Employee attrition

Employee attrition refers to the natural phenomenon of employees voluntarily leaving an organization. It encompasses departures due to:

  • Personal circumstances
  • Career aspirations
  • Job misalignment
  • Workplace difficulties


Attrition stands distinct from employee turnover. While high turnover could pose disruptions and perpetuate hiring needs, attrition is a rather inevitable occurrence, prompted by factors like retirement or voluntary resignation. A resilient organization can accommodate such nominal employee reduction without rushing to immediate staff replenishment.

Why should HR leaders pay attention to employee attrition?

As per a Gallup study, six out of every ten millennials are receptive to new job opportunities, thus being dubbed as “the job-hopping generation”. This substantial attrition rate inherent in the workforce implies that HR leaders can harness this trend of job mobility. By recognizing and comprehending this ongoing attrition scenario, HR leaders can cultivate a workforce that is engaged, productive, and committed.


How can HR leverage attrition for the company’s advantage?

HR leaders can turn attrition into a beneficial aspect for their organizations by incorporating the following strategies:

Prepare for diverse employment scenarios. By analyzing the job market and utilizing data, HR leaders can strategize different types of employment within the organization. Perhaps key core workers can be transitioned into full-time roles, while others might be employed as contingent staff or independent contractors. Balancing the needs of the organization and individual workers remains essential.

Sustain employees pivotal to company success. Upon identifying the employees instrumental for company growth, HR leaders can concentrate on engaging and retaining them. This can be achieved by offering competitive remuneration, creating opportunities for personal and professional advancement, and fostering a company culture steeped in trust, appreciation, and respect.

Implement a compassionate offboarding program. An inclusive offboarding program that allows employees to depart on amicable terms plays a key role. Expressing gratitude and extending best wishes for their future endeavors, employers can maintain their integrity while turning departing employees into positive ambassadors for the company.

Keep the option open for employees to return. HR leaders can collaborate with managers and top brass to cultivate policies and a company culture that welcomes back ‘boomerang’ employees. Such employees, upon their return, can bring along valuable insights, experience, and renewed enthusiasm.

How can employee attrition enhance company culture?

Attrition is an eventuality even under the most favorable work conditions. Despite the initial difficulty of parting with employees, attrition can provide HR leaders an opportunity to reassess and realign their hiring strategies with the company’s vision and objectives. It also paves the way for attracting high-quality talent who may be a better fit for specific roles.

By embracing the surge in attrition prevalent in today’s work culture, HR leaders, along with managers, employees, and executives can cultivate a company culture that promotes personal development, job satisfaction, and success.