The Real Cost of Knowledge Attrition & how to Reduce it



Even with 3.45 billion people in the workforce, there isn't enough headcount to fill the jobs available in the market. And according to CNN, 47.4 million jobs were left voluntarily last year. People who are currently employed, unemployed but looking for jobs and first-time job-seekers together make up the count of the talent pool we call human resources.


Back in 2000, Leigh Branham in his book, Keeping the People Who Keep You in Business, said that it is a warzone where every company is battling for finding and keeping good employees. Leigh's book would hold significance in this post-pandemic era where we are feeling the aftershock of The Great Resignation. We all were a part of this mass exodus of the workforce either from the employee or employer lens. If you were sitting in the boat of employers, you were probably wondering about the driving factors for so many of your employees who hit the road.


"People don’t leave jobs, they leave managers.", the author duo Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman writes in their book First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently about the importance of an efficient relationship between the employee and manager that creates a great place to work. Apart from an incompatible relationship with the manager, there are various other personal as well as circumstantial factors driving the employees to quit the nest. But what does this mean for the employers? Just like any war, this employer's war for recruiting new talent or retaining the existing talent brings its heavy costs. What do these costs look like?


a) Missed Deadlines and Deliverables

No matter how smooth the handover process might be, there is always a deliverable on the checklist which gets unchecked or gets delayed. When a John from Purchase has set specific timelines and formats for sending out Purchase Orders and Invoices, there is a fair chance that John's replacement will take time to understand the processes that will affect the work to a significant amount.


b) Exhausted Employee Morale

When a colleague who is your designated break partner leaves, it's natural to lose the spirit of coming to work at all. Also, the team that loses a member has to make up for a lost resource which cooks up as work pressure. This affects employee productivity and morale.


c) Loss of Employer Brand Image

When a certain percentage of employees leave your organization in a stipulated period of time it determines the turnover rate for your organization. There will always be a certain turnover rate weighing on the industry standards and the job market but anything higher than that will be indicative of deeper issues and your credibility as an employer. This turns into a domino effect of more turnover and hinders the process of recruiting new talent.


As established that the losses are high and the attrition-weary employers are aware that bean bags, bonuses and other financial rewards are not enough to win in this talent war. The stock options are just not going to cut for the unsatisfied employee who is running low on morale because they don't see a path of progress compared to when they initially joined the company.

So how do we enforce an organizational environment that makes every employee feel welcomed, valued, prepared, and challenged?


1) Flexible Working Hours & Locations

When Dolly Parton said "Working 9 to 5, what a way to make a living, barely getting by, it's all taking and no giving" we felt it! The traditional ways of working have run their course, especially in the post-pandemic era where many companies have adopted hybrid or completely remote working policies. Allowing the employees to be able to clock in when they can and complete a specific requirement of hours per week will give them the freedom to plan their deliverables and feel like their organization trusts them to make their own decision. This also applies in case of the location of the employee even if it's 500 miles away.


2) Exit Interviews are your Information Goldmine

Keeping an employee is not a controllable force. Sometimes, for reasons of personal convenience, exploring new sectors can also be the reason among many others. Exit interviews become your source of information for the reasons pertaining to your organization. The outgoing employee might not always be honest as they don't want to burn bridges with their existing managers for recommendation and reference purposes. In such a situation, a safe haven needs to be created for the employee to share reasons other than "better pay or opportunity" as an excuse. Even the managers need to let go of their ego and be ready to face the music if a member of your team is moving on because they couldn't find your leadership worthwhile. This will help you to reform better working environments for existing and incoming talent.


3) Reward and Leverage Failures

A mobile gaming company Scopely, holds a weekly "Fail of the Week" session during which team members share some of their "epic fails" and what they learnt from them. Scopely encourages employees to take risks and does not penalize constructive failures, as seen by this weekly discussion. Rewarding failures can encourage employees to try new things without fear.


4) Work-Life Balance is not just a trending topic

Many experts know that money alone won't keep the employees, facilitating psychological safety at work is paramount in getting an optimum organizational performance. LinkedIn has become a forum where people expressly talk about work-related topics. Work-life balance is the most discussed topic and yet "Work burn-out" is also equally trending. Adobe's Welcome Back program was created to help those employees who are transitioning back to work. It helps you to "be okay" with the fact of taking a break and return back without having to feel guilty about it. More such empathetical policies need to be adopted by workplaces for in-person as well as virtual corporate wellness that not only benefits the employees' well-being but helps an organization to have a consistent dialogue with an employee and check in on them.


5) Professional Development, Coaching & Feedback

A new employee is constantly evaluating their place in your organization. Their performance is at the bottom curve in the beginning, but soon as they move up the information ladder, their productivity increases, this is where an employer should inject the feedback loop, to make them feel seen, appreciated or in any scope of improvement. At the same stage, the employee will feel the need to absorb new and experimental education as they have likely gained complete knowledge of the responsibilities that their role entails. This is when personal development plays an important where an employee envisions their career trajectory with you as an employer. The feedback along with sharing of knowledge is necessary between the departments and within teams. Bhyve offers a platform to reach out to your team members, leads and inter-departmental colleagues to share information and feedback.


Get in touch with one of our experts at Bhyve, and set up a benchmark for your company culture with a platform that helps you foster a colossal pool of talent and retain them.