The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) shared an article by Daniel Sonsino titled Attrition is Obsolete. In it he discussed the very necessary topic of attrition. Often so many still consider this as a mark of the good. Even me! Why? Because in my capacity as head of Human Resources for a major international pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, boasted of less than 5 percent turnover for years! Wow! What an achievement!
- People are changing jobs more frequently. staying with a job from lifetime, then over 4 years, to now less than 3 years.
- Millennials are restless. Over 60 percent are open to new job opportunities
- Employment relationships are changing. 40 percent of the U.S. workforce is made up of continent workers including temps, self-employed, and part-timers
- Talent is in charge. People have more career options and leverage.
Reducing Attrition: What to do?
Reducing attrition rates is like keeping ice solid in the hot sun…it’s futile. People leave for reasons including spouse’s new job, family care-giving responsibilities, or lower cost of living.
Sonsino suggested that employers focus on:
- Accepting that you will not retain all your employees
- Focus your efforts on the employees who are most important to retain (i.e. those with the knowledge, skills and abilities critical to your business).
- Build an alumni network so you can keep track of those who leave. Attract them back when the time is right.
- Revise HR policies that make it harder for former workers to return. Welcome back boomerang employees with potentially continued vacation, stock options etc.
- Establish shared accountability. Partner with other executives and when employees leave, counter with an offer letter good for up to 2 years in the future.
- Devise a workforce composition strategy. Devise programs to attract to full-time status those contingent workers critical to your business. In exchange, also do the reverse. Move some full-time workers, to contingent worker status.
Does the above bring an Exceptional level of curiosity and discomfort to your business? Indeed it is cause for concern. If you need help with shifting up your workforce, consider an external partner. It will be worth it.