Attrition is one word that has come into frequent use of late. In most cases, it describes people leaving organizations. We have what is called an attrition rate, which is the figure associated with number of people leaving over a given period. I suspect many companies routinely mention attrition rates in different departments in their balance sheets. If the rate increases compared to a year back, board members and senior executives feel compelled to huddle in meetings and discuss ways to combat the problem.
In tech companies and those that are involved in catering to outsourced works, attrition rate is perceptively more. The same goes in other sunrise sectors like retailing, but comparatively less in traditional sectors like banking. I’m saying this just out of what I gather from various people. In absence of proper surveys, I may as well be wrong.
But if I’ve guessed it right, here are my observations:
- Attrition rate is considerably more among non-core employees. Take core employees as those without whom companies cannot run (for example, an engineer in a construction company or a programmer in a software company or a doctor in a hospital), and non-core employees as ones who form the support group. Without sufficient non-core employees, a company may still run, albeit limping.
Since traditionally companies take more care of core employees, showering them with privileges, non-core employees feel left out and are therefore more prone to leave.
- If a company is not making solid profits to make its employees proud, they feel less secured and become easy targets to be poached upon by rival companies. Here, even if a company incurs loss or does badly, which is a common business phenomenon, it helps if the top bosses leave their corner rooms and speak to the employees to instill confidence among them.
- A lot depends on how a company is perceived by general public. A good corporate image is helpful but not sufficient. It requires a lot to nurture and maintain a good image, while just a trivial issue can make a dent to it.
- Transparency in company’s working will have to be such that employees have recourse to any information, save the most important ones, about the company. According to me, the better half of transparency is grievance redressing. It is very important that employees’ grievances are given due weight and consideration instead of brushing them under the carpet.
- An employee’s responsibility has to be crystal clear. There cannot be any ambiguity here. If he or she has to multitask, it needs to be explained clearly. In addition, a greater flexibility in approaching a work and allowing him/her to take decisions are always welcome.
- Even veterans need training now and then for the simple reason that concepts of work are always changing, more so in today’s digital era. Lack of knowledge gradually takes the shape feeling left out, and no guessing there what happens then.
These and similar other issues came up in discussions I today had with some industry people in an informal talk. The point is I’m not an HR person, I only write specialized reports based on accounts given to me. But then, I believe much of what I said above does not need a genius to understand. They are very commonplace and easily comprehensible.
Trouble arises when we fail to strike a balance when we work together. Haven’t I missed mentioning teamwork? It’s that trait that helps us adding our individual abilities. Companies need this, whether on shop floor or in board room.
That more or less sums up today’s job scenario, and perhaps some pointers as to how attrition rates can be lessened, if not arrested altogether.