16 Strategies to Increase Employee Retention

June 1st, 2023

Retain your employees for the long haul with these effective strategies. Learn how to keep your valued employees satisfied and loyal to your company.

The success of a company depends heavily on the competence and dedication of employees. Therefore, attracting and retaining top talent has become a critical priority for organisations worldwide. 

Employee well-being and satisfaction are an important part of this growing concern. Companies that prioritise the happiness of their teams reap the benefits of higher employee retention rates and a more resilient and motivated workforce. 

In this article, we will delve into what employee retention is and why having a high employee retention rate can benefit your organisation. We also list 20 strategies to help you attract and maintain top talent. 

What is employee retention?

Employee retention refers to an organisation’s ability to retain employees over a certain period of time. It is a measure of the extent to which employees choose to stay with a company rather than seek employment elsewhere. 

This measurement can indicate the health of a company or how stable the business is, as retaining talented and skilled employees is crucial for long-term success. 

Many different factors can influence employee retention rates, including the compensation and benefits offered by a company, career development opportunities, and work-life balance. Employees who feel valued and properly compensated for their work are more likely to remain committed to the company. 

You should keep these things in mind when it comes to employee retention rates. People want to be happy and satisfied with what they do, so any strategy or program implemented must aim to improve experiences. 

How to calculate employee retention?

To determine your employee retention rate, you should first decide on the time frame for which you want to calculate the retention rate. It can be a month, quarter or even a year.

Then, determine the number of employees you had at the beginning of the period and count the number of people who left the organisation during that time. Calculate the number of employees you have at the end of the time frame, excluding those who left.

With this information at hand, you can apply the following formula: 

(Number of employees at the end of a period – Number of employees who left during the period) / Number of employees at the start of the period. Multiply this number by 100 to get the rate. 

For example, consider you start with 180 employees, 50 employees leave in a year, and you end with 130 employees:

((130-50)/180) x 100 = 44.44%

The higher the employee retention rate, the better. 

Why is it important to have a high employee retention rate?

Calculating and monitoring your employee retention rate can offer many benefits. 

1. Cost savings

High turnover rates can be costly. The process of recruiting, hiring, and training new employees requires time, effort, and financial resources.

Retaining employees means companies can avoid these expenses, have a better-prepared team and continue operations normally. 

2. Knowledge and expertise

Experienced employees possess valuable knowledge, skills, and expertise that are built over time. When people stay with an organisation for a long time, they develop a deeper understanding of operations, culture, processes, and systems, all of which take time to teach and learn. 

Retaining these professionals ensures the preservation of institutional knowledge, which can be crucial for maintaining productivity, quality, and continuity. 

3. Productivity and performance

High employee turnover can disrupt workflow, decrease productivity, and negatively impact overall performance. 

Suppose a company needs to replace employees constantly, dedicating time and resources to train them and teach the organisation’s culture. In that case, it can lead to inefficiencies, errors, and a decline in quality. 

4. Customer satisfaction

Employee retention can have a direct impact on customer satisfaction. Employees who are happy about their workplace and committed to their activities build strong relationships with customers. They can understand people’s needs and provide a consistent service.

From the customer’s point of view, interacting with the same person can also enhance their experience with a company. It improves trust and increases the likelihood of repeat business.

5. Organisational culture and engagement

We have discussed how difficult it can be to teach the company’s culture to a new employee. Retaining employees fosters a positive organisational culture.

When workers feel valued, supported, and engaged, they are more likely to contribute their best efforts and collaborate effectively with colleagues. If employees feel like they are part of something, this helps promote a sense of loyalty.

6. Employer brand and reputation

Organisations with high employee retention rates tend to develop a positive employer brand and reputation. As a result, companies will attract top talent and gain a competitive edge in recruiting and retaining skilled professionals. 

16 strategies to increase employee retention

Retain your employees for the long haul with these effective strategies.

You now understand what employee retention is, how to calculate it, and why it is important to foster a good workplace environment. But how can you go about it?

We have listed 16 strategies that can help you improve your retention rate and attract top talent. 

1. Competitive compensation

Paying competitive salaries and offering a robust benefits package play a significant role in employee retention. 

Competitive compensation motivates employees to perform their best, reduces financial stress, and shows employees their work is valued and recognised. 

2. Recognition and rewards

Implement recognition programs to acknowledge and reward employees’ achievements and contributions. 

This kind of incentive can significantly motivate employees, giving them a sense of value and belonging. Not only that, but it encourages people to continue to do their best, improving the quality of their work.

With recognition programs, the company culture becomes more positive, helping employees encourage each other. 

3. Career development

Provide opportunities for professional growth and advancement, such as training programs, mentorship, and internal promotions.

One reason why people might change jobs and look for opportunities elsewhere is not believing they have space to grow. When companies make it clear that they want their employees to develop further, giving them the opportunity to improve their skills, they can increase job satisfaction and employee loyalty. 

4. Work-life balance

Encourage work-life balance by offering flexible work arrangements, remote work options, and support for personal well-being. 

It is important that companies understand the importance of maintaining a healthy equilibrium between personal and professional lives. This helps reduce burnout, stress, and absenteeism. 

Regularly assess and adjust the initiatives you provide based on employee feedback for maintaining an effective work-life balance culture. 

5. Clear communication

Foster open and transparent communication channels to keep employees informed about company news, goals, and performance.

