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3 Strategies to Lower Employee Attrition

February 03, 2022 Talent Management
Kaya Ismail
By Kaya Ismail

Hiring the right people is essential to company success. Not only should new hires have the skills and experience required for the job, they should also have the potential to grow and stay with the company for a long time.

Yet, data shows employees end up staying only a year or two before moving on. Job hopping isn’t a new concept by any means, but attrition rates — the rate at which employees leave their employer for any reason, voluntarily or not — have been rising exponentially in recent years. And with one in four employees leaving their employers in 2021, the trend has been dubbed the Great Resignation. Nearly 4 million workers quit their jobs per month in 2021, the highest average on record.

The proliferation of remote work has opened the door to new opportunities for employees. For many, especially those in in-demand fields, the ability to find work is no longer limited by physical location but now spans states and even countries. Given this new reality, reducing the churn of employees in and out of the door has become more challenging for organizations. Here are some ways leaders can lower their attrition rate. 

How Companies Can Lower Attrition

Employee attrition rates may be skyrocketing across the board, but that doesn't mean that there's nothing an organization can do to lower them. Sanket Shah, co-owner and CEO of online video maker InVideo, said employers should aim to satisfy the two most common needs employees have: remuneration and purpose. 

“Incentives, bonuses, hikes, etc., can fulfill both these objectives," he said. "Additionally, it is important to keep them motivated with their work by making your team realize the importance of their presence in the organization." Get-togethers and all-hands meetings are good ways to set and reinforce purpose. 

Organizational culture can also be a reason behind employee departures. Joe Coletta, founder and CEO at IT and engineering recruiting firm 180 Engineering, said management should seek to address any potential workforce issue as early as possible to prevent them from getting worse. Having regular informal check-ins to gather feedback and listen to employee concerns can reveal opportunities to improve and show that leadership cares. 

Related Article: Make Your Organization a Place Worth Staying

Making Changes to the Hiring Process

There are many ways companies can lower their attrition rates, three of which begin at the hiring stage:

1. Don’t Overpromise

Some companies make big promises to potential hires — and that can backfire when they don't materialize. Shah said hiring managers should be careful not to hype company objectives or remunerations. “An over-promising attitude during the hiring process will get you employees, but would not help retain them,” he said.

Related Article: How Your Company Can Avoid the Great Resignation

2. Get to Know Candidates

During the interview process, hiring managers should get to know the candidate well, not just the skills and competencies the individual has but also the type of person they are and whether they might fit with company culture. “A candidate can have all the right skills but hold goals or values that do not align with the company and would likely result in them quitting within a couple of years,” said Coletta.

In addition to learning about the person, this gives companies an opportunity to tailor the employee experience to better fit employee interests and make them more likely to stay in the long run. "If you find out that the employee is quite introverted, you might want to go that extra mile to help them feel accepted by their co-workers so that they don’t feel isolated,” said Coletta.

Related Article: HR Leaders Share Their Employee Retention Strategies Amid the Great Resignation

3. Make a Good First Impression

An often overlooked but still critical element to keeping a new hire happy and turning them into a long-hauler is making a good first impression. Serkan Honeine, head of revenue at Certn, an agency specialized in employee screening and background checks, said the front line of candidate experience is often background screening, which can, unfortunately, be an unpleasant experience. When this happens, welcome packs and swag are rarely sufficient to counter the bad taste of a long interview and background check process. 

The Great Resignation is happening but companies still have many opportunities to help their organizations lower their attrition rates. And at a time when employees have more power than ever and can pivot to a new job as they see fit, going the extra mile to provide a positive employee experience is often the differentiator for successful enterprises.

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