Understanding attrition and ways to address it

Understanding attrition and ways to address it

Employment & HR

Punit Vanvaria

Punit Vanvaria

394 week ago — 5 min read

Attrition is employees leaving a company. It could be for many reasons such as better opportunities, retirement, sickness or decisions to take a break from work. The particularly disturbing form of attrition is when an employee leaves a company after a period of dissatisfaction. Or, when a happy employee leaves to pursue a better opportunity elsewhere. Most companies in India face high attrition. Managing this is key to an organisation’s success, be it a large or small enterprise. Understanding the causes of attrition is the first step you can take as an entrepreneur towards making a positive move to make your company more successful.


A handful of motivations drive attrition. We look at the primary motivations. By implementing some of the recommendations elucidated below, you can build a high growth people engine for your organisation.


1. Stressful work conditions: Stress at work simply does not make it worthwhile in the long run. Long work hours and staying late at work impinges on an employees work-life balance. High stress environment may give you short-term results. However, you will notice lower productivity and poor morale in the end. Companies need to bring work-life balance to the forefront. For example, at Corner Office Advisors, we do not encourage employees to stay late in the evening or work very long days. We try to stick to a 9-6 routine, five days a week. This brings predictability and allows employees to plan their personal time. And, we set targets that people can achieve in their work hours. Employees usually appreciate this, and make themselves available for phone calls and conversations when required.


2. Lack of learning and growth: If a person feels unfulfilled towards their personal goals on the learning and growth, attrition goes up. Gen Y, which is what most of our employees are, look for challenges at work. They get bored easily. Most companies view this as a negative. The truth is Gen Y is not bored. They want new challenges and crave continuous growth. Creating individual growth plans, supported by individual coaching and other learning tools is necessary. This doubles the average stint from 18 months to 36 months at SMEs in India. At Corner Office Advisors, we invest (time and money) in people in training, skills, mentoring and a coaching programmes. While we started this as a retention strategy, we find that it has led to higher quality standards across the board. Most of our customers have commented on the positive change over the last 12 months. Plus, our average employee tenure has already crossed 30 months.


3. Poor company culture: Entrepreneurs and business owners must recognise the role of the company’s culture. It as an important pillar for retention or attrition. People want to work in an environment where they feel empowered, respected and nurtured. Look around in your industry and try to set better culture benchmarks. And, as a business leader, you must embody the culture. You will be surprised how quickly it will percolate within your organisation. It cannot just be lip service.


4. Insufficient rewards and recognition: Recognise good work and reward it. People must feel valued, to add value to your business every day. Learn from the rewards and recognition programmes run by industry leaders globally. Why limit yourself to the local market. At the end of the day, we all want to build the best, the largest, the most respected businesses. Then why should you not treat your employees, who deliver on these goals with the most motivating rewards and recognition.


5. Poor remuneration: Never forget, employees must feel their compensation is in line with other local and global brands. If you pay too little, you will waste all the work you may do towards employee retention. You will become a training ground for better paying companies. So use Comp & Ben (Compensation and Benefits) consulting services from experts, if you feel, you are losing people because of poor compensation strategies. Deploy retention bonuses to hold on to your good employees.


And always remember, some attrition is good for your business. It makes you focus on what you may need to change internally. And, it brings in fresh talent, with fresh ideas and industry exposure that is very important ingredient for long-term success.



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