EMPLOYEE RETENTION: What It Is, Strategies and Importance

Employee Retention
Photo Credit: CFOMagazine

When it comes to managing employee retention, it’s all about taking calculated steps to ensure workers are motivated to stay with the company and contribute to their full potential for as long as possible. Attracting and maintaining top talent and decreasing turnover and its associated expenses can be significantly aided by a well-designed employee retention strategy. As a result, these factors enhance a company’s efficiency and profitability. Retaining a valuable worker is more cost-effective than searching for, hiring, training, and orienting a new one. In addition, fairness and transparency are simple ideas that may have a significant effect on employees. In this article, we will be looking at employee retention examples, strategies, credit, and how important it is in a company.

What is Employee Retention?

The term “employee retention” describes the situation in which employees decide to remain with their existing employer rather than actively looking for alternative employment opportunities. Turnover, in contrast, occurs when employees leave for various reasons.

Retention is the method by which a business makes sure its workers stick around rather than leave. The retention rate is the proportion of an organization’s workforce that remained in that role throughout a certain time period, and it varies greatly from one company and sector to the next.

Furthermore, It’s crucial for businesses to keep their top employees on staff. Employee retention aims to achieve this. The term “employee retention” is used to describe the measures an organization takes to keep its most valuable workers from leaving. Organizations and HR departments face a major challenge in retaining their current workforce.

There is a wide variety of motivations for people to quit their professions. There are two types: voluntary, like changing careers, and involuntary, like being laid off. The loss of a poor performer is not the primary objective of employee retention strategies; rather, the focus is on preventing unwanted voluntary turnover. Avoidable turnover is also emphasized, such as when an employee resigns because they are relocating out of state.

Why Does Employee Retention Matter?

The value of retention lies not just in its ability to cut costs, but also in the opportunities it presents to boost sales and boost morale among employees. On its own, retention is a factor that has a direct impact on a company’s bottom line, but it also has a significant bearing on another crucial driver of corporate success: employee engagement.

What Are the Four Retention Strategies? 

Higher customer satisfaction levels are the natural byproduct of an effective customer retention strategy, which in turn leads to higher revenue growth. Customers that are satisfied have a greater incentive to continue doing business with you, which ultimately increases profits.

If customers leave, so do their dollars. There is a worryingly high price tag attached to regaining the business of lapsed clients. Customer acquisition is expensive, with studies finding a range from five to twenty-five times as much as keeping existing ones. When you include the expense of advertising, the effort required to manage sales, and the time needed to convert leads, you can see that the price tag is far higher than just money. Here are the four retention strategies.

#1. Personalization

In the modern business climate, broad marketing strategies are less successful than they once were. Customers now anticipate individualized and pertinent marketing communications. Segmenting your clientele based on their characteristics and the information you glean from it is essential. You can use it to target your current clientele with ads that are more likely to appeal to them based on their demographics and past purchases. A similar strategy, centered around personalized, pertinent content and products, can be used to the lead funnel in order to attract, convert, and retain clients.

#2. The Superiority of Service Quality

We all know how vital it is to provide prompt service and prompt response when dealing with customers. In the end, though, excellence always triumphs. Think about this whenever everyone in your company communicates with consumers, not just the people who handle customer service.

The Gallup Group found that customers were nine times more likely to be involved with a brand when they rated the service as “courteous, willing, and helpful,” as opposed to the “speedy” rating. In addition, customers were just six times as likely to interact with a business that provided quick service.

#3. Specificity

Making your premium clients feel like they’re part of something special can pay dividends in a number of ways. It’s about showing your most valuable consumers that you appreciate and notice their loyalty. Commercial airlines often have their own versions of loyalty clubs, such as Air New Zealand’s Koru Club and Lounge. Customers will appreciate the uniqueness of their experience with you and be more likely to return as a result.

#4. Automation

You may save time with automation, and your consumers will feel like they are part of the process every step of the way. You could, for instance, send a user manual or frequently asked questions document to a customer’s inbox after they’ve made a purchase of your product. As a corollary, it can free up your customer support agents and provide answers to frequently asked questions. Also, read CUSTOMER RETENTION STRATEGIES: Meaning and Effective Strategies for Customer Retention.

