Developing a Plan to Reduce Attrition

Even if your business is otherwise successful, employee attrition can cut into your profits and even cause you to lose customers. Developing a plan to reduce attrition will only work if you carefully examine the variables that cause employees to leave and then devise clear, actionable strategies for addressing these problems.

Investigate the Causes

  1. Although factors such as insufficient pay and long working hours often help account for attrition, every company has its own business culture. Rather than assuming you know why employees leave your business, conduct employee surveys to learn if there are any specific problems with the way you run things. To get the most honest feedback, make these surveys anonymous and ask open-ended questions such as, "What policies would make this business a better workplace?"

Examine Where Employees Go

  1. Most employees who leave go to another business -- frequently a competitor. If you know the business to which an employee is transferring, read up on it to determine if there are any ways its policies and practices differ from yours. Average salaries, working hours and benefits often play a significant role. If you can offer a package that is competitive with other businesses, consider renegotiating compensation packages with employees who threaten to leave.

Offer Employees Options

  1. Employees want control over their own life, and offering them several working options can help reduce attrition. According to research by Global Workplace Analytics, for example, 46 percent of companies that offer teleworking say that doing so has reduced attrition. Flexible hours, on-site childcare, the option to work part time, additional vacation time and the ability to manage their own projects can also be attractive options that encourage employees to stay with your business.

Conduct Exit Interviews

  1. No matter how good your strategy is, some employees will still leave your business. An exit interview can help you determine whether any specific business practices contributed to an employee's decision to leave. Offer employees the chance to give the specific reason why they left as well as feedback about what would make the company a better place to work. These exit interviews should be non-confrontational, and it's wise to have an unbiased third party conduct them if you've had previous conflicts with the employee.