The Secret to Low Attrition Rates

Image by KazuN from Pixabay

Jody Robie, SVP North America at Talent Works International, will be speaking at MassTLC’s Disrupt Your Org’s Talent Strategy event on March 25th. Below, she discusses strategies – from recruiting to professional development – that can help you hold on to your employees.


Around 3.5 million Americans quit their job every month, according to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is not only concerning for employers but shows that employee retention remains a huge challenge for many organizations.

Employees leaving a business can decrease productivity, profits and overall team morale, plus you can lose valuable insight and knowledge that only comes from dedicating years to a role. As if losing a skilled member of staff wasn’t bad enough, it’s reported that the cost to replace a highly trained employee can be up to 200% of their annual salary.

With the competition for attracting talent becoming an increasing threat, how can you ensure that you hold on to brilliant people and keep your attrition rates low?

Optimize the recruitment process

It may sound simple but having a transparent outline of the role and your expectations from the get-go is the first step to ensuring someone will stay in the position you’re recruiting for. Around 31% of employees leave within the first six months due to a lack of clarity in the job description and the role not meeting their expectations. Ensure that candidates know what they’re getting into from the moment they press apply by optimizing your job advertisement, stating the main responsibilities and expectations clearly.

At the interview stage, ask appropriate and relevant questions to prepare candidates for the role. Give them a chance to showcase skills that will be an essential part of their position. This will help them to develop an understanding of the role before they start.

Develop your employer brand

Think carefully about your employer brand. How would you like to be seen by candidates and how do your existing employees perceive you? The two need to match to give yourself an authentic employer brand that current employees genuinely believe in.

Consider everything from your Employee Value Proposition (EVP), what value you can bring to their lives, to what makes your company a unique place to work. Once you can genuinely position yourself as a great place to work, with the backing of your current workforce, you will not only attract the best talent, but you’ll retain it. Having a strong employer brand, and hiring people that hold the same values, will create loyalty for years to come. If staff don’t agree with your company culture and values, they’ll be more inclined to look for a role elsewhere that’s in line with their vision.

Make new employees feel welcome

The first few months of working at a company are vital as they paint a picture of what working there long-term will be like. 33% of new employees in the US quit within 90 days and one of the biggest reasons for this is company culture. Make new employees feel welcome and part of the team from day one with a clear orientation program. There’s nothing worse than starting at a company that doesn’t feel like it has a clear plan for you. A robust and clear training program or great induction can ensure new starters feel supported throughout their introductory period which will reflect throughout the rest of their time with you.

Competitive pay and benefits

Salary plays a significant role in employee attrition. If someone can be offered a higher wage for doing the same job elsewhere then you need to give them a good reason to stay with your organization. If you can afford to keep salaries competitive then this is an obvious way to ensure your employees know their worth, however, other benefits could work if cash is tight.

The secret could lie in benefits like flexible working hours or the potential to work from home, helping the individual balance their work and home life. Employee engagement initiatives like casual Fridays, in-office competitions or even feedback surveys all help employees feel more understood. However, simple recognition of a job well done, maybe a gift or reward as a thank you, can go a long way in making an employee feel valued.

Encourage learning and opportunities

Employees today crave progression in their roles. This often means having the opportunity to learn a new skill or develop an existing one, so having accessible training programs and being willing to invest in your employees’ development is a great way of ensuring lower attrition rates.

Another great employee retention tactic is to transition them into new roles when they feel ready. This can mean a promotion offering more responsibility, giving them a team to manage or simply giving an added sense of purpose. The transition doesn’t have to be a step up, especially if the employee isn’t interested in managing people just yet. Diversifying the role and allowing people to see other aspects of the business keeps employees engaged and eager to learn. In fact, employees who have changed jobs internally are 70% more likely to stay after two years with a business than those that remained in the same position.

Transparency is key

Secretive workplaces cast doubt in the minds of your employees, and while it’s not always appropriate for everyone to know the ins and outs of your business, ensuring everyone understands your purpose and long-term goals makes employees feel appreciated. Plus, if you can involve employees in the sharing of ideas and some decision making, they’ll feel like they have a voice in your organization. Put simply, an employee is much less likely to leave if they feel valued by your company, and the best way to do this is to ensure they’re in the know with what’s going on in the business.

Assess your Management

Is there one area of your business where employees are leaving? If you can identify this, it may help you identify a wider problem. In the US, the main reason people quit their job is because of a bad boss or supervisor. It doesn’t matter how perfect the job or your employer brand is, if the reporting relationship isn’t healthy, or there is a lack of respect an employee will find a job elsewhere.  A manager has a huge impact on working life and should be the first port of call for issues, so, if an employee doesn’t feel comfortable with this person where should they turn? Ensure your managers communicate with their team, encourage growth and that there is a level of respect running throughout the business and attrition rates should remain low.

By following these few tips to invest time and effort into both your existing workforce and recruitment strategy, you’ll be sure to find and retain the best talent for your business for many years to come. Attrition rates will remain low and your business will prosper!

Register for Disrupt Your Org’s Talent Strategy below.