When employees are aware of every movement within the organisation, it can increase trust and engagement. It also helps align expectations, ensuring employees have a clear understanding of their roles, responsibilities, and performance expectations. 

Open communication is also essential to address concerns and potential issues, allowing employees to give suggestions or constructive feedback without fear of reprisal. 

To enhance communication, organisations can establish regular channels, such as team meetings, town hall sessions, newsletters, or regular updates and announcements. Encouraging two-way communication, active listening, and providing opportunities for feedback and suggestions also contribute to effective communication practices. 

6. Employee engagement

Actively engage employees by involving them in decision-making processes. This provides people with a sense of purpose, forms stronger connections with colleagues and increases job satisfaction.

Involving employees in important processes can also encourage personal and professional growth. It is important for teams to feel like they can contribute and learn from their work. 

7. Supportive management

Never underestimate the importance of managers in employee retention. People in leadership positions play a significant role in promoting a supportive work environment, offering guidance, and encouraging growth. Therefore, managers need to be trained and guided in accordance with the company’s objectives. 

When employees feel supported by their managers, they are more likely to stay with the company. Supportive management practices require empathy, active listening, and a genuine interest in employee well-being and growth. 

8. Employee wellness programs

Implement wellness initiatives, such as fitness programs, stress management workshops, and employee assistance programs to support your teams’ physical and mental well-being. 

This sort of initiative can significantly contribute to employee retention rates, and employees feel less stressed and more motivated.

Encourage healthy habits, get people involved in physical activities that can improve their overall health and stress level and ensure that all programs are tailored to employees’ needs and preferences.

9. Inclusive company culture

Foster an inclusive and diverse workplace culture that values and respects employees’ differences, ideas, and contributions. 

It is important that every employee feels valued, respected and included, so they feel like they can stay in the organisation. Offer equal access to opportunities for growth and development. When employees see that a company provides a fair and level playing field, they are more motivated to invest in their careers within the company. 

Diversity and inclusivity also help to fuel creativity and innovation while contributing to every employee feeling safe and comfortable. 

10. Performance feedback

Provide regular performance feedback and coaching to help employees improve and grow. When people receive constructive criticism and compliments for what they are doing, it enhances job satisfaction and engagement, all of which contribute to higher employee retention rates. 

Address performance issues, offer encouragement and recognise achievements. This will help employees understand what is expected of them and how they can continue to grow within the company. 

11. Team building activities

Organise team-building activities and social events to strengthen relationships, boost morale, and create a sense of camaraderie among employees. 

When people have an opportunity to have fun together, it can increase trust and create a larger sense of community and belonging. Ensure activities are inclusive, engaging, and aligned with employees’ interests. 

12. Leadership development

Offer leadership development programs to nurture and promote employees with leadership potential. 

It is important that organisations invest in developing leaders instead of hiring outsiders. This fosters a sense of growth and advancement, showing employees that they can stay in the company and achieve their ambitions.

Leadership development programs cultivate leaders who serve as role models and inspire others to perform at their best. Align these programs with organisational goals and provide ongoing support and resources for leaders’ growth.

You can offer mentorship programs, coaching and opportunities for employees to apply their skills and continue to improve. 

13. Clear career paths

Similar to clear communication and career development programs, it is important to provide clarity and a sense of direction to employees. They need to understand what is available to them and what is the potential career progression in the organisation. 

Communicate regularly, provide feedback and guidance and discuss the personal goals of your team members. Individual plans can help support employees interested in growing with the company. 

14. Workforce flexibility

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, flexible work schedules and locations have become even more attractive to employees. Companies that allow people to fit their work into their personal lives are more likely to have a high employee retention rate.

Workforce flexibility refers to the ability of employees to have control over their work arrangements, providing a better work-life balance.

Develop policies and practices that support flexibility, communicating the decision clearly and establishing clear guidelines on expectations.

15. Employee surveys

A simple way to understand how satisfied and happy your employees are is through surveys. Constantly gather feedback to identify areas for improvement and address concerns proactively. 

16. Work environment enhancements

Create a comfortable and inspiring work environment by investing in equipment, modern technology, and pleasant office spaces. 

Listen to employees’ suggestions and ensure they are comfortable in their workplace. This will help you create a positive environment, increasing employee retention rates.  

Final thoughts

Employee retention is a crucial part of the success of organisations of all sizes. It is an indicator of employee satisfaction and the value of a company. 

It is evident that investing in employee well-being is not only a moral imperative but also a strategic decision that yields significant benefits for organisations. Higher retention rates lead to reduces turnover costs, increased productivity, improved team dynamics, and a positive employer brand that attracts top talent.

There are many ways to improve employee retention rates, and a mix of strategies is the best way to go about it. Discuss your options with experts, listen to your employees and make sure you are offering possibilities aligned with company objectives and employees’ needs.

Amanda Simon

Amanda is our Chief People Officer and joined in 2022 with over 30 years HR experience focused on International Consultancy services. As a member of the Executive Leadership Team she is responsible for HR and Payroll services and internal HR strategy. Amanda has CIPD, FedEE and SHRM certifications to support her technical knowledge and has a passion for improving employee engagement. Amanda spends much of her spare time with her family, including 5 grandchildren, her role it seems is to provide snacks, food and the odd taxi service! When she is able, she prefers winter sun breaks to get away from the harsh UK weather!