Employee Retention Examples

One of the most significant difficulties that companies must contend with is consistent employee turnover. It is a crucial factor that reduces overall productivity. The productivity of an existing employee is approximately twice that of a newly hired worker. To perform at the same level as more experienced workers typically takes new hires at least one to two years. Because of this, companies must create effective tactics for employee retention. They prevent their company from suffering from a loss of productivity. It has been demonstrated that companies with employees that are engaged in their work develop more profitable relationships with their customers and that teams that coalesce are more productive. Here are successful employee retention strategies.

#1. Invest in Employee Development

Companies who invest in their employees’ professional development by giving them an opportunity to learn new skills are showing they care about their employees’ future success. Also, When workers see opportunities to advance their careers, they are more likely to be content in their workplace.

Employer-sponsored professional development opportunities may take the form of workshops or conferences. On the other hand, some companies will compensate their workers for time spent in school, whether it’s through a paid study leave or by allowing them to work reduced hours to attend classes. In-house training and development programs are another option for companies looking to invest in their employees’ professional growth.

#2. Pay Competitive Rates

Better job opportunities are a common motivator for employees to leave their current positions. Who would want to stick around at a company that pays them less than the going rate? When companies are serious about keeping their employees, they must provide competitive pay.

It would inspire them to do better work and increase their morale. Begin with giving wage ranges in job postings. This would be useful for job seekers in determining whether they are a good fit for a particular organization. Assuming they are interested in applying and the compensation is within their budget, they will move forward. Although this is intended to entice potential recruits, being open with your current staff demonstrates that you have nothing to hide.

#3. Foster a Healthy Work-Life Balance

There is no compensation for burnout that lasts too long. Those who are overworked have a harder time concentrating on the tasks at hand. Also, in the workplace, employees would rather not be constantly under time constraints. In light of this, it is imperative for every company to guarantee that no employee is overworking themselves.

In its place, a need to concentrate on helping workers strike a good work-life balance. Managers should encourage their staff to adopt healthy lifestyles so that everyone can focus on their work without distractions. In general, employees are less stressed when their workweek is shorter, and that translates to increased output.

#4. Allow for Variable Work Schedules and Shorter Work Weeks

Society for Human Resource Management research shows that companies that provide more flexible work options, including remote work, have much greater employee retention. Prior to the epidemic making remote work commonplace, a 2019 survey indicated that roughly two-thirds of workers were more productive working from home because of fewer interruptions, fewer distractions, and less commuting. Since it’s not always possible to turn on creativity like a faucet, allowing employees to choose their own schedules can help them focus during peak times of productivity.

Cutting back on the number of hours employees put in each day or week is another way to boost productivity and keep workers around. Stanford University conducted research in 2014 that indicated productivity drops dramatically after a worker’s weekly hours spent in the office reach 50 or more. Workaholics who are first to arrive and last to depart may seem dedicated and productive at first glance, but this may be misleading if much of their output during those hours is lost due to weariness or burnout.

#5. Display Gratitude and Respect

In a large way, a company’s bottom line is helped along by its workforce. For this reason, it is crucial to ensure they feel valued and respected. One approach is to treat everyone in the workplace fairly. To add, it’s important to recognize and reward staff for performing a good job in order to motivate them to keep it up.

A sincere “thank you” goes a long way, but organizations also need to show their appreciation through more substantial means, such as pay increases, bonuses, extra time off, and even promotions. You should always inquire where your management is ambiguous regarding the desired kind of employee recognition.

#6. Create an Environment That Employees Like Working In

Building a company culture that people want to be a part of is another effective strategy of keeping good employees around. According to a 2019 research by Glassdoor, employees care deeply about the company’s culture, both when looking for a new job and when deciding to stay in their current position. More than half of current employees say the positive company culture is a major factor in their decision to stay put.

Many of the methods for keeping employees that are described here could be crucial to creating a fantastic workplace culture. Some examples of such initiatives include rewarding employees not just for success but for effort, developing a compelling company mission, and encouraging employees to contribute creatively to decisions regarding the direction of the company.

It’s also crucial to foster a diverse and inclusive work environment, especially for the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and LGBTQ communities, whose members may have a harder time finding places of employment where they feel comfortable and accepted. Attracting and keeping a more robust, diverse, and high-quality pool of talent is made easier when all employees are treated with dignity and respect regardless of their race, gender, background, or sexual orientation.

