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826,000 Americans Just Quit Their Jobs – How to Reduce Attrition at Your Company

In an ideal world for employers, people sign on for a job, are perfectly happy with what they’re doing, and never feel the need to look elsewhere for work. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.

The number of men and women who voluntarily left their jobs per month between April and June 2018, was 826,000 according the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The question is, why are they leaving?

Why People Are Leaving YOUR Company.

There’s a common misconception that people only leave positions to make more money. Surprisingly, Bamboo HR reported these to be the top three reasons for workforce attrition:

  1. Advancement
  2. Work/life balance
  3. Money

For me, I ended up leaving one job due to my work-life balance going waaay out of alignment with 70+ hour work weeks and phone calls about work while out on medical leave from major surgery.

Another member of the Thriving Ambition, team was on a contract job that moved to mandatory overtime for nearly six months while getting strung along about his contract status before resigning and finding work elsewhere.

Employees leave companies, it’s just part of the business. But what is it costing your business?

True Cost of Attrition.

According to Recruiter Box, high attrition rates mean huge expenses in terms of time due to lost productivity and money from hiring costs. These include advertising fees, recruiter salary and benefits, sign on bonuses, travel expenses for the applicant and staff, employee referral bonuses, relocation costs and third-party recruiter fees.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) states these turnover expenses add up to between 50% and 250% of that employee’s annual salary and benefits. This number is multiplied for each employee it loses.

Based on a Human Capital Benchmarking Report from SHRM, the average involuntary turnover rate is 12% annually. This means, for every 100 people in your company, 12 of them will leave.


Here’s five ways to reduce that number:

#1 Trust Your Team.

Apply the words of Lee Iacocca, former CEO of Chrysler, “I hire people brighter than me and then I get out of their way.” If they’ve proven themselves in tough situations already, allow them the freedom to make decisions to feel that their contributions mean something. Remember, you didn’t spend all of that time sourcing and interviewing to hire the best talent for them to run every decision by you first. In other words, avoid being a micromanager.

#2 No Working Vacations.

Bamboo HR reported that working during off hours were deal breakers for 18% men and 29% women who were surveyed. Since this time will not be reimbursed by the company if they work during their paid time off, honor their down time by instituting a no working during vacation policy to encourage your team to unplug and enjoy their time off.

#3 Flexible Working Arrangements and Schedules.

Allow people to work from home if the work you do allows it. Obviously, people working in a secure area, can’t take their work home. If an employee has a sick kid or needs to be at home for the cable guy, allow some flexibility on working arrangements.

#4 Lack of Growth or Promotion Opportunities.

As a manager, you can’t always guarantee one of your employees a promotion or a chance to work outside of their current role due to a number of factors. Performance of the company is tied to having the ability to promote. The opportunity to move around needs to be justified by having an opportunity to solve a large problem. Be transparent about these opportunities and avoid stringing employees along at all costs.

#5 Unpaid Time Off.

Typically, people take time off to pursue passion projects such as humanitarian projects in third-world countries or to learn a foreign language, but they know it’ll take more vacation time than they have available. Whenever possible, allow your employees to take unpaid time off. Naturally, they should give you as much advance notice as possible so you can backfill their role while they’re out.

No organization is perfect, but implementing some of these ideas will help you retain your staff and reduce attrition numbers that will save your company thousands (if not millions) in the long run.

Keep the best & the brightest at your company.

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