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What Are the Best Tips for Attrition Management?

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  • Written By: Bryce Clinton
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 03 November 2016
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Successful attrition management requires careful hiring practices, exit interview data collecting, and ongoing attention to workplace psychology and employee needs. The better employees are treated, and the more they like their jobs, the lower the rate of attrition. Since not all employees are alike, it's important to consider individual employee satisfaction, which means paying a certain amount of attention to personal needs. Managing attrition well enough to mitigate or curtail high turnover problems takes a comprehensive, pro-active approach.

A good place to begin looking at attrition management is at the hiring stage. Sometimes companies are desperate to find new hires and don't give adequate time and attention to whether candidates are truly a good match for the position. It's necessary to confirm that not only can employees excel at the work they're being hired for, but also that they like the work enough and have enough respect for the company and position to remain satisfied over time with what they'll be doing, or where their career is headed.

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When hiring new employees, if possible, companies should use competency screening and behavior or temperament testing to determine if someone is a good fit for the work and the social environment. At the same time, they should avoid making applicants feel stifled or subjected to overly broad or dubious profiling. If an applicant seems like a good match, they should express their willingness to work with the candidate's ambitions and special needs. They should mention benefits, bonuses, and advancement potential, and make sure candidates know why working for their company will be more than just financially satisfying: for example, enticements can be offered such as generous paid vacation time, company trips or retreats, work from home or flex schedules, and other workplace quality-of-life incentives.

An important aspect of attrition management is recognizing the causes of attrition. Many types of attrition are related to salary and benefits. Employers might think that either their company can afford to offer raises and better benefits, or that it can't; however, they should equally consider how much turnover costs and which is ultimately more expensive. Other types of attrition are related to the workplace environment and social interaction, to employee fairness and reward systems, and to promotion and advancement potential. Thoroughly researching the many causes of attrition, or hiring a consultant if necessary, is helpful. Another popular approach is the exit interview.

When collecting information related to attrition management, whether from the Internet, exit interviews, or other means, companies need to make sure to add new data to their files. They should keep an updated and ongoing record of issues, and not limit that collection to when there's a problem. Frequent reviews and question-and-answer sessions with employees help companies remain aware of potential issues, needs, and concerns, regardless of employees' present levels of satisfaction, productivity, or retention.

To promote employee retention, it's best to create a workplace atmosphere of open communication. Employees should feel that it's always acceptable to appropriately express dissatisfaction, voice opinions, and ask for things they need or want. When they feel comfortable expressing themselves, they'll be less likely to hide their intentions and surprise their employers. Attrition management is not just a statistics game, but requires close attention to each employee and his or her personal needs. Different varieties of wellness initiatives can also help.

Employees should be encouraged to be themselves and have fun in a workplace that generally remains serious and respectful to all workers. This means maintaining the right balance between a friendly and open environment, which might encourage goofing off from time to time, and a mostly serious, hardworking environment in which people are not rewarded for irreverence or charisma, but for quality work. The right managers can often set the tone for achieving this balance.

Most employees need to feel respected and needed. It's a good idea to praise them for a job well done and to avoid holding up potentially unrealistic goals as the only measure of achievement. It's also important not to offer empty praise when it isn't warranted, and to make sure employees feel that any praise they are given is valid and genuine. The best attrition management is always evolving and always aware of changes, so it's important to remain pro-active in efforts to develop a comprehensive and attentive plan that works for individual companies.

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