#7. Improve Participation Among Workers

Increasing employee enthusiasm for the company they work for is one of the most effective ways to keep good employees around. The morale, productivity, and success of your business could all take a hit if employees aren’t fully invested in their work. Let workers share their thoughts and concerns by actively listening to them and rewarding them for doing so.

Create a space where employees feel comfortable providing honest feedback. Giving employees a voice in business culture development and allowing them to work together to enhance workflow and the work environment will help employees feel like they had a hand in building company culture and guarantee they remain engaged with the company.

Similarly, you shouldn’t push activities meant to promote engagement until you have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish. Forcing employees to take part in social or other non-work-related events might be a deal-breaker for individuals who value their personal time more than the money they bring in from their job. One of the easiest methods to prevent this problem is to ask employees what they would prefer, as every workplace is unique and not all workplaces demand the same forms of employee involvement.

#8. Build a Cooperative Culture

One strategy for employee retention is to foster an atmosphere that values collaboration. Opportunities for cooperation, especially cooperation between different departments, can boost morale and productivity. Not only can strong teamwork foster more camaraderie among employees, which can improve company culture, but it also leads to greater productivity. Managers and workers that work well together will be better able to identify and pair off on each other’s strengths and limitations within departments, allowing for a more equitable distribution of work.

What Factors Affect Employee Retention?

You may have put together a competent team, and circumstances in the office may be up to par.

Nevertheless, will “satisfactory” be enough to prevent your best employees from leaving for greener pastures? Perhaps one that pays well and provides perks for its employees? It’s common knowledge that high turnover rates are the result of employees leaving rather than being satisfied with their work and the company they’re with. Here are some of the factors that affect employee retention

#1. Low Morale Among Employees

Job satisfaction is a key indicator of employee morale. Their happiness and attitude toward the company are also factors. When morale drops, so does productivity. They typically carry a negative outlook and are obviously inefficient at work. Poor morale among employees is infectious, and it has a negative impact on the output of everyone in the vicinity. What do we get out of this? The company suffers as a result of everyone putting in their time merely to get their paycheck at the end of the month.

When workers are appreciated and recognized for their contributions, their morale increases.

#2. A Lack of Advancement Opportunities

Employees, especially those who do their jobs from home, may not feel like they’re progressing in their careers for several reasons. Doing the same routine day in and day out is boring and uninspiring, especially when there is no opportunity for advancement. However, Career insecurity arises when people perceive no room for advancement, prompting them to turn elsewhere for employment.

Nowadays, workers don’t think of their time at work in terms of strict “clocking in” and “clocking out” schedules. In reality, in light of the uncertainty surrounding the future of the economy, a growing number of workers are opting for development opportunities over security.

If your company hasn’t put resources into an employee retention program, it’s likely that its workers may defect to a competitor that better recognizes and rewards its workers’ efforts and provides more opportunities for professional development.

#3. Absence of Acknowledgement

Bringing out the best in employees demands leaders praise their achievements and encourage them to do better. Employees like to know that their efforts are recognized and appreciated.

However, motivating employees can be done with or without financial rewards. Employees may leave companies that don’t value them in favor of ones that do. Because of this, giving them Offineeds corporate gifts will inspire them to work more. Customized gifts that appeal to an employee’s interests are a great way to boost morale and gain favor among coworkers.

If an employee frequently travels for work, for instance, the company could provide them with branded backpacks, headphones, and other accessories. The personalized presents can be imprinted with the recipient’s name, as well as the company’s name and emblem. The worker’s sense of community will be bolstered as a result.

#4. Poor Communication Between the Management and the Employees

In the course of a typical workday, an employee is away from home for a good chunk of time. When this happens, the people they work with, even their superiors, start to seem more like family than just coworkers. Effective business relationships among employees are essential for productivity. The organization’s leadership must be on board for this to happen.

Paying them well and offering them bonuses isn’t enough to keep them around for the long haul. When supervisors are constantly hovering over their staff, it can feel oppressive, leading some employees to look elsewhere for employment.

#5. Lack of a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Some companies don’t provide their employees enough time off to focus on their personal lives. Much more so for telecommuting workers. They have to put in extra hours whether or not they are high achievers.

It’s problematic because it could make workers burn out sooner and make them resent the company’s leadership and their coworkers. The modern workforce demands schedules that can be adjusted to accommodate employees’ personal and family obligations.

Employee Retention Credit 

While businesses can no longer make new hires eligible for the Employee Retention Tax Credit, they have until at least 2024 (and possibly 2025) to file a revised tax return that takes into account payroll made during the pandemic.

Companies can still make past-due claims for the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) even if the program has ended. It’s true that companies can do a retroactive paycheck to see if salaries made between March 12, 2020, and the program’s expiration date qualify.

In general, firms had until September 30, 2021, to pay qualified employees in order to claim the credit, however, some had until December 31, 2021. Companies can modify 2020 tax filings until April 15, 2024, and 2021 filings until April 15, 2025.

Furthermore, since the employee retention credit program’s start, various pieces of legislation have been passed that affect how the credit can be claimed. As a result, Paychex created the ERTC Service.

What is Employee Retention Credit?

The employee retention credit is a refundable credit that employers can claim on eligible salaries, including some health insurance expenditures, paid to employees.

How Does the Employee Retention Credit Work?

According to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, starting in 2020, the nonrefundable portion of the employee retention tax credit can be applied to Medicare taxes rather than Social Security taxes. The total credit amount will remain the same, however, this adjustment will only apply to earnings paid after June 30, 2021.

The credit is reimbursed to the employer if it is greater than the employer’s total responsibility for the portion of Social Security or Medicare in any calendar quarter before or after June 30, 2021. A complete tally of these credits will be included in the quarterly Form 941 that the company submits.

Why Employee Retention Is Important

Human resource management relies heavily on an understanding of employee retention risks and the implementation of methods to lower talent attrition rates, and for good cause. Turnover has a profound effect on a company’s bottom line, as well as its culture, productivity, and the quality of service it provides to its customers, among other areas.

The costs of high staff turnover are well-documented, yet many businesses continue to ignore this issue. But, those who put money into making improvements reap big payoffs in a variety of essential areas. Employee retention is much more than merely limiting losses by turnover. In addition, it provides openings for boosting operations across a wide range of important KPIs. Here are the reasons why employee retention is important.

#1. High Confidence Levels

Employee morale can suffer in an office where people are constantly being hired and fired. In addition to social isolation, those still working may have to pick up extra shifts or take on additional duties. This can have a negative impact on their drive and happiness.

Even more worrisome is the infectious nature of turnover. As soon as employees become aware that their coworkers are actively looking for other employment, discussing leaving, or have already resigned, they may make the decision to do the same.

Successful employee retention initiatives may boost morale, open doors to deeper connections and involvement, and spread happiness throughout an organization.

#2. Competent Workers

The loss of an employee’s institutional knowledge, skills, and relationships (inside the company and with customers and partners) is one of the most devastating costs of high turnover. Also, the company incurs the opportunity cost of the employee’s lost productivity. When key personnel leaves an organization, it can have a negative effect on succession preparations. Even in times of high unemployment, these workers remain at risk for turnover, especially if they are top performers or have talents that are in high demand. Senior employees can often handle complex issues on their own, therefore companies that keep them usually make the most money.

#4. Increased Efficiency

Having a high rate of employee turnover is a major problem for any business. Productivity losses are the most noticeable effect right away. A new hire typically takes one to two years to perform at the same level as an experienced worker. A new hire typically takes one to two years to perform at the same level as an experienced worker. Furthermore, new personnel requires a period of adjustment to establish rapport with their peers and clients. Employee overtime and burnout decreased quality, and delays are only some of the negative effects of a lack of staff.

Productivity losses can be reduced by well-executed employee retention strategies. Organizations with a low turnover rate typically have disengaged employees who produce subpar results. Active workers are more likely to enhance client relationships, and well-established teams typically perform better.


In order to run a profitable firm, it is crucial to engage in employee retention. The aforementioned measures aren’t a magic bullet, but rather a step in the right direction toward showing employees that their employers care. Many employees have learned the worth of their time and energy as a result of the epidemic; therefore, it is crucial that your organization demonstrate that it values its employees’ time and energy.

Employee Retention FAQs

How do I calculate my employee turnover rate?

Divide the sum of employee separations by the average number of employees to get your turnover rate. Multiplying by 100 makes the percentage equivalent to that number.

What are the elements of employee retention?

An effective human resource management plan will include measures to increase employee retention. Even in a tight labor market, expansion, employing the right people, training managers, and employee engagement can boost retention.

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