Attrition can be referred to as the voluntary and involuntary shrinkage in the number of employees working in an organization (Nalila, 2012). It creates a vacuum space when trained employees leave an organization taking the key skills, knowledge and business relationships with them. The problem of attrition is faced by companies across various sectors and it becomes a manager’s day to day task to reduce employee turnover. Some of the major costs associated to increased turnover are an increase in the cost of training, learning time for a new employee, inefficiency, revenue and productivity loss (Shashikala & Ravindra, 2013). It is important to control attrition because when an employee leaves an organization, it indicates a clue about chances for high employee turnover in future impacting job satisfaction, employee engagement and also organizations ability for attracting talented people in the firm (Arokiasamy, 2013).
Behind every problem there exists a reason for its cause. According to Garner (2008), the major five factors that lead to attrition are people and communication, various work assignments that are allotted to them, lack of career opportunities, the infrastructure of the company & the compensation offered to them, and the nature of the company itself. According to Griffith et.al (2000), there is a direct relationship between the job satisfaction and organizational commitment. An employee should be selected in to the firm through true recruitment practices, how they are managed, lack of appreciation at work place and even absence of a true compensation system. Good workers often tend to leave their jobs because of occupational stress (Ongori, 2007)
The situation of the economy and the opportunities for getting new jobs are also highly influential on employees decision making (Arokiasamy, 2013). There is a change in the lifestyle and environment of preferred by the employees. Monotony does not please them and try to break away from a monotonous job, where as management in most cases treats them as commodities, trying to make a person work for two. Increased opportunities and expectations decrease loyalty among the employees (Lalitha, 2012).
Source: (Naila, 2012)
When the special case of UAE is considered, employee burnout is one of the major problems detected by the employers. About 63% of the directors cite that workload is a major reason for employee burnout. They also have a problem with long working hours/overtime (57%), economic pressures (37%), and lack of ability to handle both professional and personal commitments (33%), lack of recognition (29%), higher and unachievable expectations (28%), operational inefficiencies (21%), bad relationship with colleagues and managers (12%), and lack of a departmental strategy and clear and defined business (8%) (Perotte, 2012).
It is a fact that the directors do not have direct control over the attrition rate in a given company. But according to Perrotte (2012), there are certain warning signs that may indicate the chances of rise in the attrition rate including coming late frequently for work, becoming less productive, disagreeing with the managers and colleagues more frequently, becoming disconnected from work, increase in leaves, and outbursts in company that are both negative and emotional.
It is extremely important to take make efficient strategies to reduce attrition in a given organization. Some of the effective retention strategies involve change in practices of hiring, proper branding of the employer, managing talents, proper employee engagement practices, and conducting an exit interview to understand the reasons behind the employee leaving the company (Lalitha, 2012).
Fulfilling different levels in the Maslow’s hierarchy by satisfying various needs of the employees in different levels will help to contain attrition. The basic needs that can be fulfilled are physiological needs, safety needs, needs of love, affection and belongingness, need for esteem, and then self actualization (Maslow, 2013). According to Negi (2013), the organization should have a corporate social responsibility towards the employees and should implement the Hertzberg’s two factor theory concentrating on both motivators and hygiene factors. Managers should be trained to use their emotional intelligence to control ones emotions and then channelize energies and potentials, in a positive direction so that there will be enhanced productivity in an organization (Negi, 2013).
Attrition is now a major issue that is faced by organizations across various spheres. To conclude the reason for attrition, it can be said that attrition is a result of the non-fulfillment of the needs and expectations of the employees. This need varies from employee to employee and the managers in a firm should be proficient enough and given adequate resources to analyze, understand and make decisions depending on the nature of the group he/she is guiding.
Tackling voluntary turnover is essential and for this Allen (2006) has come up with a voluntary turnover model to understand the process of voluntary attrition. When there are attractive options for the employees in comparison to where they work, employee satisfaction becomes a major issue especially those who are highly valued and are in demand.
Source: (Allen, 2006)
Considering the turnover path in an organization, it can be four types including dissatisfaction, better alternatives, plans and no plans (Allen, 2006). Companies should form different strategies to retain then. Following table represents strategies that can be undertaken for different turnover pathways.
Source: (Allen, 2008)
Decision making plays an important role in retaining the employees. Planning to control turnover rates in an organization should start from portraying the image of a good employer, recruitment of the right resourceful employees into the organization, training and developing them according to the culture of the organization, talent management process, proper succession planning, and in case the employee still leaves exit interview to use the information to further improve the procedures. This requires a retention management plan on the basis of which decision should be taken. Following figure demonstrates a retention management plan.
Source: (Allen, 2008)
Retention of the employees can be easily controlled by organizations through embedding them into organizations using socialization (Allen, 2006). This is because there are chances that some special organizational and individual factors will have an influence on organizational commitment and job satisfaction that usually initiates withdrawal (Allen et.al, 2010). Following are some of the communication strategies for embedding employees into an organization.
Source: (Allen, 2008).
Following is a model that is required for planning and communicating a retention plan.
Source: (Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, 2008)
The importance of succession planning cannot be overstressed in any given organization. This is a continuous process and the following figure depicts the process of communication in succession planning. Succession planning ensures that the organization will be planned enough to deal with emergency layoffs and resignations. Following figure represents various stages in succession planning.
Source: (opm, 2005)
Communication is essential in an organization to make sure that there is a balance between the expectations of the employees and the employers. This process of communication is divided among various hierarchies across departments to ensure proper tests, interviews, tests, and surveys are attended to on time by the employees.
The success in the program that is adopted by the company can be analyzed through the reduction in the attrition rate. The formulae for attrition rate is ((no. of attrition*100)/ (Actual Employees+ New joined))/100 (Naila, 2012). A decrease in this rate represents reduction in the employee turnover rate of the company.
To conclude, it can be said that attrition is a problem that is faced by organization across different industries. Though employees are different from each other, their needs are categorized into categories by researchers. Being sensitive to the employees and offering them an array of opportunities helps management to retain them and keep their talent pool intact.
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