In the business world, attrition refers to the unpredictable reduction in an employed workforce. Causes of such reduction are often unavoidable and include retirement, resignation, permanent sick leave and deceased employees. In evaluation, , a company will define attrition rate as high or low. Companies with a high attrition rate face increased use of internal resources due to a continual recruitment and hiring process.
A broader attrition definition includes the loss of company resources or products due to similarly uncontrollable reasons such as spoilage in perishable goods or assets growing obsolete.
The difference between attrition and turnover
To have a full understanding of attrition in business, it is necessary to understand how attrition differs from the concept of turnover. Turnover refers to a scenario in which an employer acts to replace employees who have left the company or division. By contrast, attrition describes a scenario in which no replacement actions are taken, effectively resulting in elimination of the position or asset.