Staff attrition 

WorkBuzz helps employers understand staff attrition and gather real-time feedback from employees to find ways to improve employee engagement.

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What is staff attrition?

Staff attrition is the gradual and natural loss of employees as a result of things like ill health, retirement and employees leaving voluntarily to go to a new employer. Staff leaving can be great for employers and employees, but high rates of staff attrition can be indicative of wider issues within an organisation. For example, if staff are voluntarily leaving a company to go to a new employer then there may be issues in the workplace that are making them want to leave. 

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What can staff attrition tell employers about their employees?


Staff attrition can have organisational benefits. For example, an employer may wish to bring in a new person for a role with a higher skill level than the person who has left or may not want to replace outgoing employees at all. In this sense, staff attrition can be used as a method of lowering costs. Unfortunately, staff attrition can also be an indicator of a company that is struggling to keep staff happy. If more employees are retiring or leaving an employer than new employees are coming in, it poses several questions. Who picks up the additional workload? Are there any skills gaps left when experienced employees depart? Is there enough ongoing work to support employees and offer job security? In most cases, high rates of staff attrition have wider implications for managing the workforce and suggest broader issues within the organisation. 


Employees like to feel valued, recognised and appreciated at work. If staff attrition rates are high or staff turnover is a problem, then employers must question the reasons why staff are leaving. Are employees being compensated adequately and receiving a fair wage? Are they engaged at work and keen to pursue opportunities for professional development with their employer? Ultimately, high staff attrition rates could be the result of one, or many problems in the workplace. Finding out the cause of staff attrition can help employers improve any issues that may be driving such problems.

What can employers do to reduce staff attrition?


Employers need to find out how staff feel about their jobs. Only by understanding employee experiences at work, can companies look to find the common reasons for staff leaving. There is usually more than just one single issue in play, but without knowing what is causing them, what can employers do to lower rates of staff attrition?


Train managers

Managers play a very important role in a company and they need to know how to get the best out of their colleagues. Bad managers are one of the most frequently cited reasons for employees leaving a company. With proper training, managers can motivate employees and boost their performance in the workplace. For example, they can learn how and when they should recognise employees for their achievements and performance. Managers should also be able to give and receive constructive feedback so employees feel confident to voice their ideas and help find solutions. Employees who feel valued and appreciated in the workplace are more productive and less likely to leave.


Benchmark salaries and remuneration

It is essential to check what competitors are paying their employees in order to remain competitive. Underpaid staff are more likely to leave for a higher paying job. With this in mind, if you are paying lower salaries than the competition, then it is likely that you will end up losing your best talent. The same can be said for employee benefits like holiday entitlements, private medical insurance and pensions.

Benchmarking lets you find out whether or not employees are satisfied with their salaries and packages. If they are not, then it may be a good idea to review the packages on offer and find ways to keep your employees happy.


Look at the competition

Competition for the top employees is fierce and employers are experiencing new challenges since more workplaces now allow employees to work from home with hybrid work models. Of course, not all companies can offer working from home. However, if there is potential for staff to perform their duties at home some of the time, then employers should consider adopting more flexible schedules. As with salaries and benefits packages, it is a good idea to look at what competitors offer their staff to get an idea of how attractive you are as an employer.


Try to promote from within

When a skills gap appears in a company, then promoting employees from within is often a great idea for several reasons. Companies that develop their talent are likely to see employees being motivated to work harder because they enjoy the challenge and there is a chance that they will be promoted. It also shows employees that the company is performing well and gives them comfort that their jobs are secure with potential for growth. Consider ways to incentivise employees to perform above and beyond the call of duty and also ensure you are offering opportunities for development. The process has to be supported by the employer, but companies who invest in their people typically see better engagement and find it easier to retain their best talent.

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How can employers address issues with staff attrition?

There are many issues that can affect staff attrition. It is important to understand how staff truly feel about their employment and the workplace. If there are trends in the reasons why staff are leaving, then employers can look to improve the root of these problems.


Employers need to look at the long-term health of their employees. Long-term employees are great for companies, but healthy long-term employees are much more productive. Looking after staff happiness and wellbeing is one way to keep good people for longer periods of time. It also has positive impacts on productivity too. Experienced staff are invaluable, but if a company has a complacent workforce, then bringing in new people to work alongside existing staff can have many benefits. New people bring new ideas and new ways of doing things. They are also generally keen to learn which can be great for bridging skills gaps before they appear.


Improve as an employer

Finding ways to improve as an employer will help enhance the workplace for employees and increase productivity at the same time. Simple measures like ensuring that the workplace is comfortable, or making sure that employees’ health and safety are prioritised, are impactful ways to address issues with attrition. When people feel valued and looked after, they tend to display better performance and will generally be more satisfied with their work life.


Understand the importance of work-life balance and mindfulness

Overworked employees will rarely be productive, and they will be more likely to resign after some time. For this reason, employers should promote a healthy work-life balance and take measures to avoid a toxic workplace. Encourage employees to practice mindfulness and find ways to manage stress at work. Breathing exercises and meditation are some common methods of practising mindfulness at work. Physical activities like yoga and pilates can help improve employee health and wellbeing, too.

How can WorkBuzz help companies reduce staff attrition?

Finding ways to reduce staff attrition and address issues around staff turnover can be tricky. Ultimately, employers need to know what staff truly think about their working life. WorkBuzz can help you gather real-time feedback from your employees. This will help you determine whether they are happy working for your company and gauge employee engagement levels.


WorkBuzz offers a flexible, simple to use, and confidential employee engagement platform which allows employers to easily gather this information. WorkBuzz have a ‘best practice’ question library that can be combined with any custom questions you feel are relevant for your workplace. Employers can create a bespoke employee survey which focuses on key issues that relate to staff attrition. Responses from the survey can then be turned into actionable insights and used to drive change in the areas that matter most to your employees.


Benchmarking is also available, so you can understand how you compare to similar organisations and competitors. This service can help you compare employee perks, salaries, and other aspects of the workplace to make sure you are in the best position to attract and retain talented staff.

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