What is an employee retention strategy?

An employee retention strategy is a calculated approach to keeping people motivated to work at their jobs. In the current job-hopping culture, people are often on the lookout for better work situations, unless they’re happy at their jobs. 

Why should HR leaders care about an employee retention strategy?

Retaining professionals–especially highly competent ones–is a must. Keeping people stimulated, engaged, and driven promotes:

  • A high level of productivity 
  • Business goal accomplishment
  • Positive company reputation
  • Reduced turnover and hiring costs

According to the 2017 Retention Report, the three main reasons people left their jobs were for career development (21 percent), better work-life balance (13 percent), and poor manager behavior (11 percent)–all areas in which a company can improve.

What can HR leaders do to implement an employee retention strategy?

To build an effective employee retention strategy, the HR department and company leadership must understand which types of people are leaving and why. Here are four ways HR leaders can strengthen their retention strategy:  

Know your company

Consider the company’s size as it is a factor in determining why people may want to quit. HiBob data shows that mid-sized companies typically have higher turnover rates than small and large companies.

Furthermore, people in small and large companies generally want better benefits and compensation, while those in mid-sized companies aspire for better work-life balance and flexible work options.

Gather feedback from your people and listen to it 

Running frequent surveys to collect employee feedback enables HR leaders to understand how to improve the employee experience. HR leaders can also incorporate stay interviews to learn how to boost engagement and frequent performance reviews to collect feedback from people’s suggestions and better understand their expectations.

Incorporate Retention KPIs

To evaluate the organization’s current retention strategy HR can calculate retention metrics such as the eNPS (employee net promoter score), employee retention rate, and career path ratio. Using these metrics, HR can have a finger on the pulse of their people’s satisfaction levels, progress and growth within the company, and turnover and retention statistics. 

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Focus on HR functions 

HR can leverage HR functions to build an optimal retention strategy. For example, HR can emphasize: 

  • Hiring people who are excited about the company culture
  • Establishing strong employee-manager relationships during onboarding 
  • Encouraging professional growth with collaborative L&D opportunities 
  • Offering fair and competitive compensation with proper management practices

Why should an employee retention strategy be part of the modern HR strategy?

A strong retention strategy can satisfy people’s needs and improve the employee experience. Setting the external conditions can encourage professionals to stay at their jobs. In turn, this can generate a ripple effect, boosting engagement and productivity while also enhancing the company culture and brand reputation.