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What Is ‘Regrettable Attrition’ And How Can HR Reduce It?

Monday, April 24, 2023

What Is ‘Regrettable Attrition’ And How Can HR Reduce It?

Every organization has that one great employee it's never willing to lose. However, things happen, and your cherished employee can resign anytime from work, which is hurtful and regrettable. This is called employee attrition.

Employee attrition is one of the most common HR challenges. Companies with high employee turnover rates need to understand and work on analyzing what they are not doing right. Many employees often leave your company because of the company management. However, other common reasons why new hires and existing employees leave also include toxic company culture, lack of professional growth and career development opportunities, and poor working conditions.

As a good employer, you should bring about change through communication, encourage a work-life balance, and support employees' career growth.  

This article helps you understand what regrettable attrition is, and how HR can reduce it. If your valuable employees have been resigning from work willingly, this guide will help you understand why this happens and how to work on improving employee retention.

What is Regrettable Attrition?

Regrettable attrition occurs when an employee leaves your organization willingly. In comparison, non-regrettable attrition 0ccurs when your company's HR leaders fire or lay off an employee.

There are plenty of reasons why valued employees leave their workplace. Employee departures can be caused by poor job satisfaction, toxic workplace culture, or personal reasons, among others.

Regrettable turnover can make the company unsuccessful when top talents leave unannounced. Doing an exit interview is advisable to know what's causing them to leave that early or unplanned. It will also give your company information that might help reduce voluntary turnover and keep the attrition rate low.

Signs of Regrettable Attrition

Your job as an HR professional or manager is to oversee the company's management. While doing this, there are notable signs you can identify an employee who is yet to opt out unexpectedly.

The symptoms of regrettable attrition to look out for include:

Changes in Employee Engagement Level

A happy employee’s engagement level is always high and commendable. Such an employee is in the right mental and emotional state to work and freely engages with others. They also remain connected to their team and organization.

Additionally, engaged employees talk well about their employer or organization, love their jobs, and work extra hard to help the company achieve its goals.

However, an employee about to resign tends to have negative opinions about the employer and lacks commitment to their responsibilities or position. If you are not careful with disengaged employees, their poor performance can influence other workers around them, affecting your organization's productivity.

You can note this difference through employee engagement surveys, which makes the employee answer certain questions about their dissatisfaction.

Reduced completion of employee development plans

The employee development plan helps employees grow their strengths and skills improving their performance. Such employees are more engaged and productive.

But a worker who wants to leave your organization can fail to work towards the professional development plan to realize their career growth. They might lack interest in learning new skills, getting promotions, or updating their professional development plan to match their current position.

Less Volunteerism in Workplace Projects or Activities

Most employees willingly participate in voluntary programs your organization plans for without a second thought. A happy and motivated employee can also lend a helping hand within the organization in a certain department to see it excel without expecting payments.

It could be that your marketing department is failing, but the employee is a good marketing expert. When they realize this, they will not have a second thought. Instead, chip in and help to their best.

However, an employee not interested in the company anymore will not bother about the projects or activities within. They might prefer to sit and watch from a distance instead of helping like before.

How to Reduce Regrettable Attrition

Since regrettable attrition has negative consequences, your organization should look for ways to reduce it. Some of the possible ways to minimize regrettable attrition include:

Work on the Employees-Managers Communication

For any organization to succeed, there must be good communication between employees and employers. Good communication[1] allows the employees to express themselves freely and give feedback on various things affecting them. It also prevents misunderstandings and conflicts.

It is advisable to plan for one-on-one meetings to discuss various things affecting the employees socially and career-wise. You should also show the workers they are valued and cared for through praise and acknowledgment. Also, introduce the best communication tools[2] that enable you to see the workers' progress and address concerns before matters grow out of hand.

Encourage Work-Life Balance

The current generation of workers prefers working where there is work-life balance culture. Some even prefer remote working to spend more time with family and friends. So if your company does not offer flexible working schedules, it can prompt the workers to look for other accommodative organizations.

It is better to encourage work-life balance to avoid this. You can introduce flexible shifts or collaboration tools[3] so that your workers can work at favorable times or shifts. Alternatively, you can major in looking at a worker's work quality rather than their log-in time. Also, encourage employees to go for leave and interact with friends and family.

Identify and Analyze the Reason for Regrettable Attrition and Work on It

It is possible to reduce regrettable attrition after understanding why the employees are leaving and working on it. According to a study, over 70% of employees leave an organization[4] because of the corporate culture. So, go through the employee data to identify the organization's culture and areas to improve.

You can conduct surveys to know what your employees want and what they feel about the current organizational culture. Ensure the employees are fully engaged in their work and feel valued to avoid regrettable attrition.

Encourage and Support Career Growth

According to a study, about 68% of workers quit their job for lack of career growth[5]. So, if you want to reduce turnover and retain your employees for a long time, encourage them to grow their careers. Remember, employees who feel stagnant in their career path or see no chance for career advancement may plan an exit.

You can encourage the employees to enroll in various courses and engagement workshops and pay for them. Job training can also help employees feel motivated and challenged to keep working hard.

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