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How to Improve Employee Retention

How to Improve Employee Retention

How to Improve Employee Retention.

Retaining staff is an essential task for HR managers and business owners. There is an enormous cost for losing an employee, because when people leave organisations, they take all their valuable knowledge, training and skills with them. And the cost of recruiting a new employee is 15% - 30% of the employee's yearly salary.

The most common reasons for people leaving organisations include:

  1. A lack of appreciation.
  2. Feeling burnt out.
  3. Lack of flexible work options.
  4. Bad relationships with management.
  5. Bad corporate culture.

Therefore, the best way to retain staff, are the opposites of the above statements.

1. Appreciation and praise.

The primary motivation for people to work is money. But they also work for many other emotional reasons, which are called, "social motivators". Social motivators are intangible and include appreciation and praise.

Only those Managers who give appreciation and praise to colleagues for the time and effort they put into their work, (whether or not the work was profitable) succeed in motivating their staff. Therefore, Managers who give appreciation and praise see retention rates increase.

2. Rational workload management.

People expect to be treated reasonably. This statement implies "workload stress" must be kept within reasonable limits.

If an unreasonable workload stress is imposed, for an extended period, then people "snap" under the pressure and leave.

Wise managers put rational limits on the intensity and duration of workload stress. They keep people within their limits of stress tolerance, so they are more likely to stay.

3. Flexible working conditions.

The Covid crisis caused radical changes in work conditions, which set up new expectations in the minds of many people, about the possibility of more flexible working conditions. Technological systems were created to facilitate working from home, which has some advantages over working in the office. Many workers recognise the benefits of working from home and they lobby to gain these benefits.

Wherever it is possible to derive benefits from employees working from home, and other forms of flexible working conditions, then managers should consider negotiating a mutually agreeable solution.

4. Improved management skills.

A Managers' personal communication style and organisational skills a have profound effect on the "quality of life" of the employees working under their influence.

It is a sad fact that many managers have poor communication styles and are themselves disorganised, which worsens the quality of life for their subordinate colleagues.

The solution to this problem is to train managers so that they eliminate common errors and replace them with new skills.

Managers must study how to properly communicate and organise their resources, so they can get the best performance from every member of the team.

5. Improved company culture.

The company culture is a measure of what the organisation considers, "good, right and fair" behaviour.

Each organisation has their own unique answer to that question. What is considered acceptable behaviour in one organisation, is considered unacceptable in another.

Sadly, there are some cultures that permit behaviours which violate rational codes of conduct and morality. These irrational and immoral cultures generate internal conflicts which cause many employees to leave early.

If an organisation is suffering from high staff turnover, then it should examine how it interprets what constitutes good, right and fair behaviour.

Culture is an abstract concept, but it permeates every nook and cranny of the organisation and it effects every function, so it is important to get it right.

Only companies with a good culture retain their staff for a long time.

Leadership and Management Training

Please check out our Leadership and Management Training Course which is designed to improve managers' skills and will help to improve your staff retention rates.

About the Author: Chris Farmer


Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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