Attrition Definition, Meaning & Synonyms And Example

What is Attrition?


Attrition is when a company’s workforce slowly becomes smaller because employees are leaving, either by retiring or quitting and their positions aren’t filled with new employees.

Think of it as a company’s team getting smaller over time. This can happen because employees choose to leave for various reasons, like not being paid enough, not seeing opportunities to grow, or not liking their work conditions.

Sometimes, attrition is also used to talk about losing customers as they get older and no longer want a product or service. If new customers don’t come in to replace them, it’s like the customer group is slowly getting smaller.

When a company plans for attrition, it means they’re intentionally making their team smaller by not hiring new people when others leave. This can help a company save money on salaries without having to let current employees go.

Employee attrition meaning

Employee attrition refers to the process where employees leave a company’s workforce either voluntarily, through resignations or retirements, or involuntarily, through layoffs or dismissals.

It results in a gradual reduction in the number of employees within an organization over time. Attrition can impact various aspects of a company, including its staffing levels, team dynamics, and overall productivity.

Organizations often track and manage employee attrition to ensure a balanced workforce and to address factors that might contribute to employees leaving, such as work environment, compensation, career growth opportunities, and job satisfaction.

Example Sentences for ATTRITION

  1. The company experienced attrition as several experienced employees chose to retire, and their positions were left vacant.
  2. Due to the low salary and lack of career growth opportunities, the company faced high attrition rates, with employees leaving for better jobs.
  3. The restaurant’s attrition of customers over the years was noticeable as the younger generation’s tastes shifted, and new patrons weren’t coming in.
  4. The organization implemented a hiring freeze to manage attrition and reduce costs while maintaining its current workforce.
  5. The company’s attrition strategy involved not replacing employees who left voluntarily, allowing them to adapt to changing business needs without layoffs.
  6. The company’s high attrition rate was attributed to the challenging work environment and lack of employee engagement initiatives.
  7. The school implemented measures to address student attrition, such as offering additional support services to keep students motivated and on track.
  8. The retail store faced attrition in its customer base as the product’s appeal waned and no efforts were made to attract a new demographic.
  9. The company realized that attrition was affecting its team’s productivity, prompting them to focus on employee retention strategies.
  10. A well-managed attrition plan allowed the company to gracefully transition as senior employees retired and newer talent was gradually brought in.

synonyms of attrition:

  • Erosion
  • Abrasion
  • Attenuation
  • Debilitation
  • Depreciation
  • Disintegration
  • Grinding
  • Rubbing
  • Thinning
  • Weakening
  • Wear

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Word History of Attrition

The word “attrition” has its roots in Latin, derived from the verb “atritio,” meaning “to rub against” or “to wear down.” In medieval times, the term was adopted into English from the Latin “attritio,” specifically in a religious context related to repentance and penance.

In a religious sense, “attrition” refers to a state of sorrow for one’s sins, often driven by fear of punishment rather than genuine remorse. This concept was significant in Catholic theology, where “attrition” denoted a lesser form of repentance compared to “contrition,” which signified sincere remorse. The distinction was an essential aspect of the sacrament of confession.

Over time, the term evolved and expanded its meaning. In the context of human resources and organizations, “attrition” now describes the gradual reduction or decrease in staff or members due to various reasons, such as retirements, resignations, or disengagement. This use of the term reflects the idea of something wearing down or gradually diminishing, much like the original sense of rubbing or wearing away.

So, the word “attrition” has traversed from its Latin origins of “wearing down” and its religious connotation of “sorrow for sins” to its modern usage signifying the gradual reduction of numbers, whether in the workforce, customer base, or other contexts.

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