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Retention Best Practices

Welcome!  Here you will find information on employee retention and strategies for managers and company leaders to help keep employees longer.  There are also other resources here discussing employee retention and how to go about it.

Retention Strategies



Additional Resources


Retention Strategies

The following strategies describe some of the many ways that company leadership can help to promote employee retention.  Read further to see which strategies are right for your company.


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#1 Employee Engagement

Disengaged employees can cause a variety of problems for a company including discouraging other employees from performing at their best and decreasing morale.  Additionally, disengaged employees are more likely to leave an organization than engaged employees.  However, there are various ways to increase employee engagement which in turn can result in positive retention trends.  For example, putting out surveys to get employee feedback and acting on that feedback can make employees feel more engaged in the company and can benefit the company with new ideas or quick communication of problems.

#2 Incentives

Incentives are also a good way to encourage employees to do their best at work and motivate them to continue working at their organization.  There are various ways to provide incentives to employees, such as ensuring that employees are compensated appropriately for their work.  Compensation is an especially important issue, because matters surrounding compensation are a top contributing factor for negatively affecting employee retention.  Providing paid time off of work and offering wellness rewards are also effective ways to incentivize employees.

#3 Rewards

Employees whose hard work received praise and rewards are far more likely to stay at a company than employees who feel as though their efforts at work are overlooked.  This makes it important to not only recognize but reward employees for their valuable contributions to companies.  Giving employees frequent and specific acknowledgement for the work that they do can be done in various ways such as through point systems, a recognition platform, etc.  It is also important to ensure that employee rewards and praise are both specific and relevant to employees to prevent it from losing value over time.

#4 Learning and Development

According to the American Upskill Study by Gallup “57% of U.S. workers want to update their skills” and “ 61% say upskilling opportunities are an important reason to stay at their job.”  Providing employees with opportunities to develop their skill sets is important for long-term employee retention and also attracts new hires.  When putting together a training program it is important to assess the needs of your current employees to ensure that you can provide them with a valuable skill set while also motivating them to continue working with your company.

#5 Mental Health

According to the Future of Industry Report, 87% of employees want employers who care about their mental health. It is especially important to incorporate mental health in the workplace because of how it can affect stress and burnout at work.  There are various ways to promote mental health at your workplace including mental health training, checking in with employees, and allowing more frequent breaks during the work day.

#6 Work-Life Balance

A good work life balance is important because it allows employees to take on a reasonable workload and still have time for their personal lives.  Flexible schedules and the ability to work remotely help with establishing a good work-life balance. However, employers can take it a step further by checking with employees to ensure that they are not burdened with more work than they reasonably can complete. A simple check-in can prevent stress and burnout, effectively decreasing turnover.


Retention FAQS

Read further to see frequently asked questions about employee retention and answers that might help you promote retention at your company.  OR The following questions address common concerns about retention and provide answers that can help you promote retention at your company. 


What drives Retention?

There are various factors that drive retention such as employee engagement, compensation, and whether or not your employees feel appreciated at work.  Additionally, flexibility and manageable workloads also help to maintain retention.  Retention is also effected by factors that are both within and out side of a your company's control, making it important to identify what those controllable factors are and controlling them to your advantage.  To find out what is driving or hindering retention at your company it can help to get input from employees and take a look at the way your company operates to see how its characteristics are affecting retention during an employee assessment.

Why are people leaving their organizations?

People leave their organizations for a variety of reasons both within and outside of the company’s control. With that said, a study by Work Institute found that nearly 75% of employee turnover was preventable.  Some employees leave because of high stress or an unmanageable workload, others might leave because of inflexibility or inadequate compensation.  Another factor that can cause employee turnover is employee disengagement and feeling under appreciated at work.  When trying to promote retention at your company it is important to be able to identify what is hindering retention so that you can target the problem and develop a solution.

What do employees need to stay longer?

Every company is different and employees at these different companies have different needs, however, there are common factors that can help employees stay longer.  Employee engagement is key to making employees feel that they are actually a part of the company as opposed to just a worker and engaged employees are more likely to stay at a company than those that are unengaged.  Employee retention also benefits from recognizing and praising employees from their hard work as well as having flexible work options so that employees do not leave seeking flexibility.

What can managers do to support retention?

Feeling recognized and valued at work are important factors that promote retention, and managers can make sure that this happens by praising their employees for their hard work and seeking feedback and input from employees about projects, their experiences at work, etc.  Managers can also make an effort to check-in with employees occasionally to discuss their performance at work and let them know that they have an impact on the company.


What can leadership do to support retention?

Incentivizing employees to perform well at work also helps to promote retention.  Leadership can offer incentives to employees such as gift cards, paid time off, and appropriate compensation.  Leaders at a company can also promote and support mental health in the work-place and check with employees to make sure that their workload is not too heavy.  Poor mental health or stress that stems from an employee’s organization and factors that can result in employee turnover.

What can employees to do be more inspired and engaged?

Employees can turn their job into a means of advancing their career as opposed to just an income generator by seeking opportunities to improve the organization where they are employed and taking advantage of changes to learn from employees in higher positions.  Going to work for something other than money can make employees feel more inspired and engaged, motivating them to do their best work for the benefit of themselves and the company.

How much control do companies have over retention?

Companies cannot control all factors that impact retention, for example, some employees leave companies because they moved to a different location and other employees leave work because they need flexibility that their current company could not provide.  However a study by Work Institute found that about 75% of employee turnover was preventable, making it important for company leadership to examine their workforce and their environment that the work in to identify and address factors that can negatively impact retention.

Why is having good retention rates retention important?

Losing employees can cost money because of the costs to hire and train new employees.  Additionally, low retention rates can result in your organization being understaffed, putting a bigger workload on your current employees.  This makes it all the more important to promote retention in your company because it can help you avoid the costs associated will replacing employees.  It also helps to prevent de-motivating or burning out your employees because they are overworked due to an insufficient workforce.

Retention and Related Statistics

Here are some statistics about retention factors that have a significant impact on retention such as employee engagement and manager behavior.










Additional Resources