War on attrition

20th April 2023 |   Kevin Kelly

How can effective coaching support the retention of employees within an organisation?


This work-based project covers the topic of employee retention. The subject is very relevant for my organisation as we are 20 months into what’s being labelled the Great Resignation (Klotz, 2021). Employee talent is the lifeline of any business. My research project investigated how a successful coaching process can have a positive impact on retaining employees within my organisation. My ambition for this project was to address real business issues and be a catalyst for change.

The challenge of employee retention and continued commitment to an organisation has no straightforward documented resolution. A key responsibility of any business is to keep its employees happy and motivated, retain them in the company, but also to ensure they make best use of their individual talents. O’Reilly (1988) points out that an organisational commitment is typically conceived of as an individual’s psychological bond to the organisation, including a sense of job involvement, loyalty, and a belief in the values of the organisation.

At my company, PACE Digital Sales (PACE), I deliberated on the subject of retention on a regular basis, especially when we lost multiple people in short bursts of time. In these cases, reflection has clear learning benefits, but some proactive actions were needed to attempt to curb these clusters of resignations. To further underline the importance of these departures – they were occurring at a crucial six-month period of employment. This is relevant due to the time and effort involved in completing onboarding and training. In my basic financial assessment, the attrition impact of losing one full time head at this stage costs the company approximately £33,000. If you multiply these metrics with the exact number of graduates (five) who have left our organisation within an eight-month window, the total amount comes to a loss of £165,000 (using criteria such as loss of earnings and hiring costs). I clearly couldn’t afford this situation to continue in 2023; hence my rationale in choosing the subject.

Founder & Managing Director at Pace Digital Sales

Kevin Kelly is Founder & Managing Director, Pace Digital Sales, and Founder & Director, PaceOps.