Attrition vs Retention

Attrition vs Retention

Attrition and Retention

No matter what industry you are in, it’s normal for employees to come and go. Although similar, employee attrition and retention are not the same but both are important HR Metrics for developing and managing a robust and productive workforce.


Attrition and Retention

Attrition is the gradual reduction of a workforce as employees leave or retire. This is usually measured by what is called the attrition rate. Most employers want a low attrition rate because it means that employees are satisfied, and they don’t have the added cost of training new people.

Employee retention is when a company is able to keep employees and reduce turnover. It is the collective efforts of practices, policies, culture, and strategies to retain employees.  Retaining employees also reduces the onboarding and recruitment costs.

Culture is Loyalty

Both attrition and retention are indicators of a business’s culture and health. They both measure engagement and loyalty. Put these two together and they provide a snapshot of how stable the company is.

By definition, attrition and retention measure the exact opposite outcomes. In simple terms, attrition measures the employees your company has lost. And retention is who your company has kept. However, the differences are much more complex than this simple distinction.

Rate of Attrition Formula

  • Attrition rate (%) = _____ (# of leaves divided by # of employees) x 100

Why Measure Retention

Employee retention provides a good snapshot of whether your employees are satisfied.  It also provides  any positive or negative effect from your hiring and training processes. Understanding your company’s retention rate, and which departments have a higher or lower rate helps to prioritize resources and time accurately. More importantly, retaining employees means that there is no cost to replace them. Having a healthy attrition rate and high retention rate means your employee engagement rate is likely good.

Attrition and Company Culture

To a certain extent, people leaving is normal and expected. But if your attrition rates are unusually high, it may indicate issues with your workplace and company culture.  Losing good people, especially if you struggle to replace them, means it will be difficult to operate as effectively. And attrition is expensive, with some estimates suggesting it costs six to nine months’ worth of a person’s salary to replace them.

Leadership Role – Finding Jobs Since 1994

We take great pride in our leadership role within the staffing industry.  That role allows us to better help our candidates and business customers.  Cardinal Staffing Services helps to expand our valued partners’ operations and to aid in building a better quality of life and future for our candidates across all skill sectors.

Cardinal Staffing Services – Your Staffing Partner

Whether you are a company looking for employees OR a candidate looking for work we have you covered.  For more details, reach out to your local Cardinal Staffing office to hear more about current offerings or for job postings – we’re here to help!

Contact Us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *