Employee Retention

How can employers improve employee retention?

Employee retention is a business stability measurement. It is calculated by totaling the number of people employed at each point in time, then dividing that number by the total number of employees at the start of the period. In other words, it shows what percentage of employees are still there at a later date. Retention can be improved by better understanding employee motivations, giving feedback and ensuring employee engagement.

Importance of Employee Retention

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that 3.6 million employees quit last year, the highest number since 2009 when the figure hit 3.7 million. Three out of four employees quit because of workplace conditions. Gallup calculates the cost of voluntary turnover to US businesses at one trillion dollars every year. Companies that retain employees also sustain their knowledge and culture.

Factors that affect employee retention

Factors that lead to loyal and productive employees:

  • Fairness— employees should feel that they are being assessed fairly, without favoritism. Advancement and acknowledgement should come from merit and success rather than favoritism.
  • Encouragement—employees are encouraged, trained and supported in their work rather than threatened with punishment or other negative consequences.
  • Leadership— managers lead employees and teams in a supportive, cooperative manner, providing enough information, structure, and direction without micromanaging.
  • Effective communication— employees are given enough information to make informed decisions and participate effectively in meetings.
  • Coaching— a culture of learning, skills development, and mentoring provides employees with the feedback they need to grow as professionals. This environment also encourages employers to achieve their goals by providing their employees with the necessary tools.
  • Recognition— Companies with a reputation for recognizing contributions and successes tend to retain employees better than those that do not.

What are stay interviews?

The stay interview is a tool you can use with your human resources director to determine the reasons why employees leave, improve general overall business effectiveness, and measure employee satisfaction with immediate supervisors. The information gathered from stay interviews can be used to help improve employee retention rates in your company.

What can I do to improve employee retention?

  • Engage your employees to motivate your employees to drive consistent performance and resolve issues that impact morale, teamwork, and productivity.
  • Coach employees to connect and collaborate, which helps them grow as individuals and promotes desired behaviors and outcomes.
  • Upskill employees so that they are encouraged to develop their skills and their contributions increase.
  • Flexible Scheduling can benefit your business by increasing attendance, boosting predictability, and supporting work/life balance.
  • Remote Work options can be helpful in increasing flexibility, improving safety, and reducing costs.
  • Offer benefits that will attract and retain the best employees.
  • Manage performance as a process that provides ongoing feedback and opportunities to course correct.

See also

Additional resources

Human Resources Techniques that Improve Communication and Help You Keep Your Best Employees
The Good, Bad, and Ugly: Management Effect on Employee Retention
How Workforce Management for Manufacturing Increases Employee Retention
Proven Strategies from Successful Businesses to Keep Your Employees from Quitting