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How to Combat the Costs of Employee Attrition

Earning a human resources degree can inspire fresh ideas for employee retention.

Workforce turnover is inevitable: People retire, move, and change jobs and careers. But did you know that almost two-thirds of employees leave for what experts call “more preventable” reasons?1 When the C-suite and HR managers make employee retention a priority, they can dramatically improve the company’s bottom line.


Why Company Turnover Matters

It’s estimated that employee attrition costs U.S. businesses $1 trillion annually.2 To bring it down to a more granular level, workforce turnover can cost one-half to two times each departing employee’s salary.2 There’s lost productivity, overtime, hiring, interviewing, training, onboarding—it adds up quickly.

Human resource professionals can play a key role in helping to form policies and provide training to improve employee retention. Here are some of the approaches business leaders are taking to combat the high costs of employee attrition:

  1. Expand Onboarding Practices
    Create a program that inspires new hires to put down roots. Meet one-on-one on a continuing basis. Make these two-way conversations. Ask questions that can help you identify issues that may jeopardize employee retention. Be open to what you hear and be ready to address workplace concerns. Be sure to follow through and follow up.
  2. Invest in Career Development
    Employees cite this as the No. 1 reason for job longevity.3 Get to know employees’ career goals and discuss how they can achieve them. Toss out the top-down-only approach. Workers’ experiences and ideas can help HR managers create relevant development opportunities. Expand your reach: Form an educational partnership with an accredited online university. Tuition assistance is a powerful tool for employee retention.4
  3. Monitor the Workload
    Regularly review employees’ job duties and to-do lists. Reassign, postpone, or eliminate tasks to help prevent stress, burnout, and workforce turnover. The Work Institute’s 2021 Retention Report says that in 2020, workload and stress were the “main culprits” of job-based reasons for leaving.1 Adding a new position may be a hard sell to upper management, but investing in employee hiring may help reduce the attrition costs.
  4. Manage the Managers
    Train managers to create and support employee retention strategies. Weed out underperforming managers who are contributing to the attrition rate. Managers are “most responsible” for creating an environment that fosters longevity, the Work Institute says, and in turn, company leadership must give managers the tools to “meet employees where they are and create the conditions where employees want to stay.”1
  5. Get Serious About Exit Interviews
    Implement a thoughtful and effective process to learn why people leave your organization. Gather company stakeholders regularly to review this data and create a plan to boost employee retention. Build group responsibility and accountability for improving the attrition rate. Create a work environment where employees choose to root their careers.

Earn a Master’s in Human Resource Management

Stay current with best practices in human resources for combating employee attrition by earning an online HR degree. Walden University’s MS in Human Resource Management online degree program can help prepare you to achieve your HR career goals.

As a master’s candidate in Walden’s online HR degree program, you’ll learn from HR-certified faculty, build practical skills using AI-driven simulations, and receive all the materials you need to prepare for SHRM certification, or for certification from the Human Resource Certification Institute.

Walden offers two completion options in its online MS in Human Resource Management degree program. There’s a course-based format if you prefer an instructor-led approach and learning on a predetermined schedule. The Tempo Learning® format lets you work at your own pace and advance once you’ve demonstrated mastery of a subject.

This accredited university designs its master’s in human resource management online degree program for adult learners who want to continue working and enjoying their personal lives while earning a college degree. You can set your own study schedule and work anywhere there’s an internet connection.

Earning an online master’s in human resource management can help prepare you to become a key player in improving the employee hiring practices and retention policies that help reduce the costs of workforce turnover.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering an online MS in Human Resource Management degree program with two paths to completion. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,