Employee retention – the company’s ability to make staff stay. It’s an organizational goal to reduce turnover by keeping the workforce aboard and retaining well-trained, competent, and talented employees within the company. Staff is the backbone of the organization, enabling companies to achieve their goals. As such, workers should be valued, appreciated, and truly cherished.

This article will explain the following:

  • What is the importance of employee retention?
  • Risks of neglecting staffing retention
  • Retention strategies aimed at keeping employees within the organization

Why is staffing retention important?

As a rule of thumb, a 90% retention is considered good. Obviously, it depends on various factors and can differ between companies, industries, and markets. Without question, it’s more beneficial for the organization to maintain possibly long-lasting and healthy relationships with employees. Retaining valuable workers in the company, which translates into fewer recruitment processes, and hence, less onboarding spending. Hiring and training new personnel entails direct costs and fluctuations in the workforce, which can affect the outcome of operations. With a lower number of well-trained employees, operations often slow down and become more error-prone, which results in unnecessary costs for the enterprise. What is more, frequent changes in teams’ composition affect cooperation and decrease performance.

High turnover rates equal know-how outflow, decrease in the organizational culture, and can severely affect the company’s image. In addition, the inability to create a stable environment impacts the remaining employees, forcing them to cope with disruptions and a shortage of lasting team relations.

As an answer to the above pains, staffing retention is (or at least should be) one of the vital priorities for managers aiming for operational productivity.

counter the Big Quit with high retention strategies

Employee retention strategies

Or: please stay with us, we promise it’ll be fun!

Unfortunately, keeping employees within the organization doesn’t work like that. Well, at least not literally. When it comes to retaining the workforce, companies need to go way beyond promises. Retention planning calls for well-thought-out strategies, and here are some of the most up-to-date approaches.

Retention strategy #1 – Creating growth scenarios

Dissatisfaction with remuneration, weak organizational culture, and lack of development opportunities belong to the most popular reasons for quitting. The sense of having achieved everything there was to be achieved is demotivating and contributes to burnout. For many specialists, personal growth and professional development can be more important than high wages. In some industries, the difference between a high and a slightly higher salary doesn’t impact employees’ satisfaction as much as challenges do. Employees who are presented with clear growth paths tend to be more satisfied with their jobs, and thus, less willing to leave.

Retention strategy #2 – Employee recognition

We all like to be appreciated for our contribution, whether it applies to private or professional relations. Acknowledging (formally or informally) individual or team behavior supporting the organizational goal is vital for employees’ motivation and keeping up the good work. Employee recognition is visibly impactful and makes the workplace more inclusive and human-oriented, eliminating a soulless sense of being another brick in the wall (or a cell in the company’s Excel spreadsheet).

Retention strategy #3 – Fostering competency building

Modern problems call for current measures. The standard paper-based classroom learning model is no longer sufficient in the fast-paced world. Organizations shift toward tech solutions that support knowledge transfer and competency building. Learning Management Systems streamline educational processes, providing instructors and students with a centralized platform. Using a tailored LMS enables tracking progress, and sharing resources, making it easier to maintain a unified skill level without leaving anyone behind.

Retention strategy #4 – Avoiding micromanagement

The management style based on controlling the employees’ work to an extent leaving staff with a feeling of distrust. The consequences are easy to predict. Lack of freedom and trust in the workplace negatively affects the performance. Shifting towards macro management requires supervisors to delegate tasks better, set realistic expectations and deadlines, prioritize tasks, and deliver valuable feedback. Granting employees greater freedom to carry out their duties contributes to a healthier work environment.

Retention strategy #5 – Improving organizational culture

Thousands and thousands of job adverts list clichés on the friendly atmosphere, high corporate culture, and other buzzwords. Please don’t take this the wrong way, there’s nothing wrong with those benefits, as long as they prove themselves true after signing the contract. Organizational culture helps retain employees by creating an environment of equal chances, mutual respect, and fostering engagement and dedication. Ditch well-worn slogans and focus on creating a truly friendly and nurturing workplace – for your employees and your own well-being.

Retention strategy #6 – Hiring for the cultural fit

Sometimes it’s not you; it’s us – incompatibility of characters can occur not only in hasty marriage. While professional advantages should be the core reason for picking one candidate over another, it’s also essential to get along. Teamwork makes the dream work? Most of the time, yes. Unless you have the luxury to hire lone genius riders and provide them with the seclusion they desire, consider building teams of compatible personalities. Lone wolfs, and unfeedbackable individuals may have top-notch hard skills but their presence may bring doom to your close-knit team, if they lack basic social compatencies.

Retention strategy #7 – Earning the trust of your employees

Responsible leadership without trust just won’t  work out. When managing a team or the whole organization, keep your promises, maintain clear communication, and don’t shut your door (literally or figuratively) on your employees. Try acting the way your employees are often expected to – underpromise and overdeliver, and most importantly, don’t let your employees down. 

Retention strategy #8 – Promoting work-life balance

Work-life balance is another catchy phrase often found in job advertisements, yet frequently overlooked in real life. Who do you think would be more effective and dedicated to the company’s goals – an employee forced to work overtime, answering work-related emails and calls in their private time, or the one whose private life is respected as it is vital for their wellbeing? As long as you don’t hire robots, don’t expect your employees to work beyond their strengths. After all, there are reasons for companies experimenting with a 4-day workweek to record great results in overall performance and employee satisfaction. Sure, not in every industry, even a 36-hour workweek will be possible to implement, but respecting your team members’ time to regenerate and simply live their lives is crucial to the nonnegotiable balance we all need.

Retention strategy #9 – Competitive salary

It’s great to feel professional satisfaction and fulfillment, though the harsh truth is that it’s rather difficult to pay your bills with this currency. Apart from a few lucky people working just for fun, most of us need the hard currency to make ends meet. Low wages are listed among the main reasons for quitting, while a competitive compensation offer is one of the best magnets to attract and retain a skilled workforce.

Retention strategy #10 – Keeping remote/hybrid work

Some companies are trying to bring their personnel back to post-COVID-19 offices, and we know one thing for sure. It’s a great option for those who enjoy working around other people and miss daily social interactions in the workplace. On the other hand, it’s the last thing others wish for – those who appreciate working from their favorite spot (oftentimes: their couch) with their pets’ assistance. If it’s not abso-damn-lutely necessary for operational reasons, don’t make your employees come back to the office if they don’t want to. The lack of the possibility of working  remotely (or in the hybrid mode) is becoming a dealbreaker for many professionals who don’t hesitate to quit their jobs once there is no freedom of choice.

Which employee strategy should you use in 2023?

In this article, we’ve presented only 10 retention strategies.

Employee retention ideas do not stop here. We can go on and on about what managers and business owners do to keep their teams lasting and satisfied. From minor work enhancements (psychological care as a benefit? dogs welcome in the office?) to month-long sabbatical leaves and stock options, there is more than one way to convince employees to stay.

Companies compete with each other to attract the best candidates, retain talents, and create the most beneficial conditions for professional growth. Therefore, skillful usage of available resources, tools, and methods like the ideas mentioned above for employee retention is necessary to maintain your best professionals and a healthy work environment.