In today’s chaotic and often glorified “hustle” work environment, it’s not uncommon for employees to experience feelings of dissatisfaction or burnout. However, one lesser-known but significant phenomenon is regretted attrition. This term refers to the departure of talented employees who are highly valued and usually leave due to dissatisfaction with their role and/or work culture. These professionals are typically top performers and even subject-matter experts whose loss tends to leave a big impact on the team and organization as a whole. Oftentimes when these people leave, their departure is unexpected by their managers and results in regret from the company’s management and recruiters.

In this article, we’ll explore what regretted attrition is, how to spot it, strategies to avoid it, and the importance of mental health support, including practices like Breathwork, in the workplace to avoid regretted attrition.

What is Regretted Attrition?

Regretted attrition occurs when employees leave their jobs voluntarily and the company regrets not offering better support so that they wouldn’t have left in the first place. They may have left due to factors such as stress, lack of recognition, or feeling undervalued, sometimes only to realize the grass isn’t greener on the other side. This phenomenon can have significant repercussions for both employees and employers, leading to decreased morale, productivity, and overall satisfaction in the workplace.

How to Spot Regretted Attrition

Recognizing regretted attrition requires paying attention to subtle signs and cues from employees. Some common indicators include:

  • Expressing Doubt: Employees may express uncertainty or regret about their decision to leave, either directly or indirectly.
  • Sudden Change in Behavior: Watch for sudden changes in behavior, such as decreased engagement, performance, or enthusiasm for work tasks.
  • Social Withdrawal: Employees who are experiencing regretted attrition may withdraw from social interactions with colleagues or exhibit signs of disengagement.

How to Avoid Regretted Attrition

To prevent regretted attrition, employers can take proactive measures to foster a positive work environment and address underlying issues that may contribute to employee dissatisfaction. Here are some strategies:

  • Regular Check-ins: Maintain open lines of communication with employees through regular check-ins and feedback sessions to address any concerns or issues promptly.
  • Recognition and Appreciation: Recognize and appreciate employees’ contributions regularly to reinforce their value and importance to the organization.
  • Professional Development: Provide opportunities for professional growth and development to empower employees and enhance their skills and career prospects within the organization.

SOUL/Life Balance: Work/Life Balance isn’t enough, take it a step further and show your employees you care by providing them the tools to enhance their mental and emotional well-being through the practice of SOUL/Life Balance. Learn more about SOUL/Life Balance here.

Importance of Mental Health and Breathwork

In addition to these strategies, prioritizing mental health support in the workplace is essential for preventing regretted attrition and promoting overall well-being. Practices like Breathwork, which involve controlled breathing exercises to reduce stress and promote relaxation, can be particularly beneficial. Incorporating Breathwork sessions or mindfulness practices into the workday can help employees manage stress, increase resilience, and improve their overall mental and emotional health.

A simple breathwork practice you could use would be the 6-Step B.R.E.A.T.H. Process which literally can be done within minutes to transform negative thoughts and emotions. You can learn more about this process by checking out this page here.

In conclusion, regretted attrition is a significant yet often overlooked phenomenon in the workplace. By understanding its causes, recognizing the signs, and implementing proactive measures to prevent it, employers can create a supportive and fulfilling work environment where employees can thrive. Prioritizing mental health and well-being, including practices like Breathwork, is essential for fostering a positive workplace culture and preventing regretted attrition in the long term.

About the Author

Sam Kabert is a certified yoga instructor, breathwork facilitator, podcaster, and public speaker. His book, “SOUL/Life Balance,” is a No. 1 bestseller. Learn more about his work at  

At 31 years old, Sam made Silicon Valley’s 40 under 40 list recognizing his serial entrepreneur drive and million dollar business. Externally, Sam appeared successful. Internally, he was falling apart. 

In 2019, a ruptured relationship revealed feelings of overwhelm that had been numbed by decades of indulgence in food, alcohol, and business achievements. Ego aside, he embraced a path of self-discovery, spirituality, and soul purpose. An intentional journey that’s culminated in a proven, minutes-long, 6 Step B.R.E.A.T.H. Process that now helps “busy professionals” access inner peace and “Overcome The Overwhelm,” the title of his 6th book.

Passionate about bridging the gap between workplace culture and mental health, Sam’s mission is to teach accessible tools that overcome overwhelm. His ultimate goal is to help eradicate the glorification of Hustle Culture, while encouraging an expansion of Compassionate Leadership.