How to Combat High Employee Attrition Rates — An HR’s Perspective

Updated on Apr 20th, 2021

At Matellio, we believe that a company’s true power and potential lie in its employees. To achieve excellence and provide top-notch services to its customers, a company needs to create employee-centric work culture to achieve maximum employee satisfaction and by extension, minimum attrition rate. 

Attrition is the process by which employees in a company voluntarily leave the institution, either by resignation or retirement. 

With so many opportunities out there for talented people, HR execs are having a hard time maintaining lower attrition rates. And with the gig-economy and work from home culture becoming the new normal almost overnight, new vistas have opened up and companies are working hard to make sure that they don’t lose their in-house talent. And since a significant portion of the workforce these days is millennials, who are known for job-hopping, companies have to go the extra mile to keep their employees motivated in the company’s vision. 

Every time an employee resigns, it puts a strain on the workings of a company. “The loss is multi-faceted,” says Reena Bhansali, VP- Human Resources at Matellio. “Losing an employee causes a lot of disruption and mounts a lot of financial pressure as well. There is a loss of shared knowledge every time we lose an employee and the hours that go into filling a vacancy. Suddenly, the well-oiled machinery of the company is thrown into a state of disarray. Projects go on hold due to lack of resources or you have to bring someone in from a different department, or even from outside the company, for the time being, so that the work can go on. And during all this mayhem and chaos, the company’s efficiency and productivity take a hit and that shows in the form of lost revenue and the additional cost of hiring a new employee and training him.” 

To combat our own attrition problem, over the years Matellio has tried many different approaches in an attempt to make employees feel valued and motivated. And gradually, by employing industry-defining tactics, we have been able to decrease our attrition rate from 35% in 2015-16 to 13% in 2020-21. This is a significant achievement if we take into consideration the ongoing pandemic and the sudden surge in the churn rate since the WFH culture has enabled people to explore new opportunities. 

To make sure that you retain your talent in these times, you have to look at the job that you are offering from the perspective of a job seeker. We are living in an era of competitive pay. But that is not all there is to it. Employees are looking for a healthy work-life balance, they are looking for a positive and all-inclusive, and bias-free work environment where new and bold ideas are appreciated. It is no longer just about who offers the biggest paycheck, it is about all the incentives and perks that they can get. Employees really want to make a difference and want to feel needed and appreciated.

It is clear that a modern employee has a lot of options and is looking for more than financial gains, which was not the case a decade ago. 

So, when we asked Reena Bhansali about how a company can acclimatize to this new era and lower its attrition rate, with a flourish of hands, she said: “Well, there are a lot of things that you can do. But the process truly starts with hiring the right people. You can no longer hire someone who can fit the mold of a model employee. You need people who break boundaries, risk takers who are willing to grow and are team players. Also, your salaries have to be competitive. But if you can’t compete with the salaries in the market, offer your employees incentives— give them reasons to work with you. Then, once they are onboard, conduct regular performance evaluations and unofficial check-ins, make them feel that your company really cares for them. It doesn’t even have to be a grand gesture; a simple care-package, and that is something we have done over the past year ourselves, would do wonders for your employee’s morale and increase his loyalty towards your company. And finally, make sure that you listen to their grievances and not just work-related, their personal life problems as well. In many respects, a company needs to function like a family where you care for each other beyond the confines of what your job dictates you to do.

“Also, employees nowadays look for a good work-life balance and take their wellness really seriously. So overburdening them with tasks will surely turn them against you. But at the same time, employees want to be challenged to ensure personal growth. So make sure that you keep things interesting for them and throw new and interesting projects their way.” 

It is true that millennials look for more than just big paychecks while accepting a job. They look for a connection and a vision that they can share with the company— they want their work to matter and a room to grow. And if a company is able to give that to its workforce, then attrition will never be something they have to worry about. 

“Believe in people, share your vision, and make your team a part of decision making, give them their career paths and treat them fair! Show them that they matter!” Reena concludes.

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