Navigating the Complexities of Employee Attrition: Insights from HR Roundtable 12


The HR Roundtable 12, titled “How to Combat Employee Attrition,” provided a platform for industry professionals to share experiences, ideas, and strategies in addressing this pressing issue. The event shed light on the multifaceted nature of attrition and explored innovative approaches to attract, retain, and nurture talent in an ever-evolving work landscape. Employee attrition poses a significant challenge for organizations striving to maintain a talented and engaged workforce. Registration for this event exceeded all other HR Roundtables, which started during lockdown as a way for Russam to have a transparent dialogue with HR professional about the challenges they’re currently facing.

Cathy Kay, Managing Partner with Russam, was delighted to host Celia Ahlstrom and Tom Elvidge.

Celia is currently Manager at Michaël Berglund Interim Effect in Sweden. She has a Bachelor in HR and Psychology from Stockholm University and more than 10 years of experience from management and HR in five different industries. Most recently in Fintech. She is a firm believer of the power of talent and the importance of recruiting the right talent as well as ensuring culture and conditions to retain it.

Tom Elvidge is a renowned executive with a robust career spanning key roles at leading tech companies like Uber, WeWork, and Arrival. Known for steering Operations and General Management, Tom has honed his ability to guide companies through periods of exceptional growth and complexity. His most notable accomplishment includes co-founding Arrival, an innovative electric vehicle company that significantly transformed the transportation industry. Today, Tom leverages this wealth of experience to invest in and advise promising startups, thereby actively shaping the future of the tech industry.

Understanding the Nuances of Attrition:

The roundtable discussions commenced with a recognition that attrition is a complex phenomenon that demands more than simple Q&A sessions. The event’s speakers, Celia and Tom, emphasized that combating attrition requires a deeper understanding of employee needs and aspirations beyond monetary compensation. The focus shifted towards finding meaning in work, achieving work-life balance, fostering personal development, and creating a culture where employees feel valued and connected to the organization’s purpose.

Embracing Change and Future-Proofing Strategies:

Participants were encouraged to view attrition not solely as a challenge but also as an opportunity for growth and renewal. Celia and Tom advocated for organizations to embrace change and adopt an adaptable mindset. They emphasized the importance of aligning the company’s culture with attrition, recognizing that different work cultures may be necessary at various stages of business growth. The speakers emphasized the need for companies to design a culture that embraces attrition while considering the expectations and needs of future employees in an ever-evolving work landscape. Celia also emphasized the need to dare to stand out and being honest regarding your company’s culture in your EVP work. Yes, this might lead to you attracting less candidates overall, but the ones you do attract will be more probable to stay. This due to them actually liking your culture, but mostly due to the fact that the reality, once they’ve started on their position, reflects their expectations.

The Power of Lifelong Learning and Upskilling:

As the world undergoes rapid transformations, lifelong learning emerges as a key aspect in combating attrition. Celia highlighted the necessity of providing multiple education opportunities to accommodate extended life expectancies and the evolving demands of the workforce. Tom reinforced this point by referencing the book “The 100-Year Life,” which underscores the importance of continuous learning and skill development throughout individuals’ lives. Organizations were urged to facilitate ongoing education, professional development programs, and resources for employees to remain agile, adaptable, and competitive in their respective fields.

Retaining Top Talent:

Retaining the best talent requires a holistic approach that extends beyond monetary incentives. The discussions emphasized the significance of creating a positive work environment that prioritizes employee growth, well-being, and recognition. Participants explored strategies such as offering career progression paths, mentorship programs, and work-life balance initiatives to foster loyalty and engagement. By nurturing a culture of inclusivity, innovation, and continuous improvement, organizations can inspire employees to contribute their best work and reduce voluntary attrition rates.

Practical Actions and Tools:

The roundtable also touched upon practical actions and tools that organizations can implement to slow down voluntary attrition rates. Participants discussed the importance of analyzing attrition data, identifying root causes, and implementing targeted interventions. They emphasized the need for effective communication, transparent feedback processes, and opportunities for skill development and advancement. Leveraging technology, such as employee engagement platforms and data analytics, was also highlighted as a valuable tool for understanding employee sentiment and proactively addressing attrition risks.

Transparency of Business:  

Our speakers and our guests agreed that employee engagement is greatly improved when there is an honest dialogue and information on company performance is shared openly. 


The HR Roundtable 12 provided invaluable insights into the challenges and opportunities associated with combatting employee attrition. Celia and Tom’s expertise illuminated the need for organizations to adapt their approaches to match the expectations of a changing workforce. By prioritizing employee needs, embracing lifelong learning, and fostering a positive work culture, organizations can navigate the complexities of attrition and cultivate a thriving workforce that remains engaged, motivated, and committed to achieving shared success. Through practical actions and the use of relevant tools, organizations can proactively address attrition risks and create an environment where employees feel valued, supported, and inspired to contribute their best work.

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