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A mass exodus from companies has been a common phenomenon and the reasons may be many and employees are deciding what is right for them...

15 Effective Employee Retention Strategies

A mass exodus from companies has been a common phenomenon and the reasons may be many and employees are deciding what is right for them. At such a time, employers must consider what makes their company worth working for. Outlined in this article are 15 retention strategies that you may find worth considering if you are facing an exodus of top talent.

Onboarding and orientation

This is the first impact that your company makes on an employee and so it is a critical step. The onboarding process must be warm, comprehensive and give the new employee a view of the role they are taking up and the culture of the company. The employee experience that you provide on day one can set the tone for the employee’s entire tenure at your firm. Ensure that you have the best processes and experience lined up so that the best impact is made as soon as they join.

Competitive salaries

For an employee to feel valued at work, it is important that they are offered fair and competitive compensation. The compensation must be based on the cost of living and adjusted for rising inflation. They should be additionally compensated for their experience and when the work and responsibility grows.  It is also a good practice to research what your competition is offering as wages and the kind of raises they are offering. You will quickly realise that hiring and training a new employee is far more expensive than offering a raise to an existing one. Also, you don’t want to lose your best talent to a competitor.

Mentorship Programs

As part of your extended onboarding process, you could assign every new employee to a mentor within the organization. This becomes essential in a remote working environment. Mentors can make newcomers feel welcome, offer guidance and be a sounding board. It helps both the new employee and mentor to learn from each other and give them an opportunity to share thoughts and ideas. Ideally mentorship is not just for the new employees. Even existing employees will benefit significantly from these mentor-mentee relationships.

Work from home and flexible scheduling

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work has become a norm and it has made employees more productive and happier. With the help of modern technology, it is possible to work from home for many disciplines across industries. One of the major advantages of remote work is the reduction of non-essential meetings, commute to the workplace and fewer distractions. While many people are returning to offices, a work from home option can be helpful to employees as an incentive when they have other priorities. Flexible work options result in better retention. Flexible scheduling and reduction of work hours in a work week have  also resulted in higher productivity and prevention of burnouts.

Rewards and recognition

It has been observed the rewards and recognition positively impact employee retention, employee engagement and their productivity. The rewards should have a good mix of monetary and social recognition awards. Employees feel good when they are recognized not just for their work but also publicly. Financial rewards could be in the form of cash, gift cards, or even perks such as paid time off. It is also a good idea to interact with employees and seek feedback from them as to what kind of rewards they look forward to or will appreciate. Ensure that you are rewarding employees not only for results but also for efforts. Sometimes goals are not achieved due various factors but employees will appreciate that their efforts on the project are appreciated and recognized. This will make them work harder the next time and they have something to look forward to instead of feeling beaten and hopeless.

Positive work culture

A company’s culture matters not just to employees who are considering joining the company but also to employees who are working in the company. Work culture is a main force in employee retention and it must be something that they want to be a part of. Work culture is built by implanting proper retention strategies, good rewards, and recognition, having a meaningful vision and mission statement and values that are communicated to the employees and translated into value behaviours. Additionally, when workplaces are inclusive and diverse, employees are attracted to it and feel safe working in the company. When a workplace attracts people of all genders, races, backgrounds, and sexual orientation, it attracts a wider and diverse talent.

Employee engagement

It is important to build the engagement of each employee with the organization. A disengaged employee will have low morale and this will result in low productivity. Listening to your employees will make them feel special, wanted and that their opinions matter. Find ways in which they can give candid feedback. Employees are very task oriented and sometimes, they may have ideas as to how a task can be completed better than anyone else. It is important to find ways to make them communicate and collaborate on improvements to the workflow and work environment. This will ensure that they remain engaged with the company.

Emphasize teamwork

Employees love collaboration. Find ways to have inter-departmental collaboration. This will not only promote teamwork but also employee engagement. Bonding between coworkers can create teamwork and better culture and higher performance. When there is good teamwork, employees can pair up their strengths and weaknesses within their departments and strategically balance the workload. This will lead to increased productivity.

Reduce employee burnout

Many employees experience a burnout at work caused by overworking and often it is believed that taking time off and reducing the work hours can address the burnout. But experts believe that rather than the literal number of hours worked, it is how employees experience their workload that leads to burnout. It is noticed that when an employee is having good engagement, has been rewarded and recognized for their work and has good work flexibility, they report better well-being. Factors that impact employee burnout are unfair treatment at work, unmanageable workload, lack of manager support, and unclear communication from the top.

Wellness offerings

It is important to focus on wellness offerings and perks that can help with employee retention. The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that both physical and mental health are paramount for employee wellness. Don’t restrict these offerings to just remote work and flexible scheduling. Ensure that the workplace is clean and hygienic and that you have health and safety protocols in place. Have a sick leave policy and incentivize employees who are unwell  and sick to take a break. Health insurance for employees with a good cover also goes a long way in promoting the sense of well-being among employees.

Job perks

Job perks come in various shapes and sizes. It could be remote working, flexible scheduling, or good healthcare incentives. Cell phone discounts, travel reimbursements, employee discounts, food discounts and many other perks are offered by many companies. Connect with local and national businesses that will be happy to offer a discount on their products for all your employees.

Professional and personal development

Training and constantly upskilling employees is key to their own personal growth and the growth of the organization. You can upskill your employees by providing them the time and resources for additional education and training in their field. This will make them happier and improve their engagement with the company. Overall, in the long run, this will also impact the productivity and betterment of the company itself to have better trained and skilled manpower.

Look for cultural fit

While hiring we normally look for skill and expertise. Though, this is something that can be taught. However, it is also important to look for someone who will fit in with the company culture and share the values of the company. Such people are said to have a good cultural fit and will gel well with the rest of the team. A bad hire can result in the quick loss of an employee and results in a monetary loss for the company since time and money has to be invested in filling the position again.

Good managers

Many times, we find that employees are quitting because of a bad manager. A good manager will not act as a “boss” but have a mature and pleasant behaviour acting more as a “coach.” A boss will be extremely demanding and will micromanage every employee. A coach on the other hand will manage effectively and allow the employees to be team players. They will guide the employees in the right direction by offering advice, and supporting them while still giving them the freedom to operate.

Know when to let them go

Despite the best employee retention strategies, at some points, employees will leave the company for various reasons. At that point it will be wise to let them go and have a good offboarding and handover process. Knowledge transfer, data integrity and a good exit process and interview will help streamline an employee’s exit from the company. Word does get around about the departure and how well it has been handled will give comfort to employees that should their turn come, things will be handled diplomatically and amicably.


While the fifteen strategies described above are important from an employee retention point of view, it is important to review and re-evaluate your efforts from time to time. You can look at market standards that are being followed by other companies and develop best practices to make your work culture attractive. Employees will leave the company at some point in time. It is important that they feel valued and supported so that they have a good word to say about your work culture and may even consider coming back to work in your company.


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