.  Demographic attrition: When a specific type of employees (like women, ethnic minorities or veterans) begin to leave the organization.

Before we look at how to limit employee attrition, it is important to understand the factors that impact attrition. They are outlined below.

How does attrition happen?

  1.   Lack of recognition: Recognition that employees receive during their tenure at an organization impacts the morale, engagement and satisfaction levels of employees. Without it, employees tend to lose interest in completing their tasks and it leads to attrition. Rewards and recognition therefore go a long way and are critical to prevent attrition.
  2.   Employee priorities: Most employees come for the job experience. Once they get about two years’ experience, they either leave for better opportunities or for higher studies like getting an MBA or to qualify further. This leads to voluntary attrition.
  3.   Employee benefits: Apart from their compensation, employees thrive on benefits. These benefits range from material, cash benefits to work-life balance. Eventually, employees leave when they see better benefits in another organization. Focusing on employee well-being is of critical importance in companies.
  4.   Absence of training and development: When employees do not receive proper training at the workplace or opportunities to upskill themselves, they feel the need to move on. They may feel dejected or a sense of loss of opportunity when they don’t receive proper training and development.

Tips to manage attrition

There are many ways to manage attrition. These are not limited to those listed below:

A pleasant and conducive work environment

The work environment is where everyday job responsibilities are fulfilled by employees. It is important the work environment is conducive and enabling for employees to work in. It is important that employees feel valued and that the environment fosters the spirit of teamwork, inspiration for innovation and a high spirit at the workplace which will encourage employees to love coming to work. An atmosphere that provides a physically and mentally satisfying environment will sustain appeal and promote productivity. This will directly reduce attrition.

The right leadership

The right leaders can develop meaningful connections and make a positive impact on the employees. They can communicate well and offer support and flexibility to their downlines. They establish clear expectations and promote understanding among the team members. They provide emotional support and are compassionate during adversity. These leaders are willing to accept constructive criticism on work and communicate well. Having the right leaders in place is important to minimise attrition.

Give creative freedom

Creative freedom is the ability to fulfil your tasks as you deem fit. Different employees come with varied backgrounds and skills and approach tasks in a variety of ways. Giving them the freedom to execute and complete the tasks based on their ideas and creativity by giving them the flexibility can make them enthusiastic and energetic to complete tasks. As a manager, when you give people the flexibility, you not only get innovative ways to complete a task but also generate better results. These will help you manage the attrition rate because you are showing your team members that you respect their judgement.

Prioritize professional growth

When you provide opportunities for people to improve their skill sets, they get an impression that you want them to succeed and that they are in a positive work environment. Often educational opportunities, proper training and development and occasions for them to practice what they have learnt will encourage employees. These can prevent burnout and create a learning environment which is exciting.

Competitive compensation benefits

Apart from compensation, employees often compare their earning potential and the benefits offered by other companies to see if they are getting the best. Apart from physical benefits, things like insurance options, paid travel and holidays, relocation benefits, gym membership, educational support in case of those qualifying further and offering competitive salaries are a good way to keep your compensation benefits as sticky glue to retain employees.


One of the key ways to manage attrition is to conduct qualitative employee satisfaction surveys and seek honest feedback from employees. Anonymous surveys give deep insight and help build retention strategies. Promoting people internally and keeping them enthused is another good way to retain experienced people. Attrition at the end of the day is a huge cost for an organization. The cost of recruiting new talent and training them is huge so retaining existing talent and working on reducing attrition is worthwhile considering.

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