There are many reasons for voluntary attrition in the workplace. If you had to pick, which factor would you choose as the top reason for individuals leaving their current job:

  1. Salary/benefits
  2. Lack of recognition
  3. Poor management/leadership
  4. Growth opportunities
  5. Career change

The answer may surprise you. The lack of growth opportunities has been identified as the number one reason for attrition in 2013!

Although a paycheck is a powerful motivator, it should never be the only reason for coming to work day after day.
–Robert Bullock

Attrition Relief

Compensation is a key factor for job retention, as are leadership skills and rewards and recognition, but the opportunity for career growth is #1.

You might not always have the ability to increase salary or improve benefits for your staff, but as a leader you can assist with professional growth for both your team overall, and for individual team members.

Do you consistently review employee development plans? Is cross-training something that’s utilized? What about assigning and utilizing mentors?

Start at the individual level. What skill-sets could be further developed? Are there any “needs” in each person’s current role/position?  Next, consider future responsibilities and new positions.  (Don’t limit it to promotional opportunities; keep lateral moves in mind).

Don’t forget to engage the employee!  You may think you’re aware of their ideal career path, but you’ll want to validate it. Understand the preferred styles and strengths of your team members.  Ask them:

  • What do you like best about your job?
  • Are there any skills you’d like to develop/enhance?
  • How do you feel you contribute most for attaining the goals of the team?
  • What would you like your next position to be?
  • How can I help you achieve this?

Satisfying the developmental “wants” of your staff will improve results and reduce attrition. How are you providing growth opportunities?