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10 Employee Retention Strategies You Need to Know

Retaining employees is at the top of many employers’ concerns right now, which is no surprise in a very strong labor market. There are dozens of ways you can increase employee retention incrementally—but what are the most critical retention strategies you should put at the top of your priority list? Here are the 10 go-to strategies you need to know. 

1. Competitive Compensation and Benefits 

There’s much more to employee retention and happiness than just pay and benefits, but that doesn’t mean they’re not important factors. In fact, 56% of workers with employer-sponsored health benefits said that their health coverage is a key factor in deciding to stay at their current job. Employees might love your organization, but they’re not going to stay long if their pay can be significantly boosted at a different company, or their healthcare coverage could be better. 

2. Recognition Programs 

68% of employees say their company’s recognition program positively affects retention. That shouldn’t come as a surprise—recognizing employees for their hard work and contributions to the organization is critical to their engagement. Creating a recognition program doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated, as there are many companies that offer recognition program software for organizations of all sizes. 

3. Employee Engagement 

Speaking of engagement, ensuring employees find satisfaction, meaning, and purpose in their roles is essential for employee retention. And that’s what employee engagement is all about. Managers play a key role in connecting an employee’s daily work to the larger vision of the organization. And tools like Cangrade can help you predict which candidates will be the most engaged employees during the hiring process so you can build a highly engaged team. 

4. Clear Career Paths

Offering employees the opportunity to grow their careers at your company is also critical for retention—they’re not going to see a reason to stay if they feel stuck. And career development doesn’t need to be all about promotions either. Organizations that offer internal mobility, including lateral moves, have higher retention rates than those with low mobility. 

5. Flexible Working Arrangements 

Employees are increasingly demanding flexible working options, and they’re willing to quit to get them. McKinsey research has found that the third most common reason people leave their jobs is to find a more flexible working arrangement. If you’re not already offering your employees as much flexibility and autonomy as their roles allow, you’re at risk of losing them to a company that does. 

6. Good Leadership

It’s very difficult to retain employees when your organization’s leadership is toxic, chaotic, or deaf to employee concerns. Good leadership models the kinds of behavior that boosts employee retention, like communication and fairness, and also creates a workplace culture where employees can thrive. 

7. Transparent Communication 

Communicating clearly and accurately with employees builds trust—they know that if something important is happening, like layoffs or hiring freezes, they’ll hear about it directly (and compassionately) from your company. Of course, that doesn’t mean revealing everything all the time. Employees know there are limits on what you can share. But erring on the side of transparency creates a culture of trust that encourages employees to stick around. 

8. Healthy Workplace Culture

A workplace culture with healthy boundaries around work-life balance, a deep commitment to diversity and inclusion, and a focus on employee mental health is a place employees want to stay. A toxic workplace, on the other hand, drives employees away—a toxic culture is 10.4 times more powerful than compensation in predicting a company’s attrition rate, according to MIT research

9. Upskilling and Training  

Ensuring employees have the opportunity to enhance their skills prepares them for a bright future at your organization. It also shows them how much you value them by investing in their future. 

10. The Right Retention Tools 

Retaining employees is easier when you have the right HR tools in hand to hire the right people and build a positive culture. Cangrade’s tools, including our Retention Forecast feature, can help you increase your employee retention from the very beginning of your hiring process.