Three Strategies for Minimizing the Impact of Attrition
In today’s workplace, most organizations are operating more scarcely than in the past. Managers are often asked to do more with less. This type of environment necessitates that managers examine business processes and remove waste so customer expectations can still be met despite fewer resources.
For many, particularly new mangers, people management can be tough; especially as natural attrition occurs. However, I have found that if I prepare for attrition, one that is inevitable, then the impact can be minimized. Here are my three simple strategies on how to lessen the impact of attrition:
- Knowledge Gaps: Know where your staff knowledge gaps are by completing a review of all functions and correlate the number of staff within the operation that are able to perform each function. The gap analysis will allow for a better understanding of areas within the operation lacking “back up” knowledge.
- Cross Training: All knowledge gaps identified should have an associated cross training plan. The goal is to ensure that at any given time a function can be performed by a staff member who has been cross trained. The key element here is to always keep the knowledge fresh in the staff’s mind. The mechanism to accomplish this is exposing the staff to the newly acquired function on an ongoing basis so the knowledge is not forgotten.
- Short List of Candidates: Work with Human Resources to create an ongoing short list of candidates that are already screened, interviewed and selected as potential hires. The positive impact of this strategy can be demonstrated by the decrease in the turnaround time for recruitment and back filled positions.
Losing staff will always create stress on an organization, but if you are prepared, you can reduce challenges that occur when “brain trust” leaves the organization. As the old adage says: an once of prevention is worth a pound of cure.