Subhakar Rao Surapaneni

Investor, Sales and Marketing Pioneer, Author, Technology Champion, Philanthropist, Leadership Mentor

5 effective ways for managers to curb attrition


There can be several reasons for employee attrition; but we if really dive deep down into – we’ll see there are some commonalities behind every resignation. The reasons employees cite for leaving an organisation can be broadly sum up in the following five categories:

  • Salary Hike
  • Career Advancement
  • Location Change
  • Alternate Career Options
  • Personal Reasons

However, often a new job search can be attributed with the classical attrition adage: employees don’t leave jobs – they leave their managers. I don’t want to be harsh on managers, and talent retention is also one of the key responsibility areas of HR – but oftentimes for employees, manager is their first point of contact for grievances redressal. So, I think managers can be the most effective channel to curb attrition in the bud.

Here are my five solid action plans manager can implement to curb attrition:

  1. Identify the ‘real’ Reason: As stated earlier, while employees may cite reasons like better prospects, salary & relocation. But these are just outcomes not real reasons. They are the symptoms not the real cause. Employees might be leaving due to dissatisfaction with the boss, friction with a team member or unable to cope with organisational culture or change. Once the exact reason is nailed, it will be easier to work on the quality employee attrition program.
  1. Improve engagement experience: One of the easiest ways to curb attrition is engage their team members meaningfully in the work. Managers need to understand the nature, personality traits, and interests of their team members. Based on that, he can designate work to his team members which will make them happy and satisfied at work. Managers must ensure an atmosphere where work makes sense to his/her team members. Besides, managers need to constantly keep conducting team building exercise which will keep his team engaged and motivated.
  1. Honest Feedback Mechanisms: 100 % happy and satisfied employees is a Utopia. But it is very important; in fact indispensable for managers to have a channel where he/she can understand how his/her team members’ feels at work, what are their grievance and how do they respond to organizational changes. Let’s say, a company decided to increase work hours by one hour in a day or salary freeze for the current fiscal year. Managers can’t rely and wait on HR survey to understand how his team members are going to react it. Instead, he/she must have his own platform where the team members can vent their honest feedback openly and honestly.
  1. Early warning signs: In real workplace, seldom a dissatisfied will go to his/her manager or HR and will say: I am not satisfied with the work, I need promotions or salary hike, my work pressure is high, or I don’t like this particular thing about my company. Instead, he/she will start looking for opportunities outside. And this will be clearly visible in his/her behaviour at work. He/she will take more casual leave, will look disinterested at work, might cut down team interactions or just leave the work place little early than the usual hours. A smart manager must be able to identify these early warning signs and act immediately on it to curb attrition.
  1. HR Training program: Managers can also pro-actively take training program in attrition management from HR. There are many predictive models, attrition trackers and employee retention program to curb attrition. He/she must be well versed with the tools and tricks of attrition management. Because when managers acquire the required skills of employee retention; he will be in a much better position to implement it when an employee plans or decide to quit.

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This entry was posted on December 5, 2014 by in Corporate Skills, Leadership, Marketing, Positive Energy and tagged , .
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