Greenhouse CTO Shares How to Reduce Unhealthy Employee Attrition

Last updated on April 27th, 2023 at 10:17 am

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Greenhouse CTO Shares How to Reduce Unhealthy Employee Attrition

By September 4, 2021 3 min read

A high employee retention rate has many tangible benefits, including an experienced workforce, lower recruitment and training costs, etc. However, zero regrettable attrition should not be an organization’s only goal. According to Mike Boufford, CTO of Greenhouse, analyzing the reasons behind healthy and unhealthy turnover is more important than aiming for zero regrettable attrition.

In a recent blog post, Boufford shares three strategies designed to reduce regrettable employee turnover:

Foster a culture of open communication and respect 

Lack of proper communication is one of the prominent reasons why employees quit their jobs. Therefore, you must cultivate a culture of openness by discussing the company values with your employees. Open up conversations about the organization’s compensation philosophy with them. This way, the employees will feel a strong sense of belonging in their organization.

In addition to this, studies affirm that employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers. And thus, providing learning opportunities can show your employees that the company values their personal growth. This encourages them to remain committed to the organization.

It is equally important to build a culture of respect in the workspace; work proactively to show that bad behavior is not tolerated in the organization, according to Boufford.

Replace ‘regrettable’ with ‘healthy’

When you focus on the regrettable attribution metric, you are more concerned about the number of people leaving rather than the reason why they are leaving, Boufford explains. Regrettable attrition is a poor proxy for gauging your employees’ satisfaction and loyalty. It obscures workplace issues that need your attention, he adds.

“There are healthy and unhealthy reasons for turnover — that’s where our focus should be, instead of simply on deciding whether or not the company mourns their departure,” says Boufford. He shares a few pointers to encourage a healthy turnover. Specifically: 

  • Make it clear to your employees that it’s okay to consider other opportunities for their careers. 

  • Show them that you are genuinely committed to helping them achieve their career goals. 

  • Talk about your own ambitions and, in turn, encourage them to be vocal about their future plans. 

  • Help them identify and examine new opportunities.

Most importantly, handle resignations with respect and grace. Ensure you part on good terms.

Develop a framework to analyze the turnover

There are several reasons why employees may consider quitting, according to Boufford. The CTO also adds that a detailed framework that analyses the causes of employee turnover can help you take the necessary measures to reduce it.

He shares a sample framework to identify a few healthy and unhealthy causes of turnover:

Healthy Causes:

  1. They’ve found a new passion and need to devote their time to pursue it.
  2. They’ve found a better opportunity to advance their career.
  3. They want to do something on their own.

Unhealthy Causes:

  1. They resign to join a competitor. 
  2. They feel like they were mistreated or have issues with the team dynamics.
  3. They don’t feel like they’re learning anything new.

Strong employee retention has significant benefits, but it pales in comparison to the advantages of fostering healthy company culture, according to Boufford. A company with solid values assures that people stick around, not because they haven’t found a better opportunity, but because they want to. And thus, if you take steps to cultivate healthy behavior, a high employee retention rate will be just one of the many benefits your organization sees.

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Greenhouse CTO on How to Reduce Unhealthy Employee Attrition
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Greenhouse CTO on How to Reduce Unhealthy Employee Attrition
According to Boufford, organizations shouldn't aim for zero regrettable employee attrition but implement strategies to reduce the unhealthy turnover rate.


  • Jayalakshmi Iyer

    Jaya is a copywriter & content writer & has worked for businesses in over 27 different niches. When she’s not writing, she can be found obsessing over a book.


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