Manager in a checkerboard shirt in a meeting with employees
Manager in a checkerboard shirt in a meeting with employees

With the Great Resignation constantly making headlines in the news, you might have wondered how to keep your staff working smoothly.

Staff attrition and staff turnover are two of the most costly threats to businesses today. Preventing them means getting to the root cause of why they happen. We’re going to discuss this complex issue and help you learn how to prevent both below.

What Is Staff Attrition?

This term frequently pops up in business meetings all around the world. After all, workers are the lifeblood of your company, and losing them creates a significant ripple effect.

It’s unreasonable to expect an employee to stay around for decades. Staff attrition is a term for the natural process of employees leaving due to life factors. These factors can include (but certainly aren’t limited to):

  • Moving to a new country
  • Getting married 
  • Starting a family
  • Retiring
  • Promotion to a new position
  • Being hospitalized
  • Passing away 

Staff attrition is simply the result of life and all of its curveballs. This factor can even be a good thing for your business if you’re attempting to shave down your workforce. That said, there are a few downsides to be aware of…

Employee Attrition Rate

Your employee attrition rate will significantly impact your business and its ability to remain successful. 

A high employee attrition rate is often attributed to coincidence. You can’t control which ways the winds are blowing. That said, certain business practices can increase the chances of employee attrition. 

If you have a lot of older employees, it’s likely they’ll retire more quickly than younger employees. Does that mean you shouldn’t hire older workers? Not at all. Recent studies have found older workers often stay with their jobs out of passion and commitment. 


Manager in a black coat discussing business with three employees
Manager in a black coat discussing business with three employees

The Pros and Cons of Employee Attrition

You may be feeling a little mixed right now. Should you avoid employee attrition or not? 

The function of employee attrition is for your workers to communicate their needs. Let’s take a look at what those needs are and how they affect your business.

Reduced Labor Costs

The pandemic has put significant strain on businesses today. Staff attrition can help you reduce labor costs and keep your finances out of the red zone.

When an employee leaves, you can put that saved money toward other aspects of your business such as:

  • Marketing
  • Bonuses
  • Supplies

Amicable Departure

It’s natural to want closure when moving to a new chapter of your life. As a result, staff turnover is often viewed more negatively than staff attrition. 

Staff attrition is usually related to life events such as getting married, having children, or retiring. This means the departure is less likely to be over such topics as:

  • Team disagreements
  • Mistreatment
  • Lack of benefits

Reduced Workforce Size

Reducing your workforce can be highly beneficial. As the adage goes: you want to be a lean, mean machine.

Reducing your workforce is a valuable way to increase team engagement. When you have too many points of contact, it’s challenging to form meaningful relationships that lead to a higher quality of work.

Potential To Be Costly

Sadly, staff attrition isn’t always a good thing. It’s often very costly to replace an employee, meaning this temporary set-back can have serious ripple effects.

Did you know the employee attrition rate is nearly 12% these days? 

Reducing staff turnover starts with pointing out weak spots in your business. We at Visaya pride ourselves on bringing out the potential of your employees.

What Is Staff Turnover?

While staff attrition is usually due to natural causes and tends to be warmly received, staff turnover is viewed more negatively. This term refers to a high volume of employees leaving a business for involuntary reasons.

An employee leaving for a voluntary reason may include details such as choosing a better-paying job or retiring. An involuntary reason is often more troublesome and can cost a lot of money in the long run. These reasons look like:

  • Poor performance
  • Harassment
  • Truancy

Advantages and Disadvantages of Staff Turnovers

Just like staff attrition, staff turnovers have a blend of good and bad features. Some employees aren’t a good fit for your business model.

If you have an argumentative, self-centered, or tardy employee, keeping them around will negatively affect team morale. While it will be expensive to replace them and train a new hire, your decision will be worth it in the long run.

Two women talking at a table with a laptop, papers, and a pen
Two women talking at a table with a laptop, papers, and a pen

Tips to Reduce Attrition and Turnovers

With so many ups and downs, it’s frustrating to decide what to do next. Reducing attrition and turnover entirely isn’t possible, but you can shave down the numbers with precise action.

Hone in on Red Flags

The function of an interview is to see if an employee will be a good fit for the business’s future goals. Make sure you hone in on red flags as early as possible so nobody’s time is wasted.

Instead of asking cute questions like, “What is your favorite animal?”, go for more pointed inquiries about a candidate’s experience. Give them space to show their worth and interest in the business. If they provide passive or shallow answers, they might not be a good pick.

Review Past Turnover Rates

Why have employees left in the past? While you can’t predict everything in your business, patterns are a prime way to hone in on key information.

Does your employee turnover seem to be related to the commute? How about a lack of benefits or poor communication? Record this information and distribute it to your hiring team: this introspection could save you thousands of dollars down the line.


Improve Communication

Poor communication is a fragile foundation for a business. A recent survey found poor communication skills to be one of the biggest contributors to project failure.

What does poor communication look like? Here are a few details to keep in mind:

  • Make sure everyone is using the same communication tools (such as Slack or Asana)
  • Encourage limited points of contact so information isn’t lost in the shuffle
  • Reduce harmful elements such as data silos


Final Word

Staff attrition and staff turnover are a natural part of running a business. When they cost so much money to fix, it certainly doesn’t feel that way.

The Great Attrition doesn’t have to be the downfall of your business. While preventing staff attrition is difficult due to its inherently unpredictable nature, reducing staff turnover can be done in a few ways. You can spot red flags early, review past turnover rates, and improve communication.

Usher in a new change for your business. Reach out to us to improve client engagement, employee communication, and more.