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The Importance of Regretted Attrition in HR Analytics

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When we regret something, then the first question that pops up in our mind is – what went wrong? The Regret Attrition metrics is all about understanding of what went wrong. In a layman’s term, a regretted attrition refers to the employees that the organization truly regrets upon losing. Actually, it refers to the voluntarily attrition by highly talented and key contributors impacting the business of the company. This excludes the employees who are asked to leave the organization due to poor performance, or some other reason.

Sometimes, employers get uneasy when asked to admit that things didn’t go right, which often lead them to measure all attrition together and not breaking the numbers into more specific categories, such as Regret Attrition and Unregretted Attrition.

Quite often the senior management gets to know about the key employees, when they are about to quit the organization. It is very important that the organization keeps a track of losing the valuable resources or high potential employees. Regret Attrition is one of the HR metrics that helps in tracking these details. But, companies are following a trend where they summarize the regret attrition of the entire company all-together, which is not a good idea. It will not benefit anyone, as it will not have any micro level details. Instead, there should be a detailed study to see how this attrition is affecting the company.

Let us throw some light on how to handle key resources and classify them as ‘Regret Attrition’ at the time of exit.

  • Always try to make Regretted exits a part of analytics dashboard.
  • There should be a way where managers are able to mark ‘really regretted’ for the employees for whom they actually feel regretted. There should be an option for them to provide a remark of why they have been marked as ‘really regretted’. Do not judge the reasons. Just note them for future purpose.
  • When you have got a good sum of ‘really regretted’ exits (try to come up with some number that you will consider), explore the reasons, and then generate a list containing top reasons classified as ‘really regretted’.
  • Once this exercise is done thoroughly, you will get a list containing major reasons. This list will help managers to select any one of the reasons in the future.
  • This exercise will help you in the long run. After sometime you will have a tangible list of the ‘really regretted’ reasons that should fall into the ‘really regretted’ section. It will also help you in getting data-points where you need to take actions.


This is an easy as well as simple technique that will definitely help you in a long run. It will help you to design some solution targeting retention techniques. This is the way that should help you to find out who is the crucial resource for the organization!

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