Warm Chair Attrition

by Michael Haberman on September 12, 2007 · 1 comment


I was reading a newsletter called the Herman Trend Alert today, an older issue on the subject of fear and the paralyzing effect it can have on employees. In that discussion they talked about something they called “Warm Chair Attrition”. They describe this as employees who are unhappy, but “… these employees still collect paychecks, take up space, and infect their fellow associates. It would seem to be good news for employers: their workers will not leave. However, bottom line, disaffected employees are not particularly productive.”

Do you have workers like this? I have met some. They don’t leave for several reasons, such as fear of not being able to find another job, fear of having to move, fear of the unknown, laziness or a lack of motivation. Our task as managers and human resources professionals becomes to help identify these employees and either turn them around or move them out.

How have you done this? Or have you? Is this something your company lives with because it is easier to get some work out of them than it is to try to find someone to replace them?

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Anonymous September 17, 2007 at 3:45 pm

I recently read a book (“I Quit, but I Forgot to Tell You” by Terri Kabachnick) about the virus of disengagement. The book covers the “Eight Fateful Reasons for Disengagement” with symptoms/stages of disengagement as well as interventions.

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