5 Point Action Plan to Reduce Attrition in Professional Services Firms

January 2, 2023


At a glance
o   Mismatch and misallocation are the root causes
o   Lack of visibility of employees’ progress is another root cause
o   Data silos prevent collaboration needed to address the above
o   Your managers need a ‘Single Version of The Truth’

Layoffs by big tech firms have started hitting the headlines. Employee attrition in professional services companies continues to remain a challenge.

The challenge is more complex nowadays because companies need to manage attrition while battling customer dissatisfaction, falling profitability, and market disruptions. Can some software for professional services help?

If you look deeper, you will find that people leave their work because of mismatches and because they see no signs of a resolution.

The mismatches may be related to work, the reward for work, and the environment. The Five Point action plan below addresses the above mismatches.

Action #1 Allocate people by matching tasks and employee skill sets diligently 

This is at the core of a viable people practice. It is also fair to everyone. It is obvious that you are going to need a consistent definition of tasks and required skill sets.

You are also going to need a continuously updated skill set inventory. Well-formed work breakdown structures (WBS) will be crucial here. 

Make sure that you have taken into account even the projects that are yet to be finalized, as long as you have a high level of confidence in winning them. Be future-proof.

Action # 2 Identify current and future resource shortages and recruit

Based on action #1 above determine resource shortages and kick off talent acquisition.

Action # 3 Make employee performance, progress, and career path visible continuously

As employees perform their tasks, update their skills and competency levels. Let them access their data and have dialogues with their seniors. Let this not wait for annual appraisals. Discuss with them what they need to do to advance in their careers. 

Action # 4 Prepare training and job rotation plans in consultation with employees

Consult your people about their training needs and job rotations. Let this be a quarterly exercise. Plan training programs and career moves accordingly.

Action #5 Address issues related to recognition, compensation, and work environment

Recognizing a good performance more or less in real-time is as important as giving people work that matches their current skill levels and future needs. This can become your culture if you are taking all the above actions.

Establish an effective mechanism to address the issue of workplace toxicity due to discrimination, harassment, or bullying. These negatives must be dealt with sensitively and firmly.

Review your current compensation practices and align them with the market. All the above actions will give you some headroom in your budgets by plugging revenue leaks and protecting your margins.

Enable and empower

As you can see, all the above actions support each other and create a virtuous cycle of improving performance. Contrast this with the vicious cycle of attrition, customer dissatisfaction, falling profits, and more attrition.

But how will you do the above? Can you do it with silos of departmental information? Can you do it with islands of automation like CRM, HRMS, and ERP or accounting packages? Can you do it all without collaboration across departments? The simple answer is NO.

You need to digitize all workflows in the opportunity-to-cash cycle. Whether it is a task plan of a single resource or missed billing or project margins in real-time, your managers need to know a ‘Single Version Of The Truth’ every time they need information. For all this, you need software for professional services automation.

To know more about our professional services automation software contact us at



ProductDossier - The makers of TouchBase PPM solution, that is configured specifically to the needs of your industry and organizational standards & processes. TouchBase is designed uniquely for external customer projects, new product development, and internal initiatives. TouchBase supports multiple project management approaches such as predictive, agile, and hybrid. TouchBase digitizes your project management landscape, offers holistic solution to your project management needs, and integrates with your existing enterprise applications such as ERPs, CRMs, Accounting, and others - to deliver one version of project management truth!