Employee attrition and employee retention. Two employee-focused concepts at opposite ends from each other. Two HR metrics that HR professionals focus on when building a healthy, productive workforce. And two areas that have a profound effect on your organization. So let’s look at each of them more closely.

Employee Attrition

Attrition is the reduction of workforce through retirement, sickness, death, or resignations. Common reasons for employee resignations include:

  • Job dissatisfaction
  • Limited career growth 
  • Lack of training and development
  • Poor operational structure
  • Bad management experience

Out of these five resignation reasons, which ones can be controlled by your organization and/or solutions found to make them better? All of them! 

Job Dissatisfaction

Job dissatisfaction happens when an employee expects certain things from their job based on interviews, their job description, and what their manager has told (promised?) them. But then those expectations aren’t met. 

Let’s put ourselves in their shoes. What happens when you have high expectations about an event, a big purchase, or even a relationship, and then those expectations are dashed? You feel unmotivated, negative, and lose commitment. As an HR professional, what can you do to increase employee satisfaction?

As soon as your HR data starts showing you the signs of job dissatisfaction, you must take action. What are some of the signs? Incomplete job assignments, missing deadlines, tardiness or absenteeism, and poor performance reviews are a few. And these negatively impact your company. So here are a few ways to build a more satisfying work environment:

  • Show Appreciation. People want to feel valued and know their efforts are appreciated. 
  • Listen. Check in with employees, listen to their feedback, and take action to correct any issues.
  • Reward Performance. Look for ways to highlight achievements and promote camaraderie.

Limited Career Growth

Most people desire advancement in their careers. If your organization doesn’t have clear career paths or growth opportunities to look forward to, that could send your employees out the door to other organizations. Here are a few ways to show that your company does support career growth: 

  • Internal Promotions. Give advancement opportunities to employees you already have. They know the culture, your products or services, the way things get done, and the organizational structure. You don’t have to look externally all the time to fill open positions.
  • Project Management. Have some projects that have been getting pushed to the back burner? Allow employees to lead projects and gain recognition for collaboration, teamwork, communication, and other key power skills that aren’t learned from a book but are critical in the workplace.

Lack of Training & Development

Many job candidates look for organizations that are willing to invest in the training and professional development of its workforce. If they aren’t provided with opportunities to grow in their skills and knowledge, they lose motivation to do better in their jobs. Most likely, if they aren’t motivated to grow in their jobs, they will leave. No budget for expensive training? Here are a few budget-friendly ways to offer professional development:

  • Mentoring. Allow your employees to learn new skills from more seasoned or experienced employees.
  • Shadowing. If your employees want to see what another job is like, provide opportunities for them to see a day-in-the-life of another employee in their daily duties.
  • Training. For seasoned employees that know their roles well, but may be getting bored, give them opportunities to train new employees. That will develop their communication and collaboration skills.

Poor Operational Structure

Sometimes sticking to the status quo is appropriate. But if you’re stuck in policies, procedures, and strategies from a decade ago, it’s probably a good time to shake things up. Especially if you’re losing employees because they’re frustrated with the lack of clarity, or the organization won’t try new ways of doing business. Here are some ideas to get employees involved with change:

  • Streamline Processes.  Ask employees to get creative and find ways to streamline processes that save time and money, while increasing productivity.
  • Identify Problems. Ask employees what policies or procedures negatively affect their jobs and hinder them from getting things done. Then take action to solve those problems.

Bad Management Experience

The relationship between managers and employees has a huge effect on how employees view the organization and how they feel about their job. It comes down to trust and loyalty. If your managers don’t have the right leadership skills, it negatively affects their teams.

It reminds me of the lyrics in Beyoncé’s song “Break My Soul” that came out earlier this year. 

Now, I just fell in love

And I just quit my job

I’m gonna find new drive

Damn, they work me so damn hard

Work by nine

Then off past five

And they work my nerves

That’s why I cannot sleep at night

Do you have managers that work your employees too hard? 

Do they grate on the nerves of your employees? 

Are bad management experiences causing employees to leave? 

A celebrity like Beyoncé can influence your employees’ behaviors. In fact, dozens of people took to social media posting that they had quit their jobs after hearing her song. Don’t give your employees reasons to just quit. Especially when it comes to manager-employee relationships. Here are some areas you can provide training for managers:

  • Goals. Train managers on how to set SMART goals with their team members, and then how to follow up to ensure goals are being met.
  • Communication. Train managers on how to provide open, clear, inclusive communication with the team members. 
  • Coaching. Train managers on how to provide personal feedback on a consistent basis with each team member. This should include highlighting positive achievements and coaching in challenging areas.

When you put these actions into play, you can see your retention numbers start to increase. Let’s next look at retention.

Employee Retention

Retention is an organization’s ability to keep its employees. This matters because turnover can have a huge negative impact on your business. The costs of hiring new employees include time, stress, advertising, interviewing, posting to job sites, training, low productivity, and much more! In fact, according to Centric HR, it’s estimated that it costs between 6-9 months of an employee’s salary.

As an HR data and analytics company, Employee Cycle thrives on providing HR professionals with ways to organize and analyze your workforce data to make data-driven decisions. Recently, we published our blog, How to Increase Employee Retention with HR Data. It provides key information on how to leverage your HR data to help your leadership team develop workforce strategies to improve job satisfaction and increase employee retention.

Take A Test Drive

Want to see for yourself how easy it is to unify your HR data? Create a free Employee Cycle HR Analytics account and take it for a test drive. 

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