Workforce Attrition Rates Have Increased by 90%. Know Why & How to Fix It.

Current conditions aside, despite robust job numbers over the past couple of years, more and more organizations are having to contend with high attrition rates. Some statistics to consider:

  • In 2018, over forty million US employees left their jobs voluntarily.
  • This represents a near 90% increase over the course of the past decade.
  • 3 in 4 of the employees who left could have potentially been retained if the situation had been addressed accordingly.
  • The total cost of such employee losses in the US is over 600 billion.

Turnover is expensive, there’s no getting around this fact. The average cost of onboarding a new hire alone ranges from $3000 to $5000; this of course does not account for the hours spent recruiting, interviewing, and then the subsequent training that follows. Money is also lost in the early phases of a new hire as productivity diminishes given the employee’s initial lack of skill/knowledge and their need to be “brought up to speed.”

Attrition is preventable in many instances. The focus needs to be on user segmentation from the very start. Rather than inundating new hires with company-centric materials and information, instead, managers and leaders need to be actively engaging new talent in an effort to more effectively develop targeted employee training and engagement strategies. They need to be finding out all they can about the new hire so that they can create more individualized learning experiences.

Furthermore, employers have to be able to pinpoint the true underlying causes of attrition. Many leaders focus on the wrong factors and thereby lose out on any hope of retaining employees. Again, in nearly eighty percent of turnover cases, employee departures were preventable. In order to better understand and fight attrition, a data aligned intervention seems to be key. Meaning, the ability to gather and monitor data in relation to each hire/employee leads to an effectual segmented approach to employee training and engagement which ultimately allows for increased personalization efforts. Increased personalization efforts translate to more productive and motivated workers over the long term.

People Analytics Drives Employee Retention

It’s not enough to just throw time, energy, and money at a problem and hope it goes away, especially in the case of high attrition rates. In some instances, companies are seeing near 150% annual attrition.

Having partnered with many great companies through the years, we’ve seen some surprising statistics as far as attrition is concerned. The data collected and analyzed internally (via platform usage), as well as aggregated customer data in various industries (in regard to those strategies that work best for employee retention), reveals several of the most common pain points found when it comes to employee retention along with the best attrition prevention approaches.  

Recruiting stage Hiring stage Onboarding stage Talent Growth & Engagement stage
45% of candidates are lost on average after initial job application submitted30% of candidates are lost on average during the hiring process10% average attrition during onboarding  15% average attrition during the first 180-day period 
Companies have a very high attrition rate after a candidate applies due to general uncertainty about the company and its culture. Uncertainty surrounding actual job expectations. No real relationship with the company. The candidate’s contact is limited to a recruiter only. 
Employee still left lingering and is thus uncertain about job responsibilities. No real effort to make the connection to a new hire. Employee has a lack of understanding concerning the company’s vision.
Information overload. Employee is inundated with information and consequently experiences confusion. Information they receive is too technical, they feel overwhelmed. There is little to no knowledge reinforcement. General lack of community left feeling isolated from company culture.

Falling into a routine can be a difficult adjustment. Stressors arise with conflicts between work and family life. Motivation wanes. Continuous employee training and engagement strategies lack a reward/recognition component at scale.
Develop an inviting experience for potential applicants, highlighting the uniqueness of your brand along with your brand story and company values. Engage the applicant and work to create a relationship from that early moment.
Allow for an automatic connection to their future manager so they can begin building that relationship. Foster increased connection to the company via sharing social vision and sustainability efforts among other initiatives.

Provide quizzes to gauge knowledge retention. Utilize people analytics to help create communities for employees based upon geography, departments, and roles to drive early relationship building.  Automate the feedback collection process and act upon it just in time.
Integrate a unique to your company culture of rewards and recognition and make it scalable yet personalized. Make it a point monthly to show employees how close they are to their learning and performance improvement goals. 

Take a Data-Driven Approach to Employee Training and Engagement

Obviously, to fight attrition given such high percentages, strategic, data-driven approaches are required. By understanding, analyzing, and putting to use all the available employee data, companies can more relevantly group talent in accordance with 360-degree performance metric views of each employee. This then enables the supervisors to focus more on individualized coaching solutions. The key here is to understand and identify problems by way of collecting real-time feedback, analyzing live performance data,  monitoring training results, and other metrics. Such will enable leaders to recognize which hires are prepared to go forward and which need remediation–all efforts leading to a more valuable and comfortable experience for new employees.

Also, by integrating a personalized training approach managers get to know new hires much more efficiently; they come to understand more about an individual’s goals, daily routines, and perspective on various issues that arise early on. This in turn fosters a more inclusive feeling for the employee. Creating that feeling of community and inclusiveness is the key to employee retention. Interested to learn more about the best practices of fighting attrition? Sign up for the upcoming demo.