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Global Work Glossary

Lost in a maze of global employment jargon? Find your way out with our handy collection of work and HR terminology

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# A B C D E F G H I J L M N O P R S T U V W X Y Z


What is Attrition?

Attrition refers to the natural process of reducing the workforce through voluntary departures, such as retirements or resignations, without intending to refill the vacated positions immediately, if at all. This phenomenon can occur for various reasons and is a normal aspect of organizational life.

Causes of Attrition

Several factors can lead to attrition within a company. These include retirement, employees moving to other job opportunities, dissatisfaction with the current role or workplace, and lifestyle changes such as relocation or decisions to focus on personal or family commitments. Attrition can also be influenced by the general economic climate, where either upturns or downturns prompt changes in employment patterns.

Impact on Organizations

Attrition has mixed effects on an organization. On the positive side, it can reduce payroll costs and provide opportunities to restructure teams or departments more efficiently. However, it can also lead to a loss of skilled and experienced employees, potentially impacting productivity and organizational knowledge. High attrition rates might indicate underlying issues within the company culture or management practices, which can affect morale and the company’s reputation in the job market.

Managing Attrition Effectively

Effective attrition management involves understanding its root causes and developing strategies to retain talent while maintaining operational efficiency. This might include improving working conditions, offering competitive compensation packages, providing career development opportunities, and fostering a positive organizational culture. Additionally, succession planning and knowledge transfer programs can help mitigate the negative impacts of attrition, ensuring that critical skills and competencies remain within the company.

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