Leaders: 5 Best Practices For Increasing Employee Retention

Hey leaders, what employee retention strategies do you use to engage and retain employees? Statistics from research done by the labor bureau show that the average American will hold around 11.3 jobs during their working years.

The average number of jobs held is actually going up- especially with Millennials.

Eleven may seem like a really high number – however that depends on various factors, including the work you do, and what generation you are from. Employee retention doesn’t just happen.

Providing Your Success

Employee retention is critical to the success of an organization. Without a focus and an understanding of people, behaviors, and what engagement and rewards strategies work for best for your culture, reducing turnover can be even more difficult.

It’s not always easy, so to help, try using an Employee Engagement & Retention Checklist with a high-level overview of steps to take toward success with some employee retention strategies.

People decide to switch jobs for a wide variety of reasons.

New blood is a good thing, but a constant turnover is detrimental to performance, morale, and the overall sustainability.

Some reasons are related to personal or life changes and are completely unrelated to the job itself. Consequently, a business can’t expect to impact or change all departures. Though with workers switching jobs roughly every 4.4 years, businesses do need to be focused on the aspects of employee retention they can influence.

What is Driving Your Employees?

What is Driving Your Employees?

5 Best Practices For Increasing Employee Retention

So, what are some of the best practices for increasing employee retention?

1) Provide career navigation and personal branding strategies from the get-go.

Involve employees in the process as much as possible. Ask questions to find how what motivates them. Employee development is also key because it is important to provide coaching, educational opportunities, and training programs. By helping people plan their desired path within an organization, setting concrete goals, and providing support to help them achieve those goals, engagement and retention increase.

2) Hiring the right managers makes all the difference.

Steve Miranda, Managing Director for Cornell University’s “Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies” (CAHRS), said in an interview that he believed 80% of employee turnover resulted from the environment created by a manager as opposed to the company at large.

So it’s critical to work closely to make sure there’s a consistent open line of communication between employees and managers, and that managers are working collaboratively and positively with their employees.

3) Work to create a culture of trust.

An organization with a culture of trust often has higher levels of performance and retention. An organization with a culture of distrust is an organization destined to be doomed.

To maintain positive employee retention make sure your organization has a culture of trust, not distrust.

4) Recognize good performance.

Be it financially or with some other non-monetary benefits (NMBs), make sure employees are recognized when they achieve their goals and perform above and beyond. Pulse your workforce for their preferred means of recognition and then implement various strategies based on that feedback.

With workforce demographics changing, a one size fits all approach no longer works.

It’s important to pay attention to what each motivates different employees. Not all employees prefer to be recognized for a job well done in the same ways. As we’ve said before, if unsure of the best ways to engage and retain employees – ASK THEM.

5) Hire the right kind of employees for skills and culture fit.

A focus on both aspects is important to success. Sure, some people are “shooting stars”, and you’d be lucky to catch them, but if they’re not a fit for the culture of your organization then you’re not likely to see maximum performance or retention.

By interviewing and choosing the right hires in the first place, you’re getting a leg up on setting up a relationship that can last.

Real Motivation

Though there are many other employee retention strategies for engaging and retaining employees, these tips should serve as a good start. Be transparent, have a clear employee value proposition, communicate with employees early and often, know what they want and what you want, and what motivates them.

This should help set you up for a successful partnership that leads to higher performance and retention.

So what type of environment are you maintaining? Is it one of trust, or of something else? What are you doing to understand what drives your employees to bring out their best and to want to stick around? Are you taking the time to understand how best to retain your folks? I would love to hear your thoughts!


Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadershipsubscribe today.
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders™

Scott Span

Scott Span, MSOD is President of Tolero Solutions OD & Change Management Firm
He helps clients be responsive, focused, and effective to facilitate sustainable growth
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Blog | Facebook | Website

Image Sources: cdn2.hubspot.net

L2L Contributing Author


  1. ramakrishnan6002 on May 2, 2014 at 7:00 am

    Reblogged this on Gr8fullsoul.