Understanding the Reasons behind Staff Attrition

Running businesses comes with a whole host of highs and lows. You can have a fantastic period where everything works perfectly and then periods where it just doesn’t. Working in a service-based industry there are situations you can control and others you can’t. Throughout my career, I’ve learned how retaining staff is something you need to keep an eye on. Working for AEG Worldwide as the Events Manager overseeing the security for the O2 Arena in London, I was exposed to a high level of attrition in the staff we hired.

Starting out in the role, I thought that we’d be able to easily attract a lot of employees. The O2 arena is one of London’s most high-profile performance venues with star-studded acts from around the world, and so it made sense that people would want to work there. And while we initially had no problem in building a good-sized team, the drop-off rate once the actual work kicked in was relatively high.

This was a problem we needed to solve quickly. I found that by implementing feedback loops right through the hiring and onboarding process, we were able to really drill down on the candidates we were attracting. This allowed us to make sure we were hiring the team members who were interested in the role foremost, and the location and perks secondary, leaving us with candidates who stayed with us and were committed to their roles.

We also implemented engagement methods that allowed staff to respond openly and honestly. For example, staff members would often say they were happy to take on extra shifts, but then ultimately not turn up. This was a problem. We realised that the staff members were too timid to turn down the request when we asked them directly, so we adjusted accordingly. We implemented communication methods, like email and shift preference documents, which allowed people to say no without fear of recrimination.

Making sure you have prepared measurements to track impacts, like high attrition rates, and having processes in place to then address the results is essential in the day-to-day management of a business. If you have these methods planned, you can better respond to the issues behind these impacts and avoid them in order to achieve maximum profitability.