What is Attrition?

Whether you're a beginner or an expert, you will find this Glossary useful.

Not sure what is attrition? Attrition is a term often used in human resources and talent management. The term "attriotion" is related to a process of downsizing the workforce of a company. Here is an exact definition for attrition.  

what is attrition

Attrition definition: What is attrition?

➡️ Before we begin, check out our HR guide that can help you prevent attrition: Transform your Hiring Process from Reactive to Proactive

Attrition is a gradual voluntary reduction of employees (through resignation and retirement) who are not then replaced. This menas that attrition decreases the size of the workforce.

Don't confuse the attrition defintion with turnover defintion! Employee turnover is not the same as attrition.

The difference between employee turnover and attrition definition can be boiled down to the reasons why employees leave the company. Reasons why employees leave companies can be numerous, and it is employer's job to investigate and understand the reasons.

Attrition statistics

Here are just a few reasons for attrition in HR:

attrition definition

How to calculate the attrition rate?

Attrition rate shows the rate at which employees are leaving a company.

Attrition can be calculated using this formula:

ATTRITION RATE (%)= (Number of leaves/number of employees)*100

Why is attrition important?

High attrition significantly increases costs to the company. When attrition is high, employers lose a lot of many invested into recruitment, selection, onboarding, employee training etc. 

In addition, there is also a cost associated with having positions opened resulting in lower productivity related to attrition. 

Causes for attrition

There are many causes of attrition, but here are a few most common examples of why attrition happens:

1. Unfair pay

2. Inability to grow and develop careers

3. Lack of work-life balance

4. Lack of employee recognition and awards

5. Poor management

6. Poor work conditions

7. Lack of benefits

8. Other reasons for attrition. 

How to prevent attrition?

There are many concrete strategies you can employ to prevent attrition.

To learn the best pratices for preventing attrition, check out our guide:

9 Tips for Keeping Your Best Employees !

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