Attrition In HR: An Interesting Guide In 2021


The department of HR is one of the toughest teams to be in. Contrary to popular beliefs, HR professionals do not have an easy life and their primary responsibilities do not include only organizing fun activities, team lunches, secret Santa games and more. Just like every other team in an organization, they too have targets and monthly goals to achieve. Apart from that, they are the ones who probably have a perpetually challenging task at the workplace – controlling attrition in HR.

In this article,

  1. What is Attrition meaning?
  2. How is attrition formulated?
  3. Attrition in HR – Importance
  4. Types of Attrition in HR
  5. What are the various causes of attrition?
  6. Steps to control attrition in HR

1. What is Attrition meaning?

Attrition meaning as per the standard market definition is – the natural process of employees leaving or departing from an organization due to various reasons. Every month, there are several employees quitting their job due to various reasons. Finding an alternative for them on such short notice is undoubtedly a challenging task. They will have to look for new feasible candidates with the necessary skills and temperament, recruit them, get their forms filled, orient them to the company culture and work on their confirmations only to set the wheels spinning again. 

2. How is Attrition Formulated?

The attrition meaning can be written as a formula as given below:

Attrition Rate (%)= (Number of separations/ Average Number of employees) * 100

3. Attrition in HR – Importance

It is necessary for companies to keep a tab on their attrition rate as, without a proper overview, it can cause a major dent in the company’s finances. Any organization will lose a large amount of money recruiting new employees and training them to fill in the necessary gaps. Also, a large amount of resources is lost in terms of time & money while searching for new recruits.

4. Types of Attrition in HR

The different types of attrition are as follows:

  • Retirement – This is when an employee completed his designated tenure with the company. It is probably the only scenario, where the company is prepared well in advance for the position that would become vacant shortly. 
  • Involuntary – In this form of attrition in HR, the position becomes unexpectedly vacant when an employee is fired or terminated due to ethical issues or lack of improvement in their performance.
  • Voluntary – Here, the employee voluntarily resigns from an organization to take up better opportunities or pursue higher education. 

5. What are the various causes of Attrition In HR?

Just like several factors contribute towards building a reliable team and organization, similarly, numerous factors contribute to the attrition rate: 

  • Improper work-life balance
  • Better job opportunities
  • Commendable pay hike
  • Lack of growth or work recognition
  • Absence of proper working environment and infrastructure 
  • The untimely death of employees or retirement 
  • Unhealthy relations with managers or other members of the organization.

6. Steps To Control Attrition In HR

Here, we have compiled the 5 best ways to control attrition in HR using analytics.

  1. Have the Right Data touchpoints for the Right Results

A good data set is one that is built with a goal in mind. The more focused your data sets are, the better your analytics reports will be. When working on an attrition report, make sure you consider all the metrics and touchpoints that are directly related to the satisfaction levels of an employee. By employee, we refer to people who belong to both the highest and lowest levels of your company’s hierarchy. Only when their happiness is considered, then it will be reflected in the happiness and productivity of your entire workplace.

Consider factors like age, monthly income, years or months since last promotion, marital status, job involvement, gender, compatibility or rapport with the reporting manager, work-life balance, job involvement, years or months since the last pay hike and more. All these factors boil down to the emotional levels of an employee and results on these will give you a clear picture of possible attritions and the time, allowing you to take any corrective measure.

  1. Look at Employees’ History

Sometimes, it is easier to find patterns in an employee’s work culture and career and predict if he or she would fit into the organization or last long. For someone who has worked in more than four companies in a short span of five years, it is easy to come to the conclusion that the maximum duration the employee works before getting bored is one year.

Records, patterns, and data on this can give HR a new perspective on possible turnover and even analyze the reason for his actions. If the employee keeps switching companies for better pay or better work culture, the HR can easily fix a meeting and take measures to control attrition when that time of the year for the employee arrives. Talking it out with the employee can be one of the most effective ways of controlling attrition in the organization.

  1. Individual Records for Individual Departments

When you have a database as a whole and then work on attrition reports, the results can be bewildering. To control retention in the most precise way possible, we suggest you classify the reports by departments and work on analytics. This will further refine your requirements and see better insights on which department has more attrition, why, any pattern that can be spotted, fault with the managers, team morale, challenging tasks, monotony and more.

For instance, the satisfaction level for an employee in sales can be different from the one in project management. Breaking down the factors into fragments will give you crucial insights that will help you come up with better and distinct results and insights and help you take predictive and preventive measures for every department.

  1. Employee’s Personal Emotional Quotient

Often, our mornings and mid-afternoon thoughts are on home, family concerns, relationships, EMIs, and more. This greatly affects the day’s productivity and keeps an employee’s morale and satisfaction levels down. To get the spirit up and flowing and to ensure the employee feels valued and recognized, HR should take into consideration data factors that touch upon a few personal spaces and talk to them to offer any assistance. The results should be entered into the employee’s report and analyzed for inferences. When this is done for three straight months with corrective measures, you can see a change in the employee and his or her work.

  1. It’s not always about pay hike or promotion

Additionally, HR should understand and take into consideration that employee satisfaction and attrition are not always connected to pay hikes and promotions. There are values beyond them on emotional and personal levels that can also be the cause for increased attrition rates. Keeping the two factors aside, the HR professionals should also work on other sidelined factors to get a deeper understanding of what’s happening within their workplace and set the place right for possible new recruits.


With the recent developments in technology, the attrition in HR can easily be predicted and controlled through data analytics – or rather HR analytics. By offering crucial insights on employee metrics, contentment levels, happiness index and more, HR analytics helps you come up with proactive measures to keep attrition under control. This will contribute to an organization’s growth in the long run along with building a solid reputation in the market attracting bright minds to try out for new opportunities now available in the company. 

The above mentioned are some of the essential factors one should definitely consider while working on their attrition reports. If you haven’t started off with People Analytics yet, well, this is the perfect time for you to upskill and make 2021 the best year for your career and organization.

Are you interested in learning more about Analytics in Workforce Management? Take a look at our People Analytics and Digital HR program, in collaboration with IIM Indore. This is a 3-month long program with instructor-led sessions by IIM-I faculty.

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