Why is attrition such a problem in India? Is it because there are too many opportunities out there? Or is it because organizations fail to understand retention?

Partly because people can move, but mostly because people want to. Many organizations don’t understand retention well enough – if they did, and took steps towards creating a culture that values it – attrition would be lower and its impact a non-issue.

Should organizations even be focused on attrition as a metric? Isn’t it enough if they are successful in retaining people that matter most?

Focusing on retaining employees that matter the most sounds like a pretty straightforward choice. But even if attrition by and of itself means little, a revolving door is hardly good for morale or confidence. Most organizations seem to have taken the latter part to heart – making attrition metrics the center of everything, rather than focusing on retention.

What do employees leave, really? The company? The team? The manager?

You guessed it right, the manager! Whether borne out of a mismatch in skill, culture or interaction, the employee always leaves a manager.

So, where does retention start?

Retention starts at hiring. Not obvious, but true. It’s critical you hire the right leaders and the right followers.

How can you get better at retaining?

Diagnose well. Knowing that you have an ailment isn’t as useful as knowing why you have it and what’s making it worse.

Learn well. Both success (retained employees) and failure (employees who quit) leave a trace. Use it to inform your hiring and development decisions better.

Engage well. Work with employees to understand what motivates them and what inspires them. Make career paths clearly visible. Show them what they can be.

Train well. Stop cutting costs. Err on the liberal side of investing in training them. Show them you care.

Recognize achievement. Reward and celebrate it. Make it a cult!

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