Finding the perfect employee isn’t easy. You want people with the right education, skills, qualifications, experience, and personality to make operations run efficiently—catapult your organization to the top of the industry. 

The problem is, other organizations want those people too, and they’re doing their best to recruit them away from you.

If you’re lucky enough to hire stellar people, you can’t stop there, because finding talent and retaining them are two different things. 

What is Employee Retention?

Employee retention is the art and science of keeping your employee satisfaction levels high enough to keep the turnover rate and recruitment costs low.

Although one article can’t cover all the possible strategies for boosting employee retention, we’ll cover six of the top employee retention strategies here. 

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Why Do Employees Resign?

When it comes to retaining employees, it’s essential to understand common reasons that spur them to leave in the first place. Then you can take measures to prevent those problems at your company.

No Progression

People don’t like to stagnate. They’re willing to take entry-level jobs, but that doesn’t mean they’re willing to stay there. If a person doesn’t receive well-deserved promotions and opportunities for career acceleration at your organization, he or she will look elsewhere to receive them.

Poor Leadership

In January 2020, Career Addict surveyed employees who had voluntarily left their jobs for other work. 40 percent of those surveyed indicated that they’d return to their former place of employment if their previous boss were replaced. 

Management issues such as discrimination, micro-management, lack of empathy, and inflexibility often sabotage employee retention.

Poor Benefits

One surefire way to negate your employee retention strategy is to offer lackluster benefits. Enticing benefits are sometimes more important to people than the paycheck itself, and these can include: 

  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Vision insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Paid holidays
  • Gym memberships
  • Flexible hours/locations
  • Childcare options 

As you might expect, prospective employees will undoubtedly be willing to entertain offers from your competitors for the same pay if those competitors offer better benefits. 

Hostile Work Environment

A work environment can cover anything from physical facilities to relationships among colleagues. A hostile work environment is one of the foremost problems that push good people out of an organization’s door, whether hostility is due to an uncomfortable atmosphere, unsafe surroundings, unpleasant people, or any combination. 

Low Pay

It may surprise you to hear that a bigger paycheck is not the number one reason for people leaving their place of employment. This reason does make a list, indicating that while money isn’t everything, it still matters. 

Employers who aren’t willing to pay competitive market prices will struggle to attract top talent. They’ll also struggle with employee retention because their people will be willing to look over the fence when recruiters from companies with better pay and benefits come calling.

How Can We Improve Employee Retention?

The best employee retention strategies will address the biggest employee retention problems. Here are six ways to do it.

1. Provide Opportunities for Advancement

According to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), skills training and professional development programs are two of the top ways of retaining employees. This is because employees see those programs as a company’s investment in their future and an indication that they’re being honed for promotional opportunities. 

Wherever possible, companies who wish to retain their employees should consider hiring and promoting from within.

2. Provide Effective Management Training

Some people are good at organizing and managing logistical affairs, but they’re not necessarily natural leaders. However, true leadership can be a learned skill. Train your managers to be empathetic, flexible, reasonable, transparent, and cooperative, and they’ll add those skills to their already formidable business knowledge. In turn, these managers will inspire great work and loyalty in others.

3. Reach the Millennial Generation

Engaging and retaining Millennials has become more important than ever when it comes to mitigating the costs of employee turnover. But how do you do this? 

The engagement drivers within your organization should be identified and monitored, as these can change over time. Targets and goals for your engagement strategy should be carefully crafted to account for the modern ambitions of Millennials. 

You can do this through a routine monitoring process and surveys. Transparency is also essential to this generation. As Millennials believe in continuous learning and self-development, it’s also imperative that you offer opportunities to reskill and upskill themselves whenever possible.

4. Offer the Best Benefits You Can Afford

Sure, benefits packages can be expensive. However, when you offset those expenses against the cost of high turnover, you’ll see that you can’t afford not to offer attractive benefits. Do your research and find the best package you can afford, and the resulting employee retention will be worth your investment.

5. Listen to Employees and Implement Their Suggestions

Another key element of any effective employee retention strategy is to get reliable feedback from your employees to see how they’re feeling about their jobs and their work environment. Talk to them. Listen to them. Conduct surveys (formal and informal) and evaluations to see if they’re comfortable in their physical environment and get along with colleagues and supervisors. Then, internalize and implement any reasonable suggestions they make, so everyone feels heard and valued. Steve Olenski, the former contributor to Forbes online, reminds you to “always put your people first.”  

6. Do Market Research to Offer A Competitive Wage

A crucial element of retaining employees is knowing what your competitors pay similar talent. Is your pay for above average in the industry? Do your market research and stay competitive. 

As Robert Half asserts, “Quite simply, companies that don’t offer competitive pay packets can put themselves out of contention when it comes to sourcing [and keeping] top talent.”

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About the Author


Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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