• Rick Girard

Stop the Revolving Door of Employee Attrition

Updated: Jun 25, 2018

Last week on Hire Power Radio Show, we sat down with Brian Montes, Strategy and Business Developer for KEB, to discuss best strategies on how to best retain great people at your company and prevent loss of great talent.

People leave your company because they are dissatisfied. If you are running a company and driving things too fast, you really need to take a minute to look around you and ask yourself, “are the people around me getting what THEY need from our organization?”

When analyzing why employees aren’t staying at your organization after they’re hired, there are many factors to consider: How committed is that employee to the employers? Is there engagement and what is the quality of the relationship between employer and employee? What is the clarity of the role, and do new employees know what they need to be doing? A lot of companies employee trial by fire methods that do not work. How clear is the design of the role, are new hires being set up for success and doing the thing they should be doing/are good at? Is the company siloed or can new employees dive into work groups?

All of these questions and more play a huge role in the success of new hires. How these problems are addressed are tied into whether your company environment is proactive or reactive. Is your organization forward thinking or do they put out fires all the time?

As far as human resources go, compliance is a huge part of organizational mistakes.

Creating an environment where employees will stay is strategic and you should implement programs those kinds of programs. But as more employees come on board you need to set yourself up for success with both state-mandated and federally-required compliance policies. In wage per hour issues, are your employees clocking out for lunch and breaks? If they’re a contractor, are you doing all the correct paperwork and paying the right taxes? And are you following state-mandated policies when it comes to vacation time? HR issues like these must be addressed early on to proactively keep people from departing your company.

On the flip side of employee attrition, people stick around at a company for multiple reasons. To start, a cohesive recruiting strategy is where every employee experience beings, so a weird recruiting process is an immediate red flag for new hires. Don’t leave candidates hanging, be responsive, and offer immediate clarity in the job’s role and expectations at the start. A lack of these attributes will cripple a candidate’s opinion of your organization and often plays into their early departure.

Socialization in organizations big and small is also very important. There are very specific things you can do when a new person comes on board to make them feel welcome, able to answer questions and accepted into their new workplace home. Training and development opportunities are also a great way to keep people around. If your organization becomes a place where people can launch and develop a career, it gives people an opportunity to which they can look forward. There are many ways and situations in which you can train your people and offer them personal and professional chances for growth.

A smaller company with 10-15 people should implement these strategies based on your organization’s vision. Look to where you're headed, and you can start working with individuals who may grow into a role you might need down the line. Think, “In a couple of years this position may exist, let’s start training you for it now!” A proactive approach like this keeps people around.

Feedback sessions are also a critical part of employee retainment. People should rarely be surprised when they’re fired or terminated because they should always know where they stand in the organization. The particulars of this feedback depend on the company, again, but an employee should always know how they’re doing, what they can do to improve, and equipped with advice so they can further themselves on their career path. An employee should never be guessing about where they’re at in the process.

If you have a problem with attrition, the first step is to admit you have a problem. From a metrics standpoint, employ both internal and external benchmarks to see how much you spend on recruiting and what your employee turnover rate is like. Once you have these data, you can form a plan to change these numbers. Implement that socialization program, make people feel comfortable and decide what do these new people need to know that HR may not cover.

Another thing you can start doing today is exit interviews. Sit with employees to find out that day why they are leaving. Managers can sit in, though an employee may not give honest feedback in that setting. Exit interviews depend on circumstance. They shouldn’t be too lengthy, and really try to understand what caused them to move on.

If it's an organizational issue that turned the exiting employee away, get to the bottom of what the problem is and use that information to correct it. A counter-offer does not solve the root issue of what caused that employee to leave. How long will they truly stay if an employee accepts that counter-offer? Do you really want a person to stay because of the money? It’s a band-aid solution, and it probably won’t work.

Use leaving employees to solve the attrition issue in your organization and create lasting programs to keep the best A-players on your side of the field.

Listen to the full Podcast version to learn more:


Brian Montes, Strategy and Business Developer for KEB, a Southern California based HR Management & Payroll firm. Since 2014, he has helped hundreds of companies better manage their talent, optimize their business operations, bring an ROI to HR and increase stakeholder value.


Rick Girard is the Founder & CEO of Stride Search, an Engaged search firm. He has launched a crusade to disrupt recruiting by elevating the value that your talent acquisition partner brings to your organization. Rick raises the bar with a clearly defined methodology and process that is implemented to gain a massive competitive advantage for his clients.

While not running a School for Gifted Mutants as Professor X, Rick hosts the Hire Power Radio Show, a weekly series on OC Talk Radio which serves as an entrepreneur’s resource to solve the most difficult hiring challenges. When not on the air, Rick regularly teaches talent teams a more effective approach to landing talent and writes valuable content for Hiring Managers and Job Seekers alike.

Rick competes in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and has an affinity for any adrenaline-pumping activity. Favorite activities include surfing, rock climbing, and running with scissors. Most weekends are invested in some sort of adventure. Usually exploring new beaches and hiking trails with his Wife and Daughter.