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Employee Retention Strategies: 9 tactics for holding onto employees

Dana Corey  

It is increasingly important for employers around the globe to hold onto their staff members. In this modern working climate, many people are having multiple jobs in their lifetime, often because a different job is offering more for them.  Employee retention is more challenging than ever under these circumstances.

What losing an employee can mean

Losing an employee can have huge costs for businesses. The real cost is unsure, and obviously varies from company to company, but it is estimated that it can range from tens of thousands of dollars to double the salary of the lost employee.

Countable costs can include: 

  • The cost of hiring 
  • The cost of training a new employee
  • The loss of income when an employee is still getting to the same level as the previous employee
  • Loss of income with errors made by a new employee
employee retention strategies

However, the true cost of losing an employee is uncountable. Other issues can arise like: 

  • A ‘domino effect’ of losing staff can happen 
  • Employees who stay may become disengaged if there is a high turnover of staff
  • The workplace culture changes
  • The new member of staff is unknown – they may not be as suitable as the previous employee

Basically, employers should be doing all that they can to hold on to their members of staff – for as long as possible. If you’re wondering how to retain employees, read on.

Employee retention strategies

1. Benefits

Are you offering healthcare, retirement benefits and paid time off? These are just some of the employee benefits that are expected in the workplace. It is surprising how many business owners scrimp on these – but it’s essential for employee retention – if a business doesn’t offer these benefits, employees are much more likely to leave and work somewhere that does.

2. Flexible Workspaces

These were not needed so much a couple of decades ago, but now the workspace effects on employee retention are very apparent, and flexibility is the way forward. In the workplace, people should have access to features like huddle rooms and hot-desking, and remote work should also be firmly on the cards. 

While it’s not feasible for every office to offer remote work opportunities, many offices want to as it’s a new trend that is particularly requested by millennials – who will make up most of the US workforce in the near future. 

Remote work doesn’t necessarily mean working away from the office all the time – but gives employees the option to work at home or from another setting. Many businesses are latching on to the benefits that they have from enlisting remote employees, and it is undebatable that it helps with employee satisfaction, thus encouraging them to stay in their role.

3. Stay interviews

Exit interviews are well-known and are performed in many office jobs. But equally important are stay interviews – asking employees on an annual basis – why are you staying? What is it about this company that makes you want to continue working here? 

It’s also a great idea to ask if there is anything that could entice them to stay even more, and deliver on these when feasible. You’ll be a business owner who listens to their employees and encourage even more people to remain in their roles. 

4. Use of technology

Technology in the workplace is ever-popular and always increasing. Using technology is a good method of retaining employees, as many hardware and software tools encourage interactions. 

Some great technology that helps to maintain employees include: 

  • Interactive displays – these interactive whiteboard alternatives can be connected to individual devices and are fantastic for employee engagement, which subsequently helps them stay engaged.
    They can be used for remote teams and in-office, and have some great interactive features like the ability to doodle notes and take snippets of web pages, thus keeping everything organized and together. 
  • Survey-taking technology to gauge employee satisfaction – if these are anonymous, employees are more likely, to be honest!
  • Platforms like Slack and Trello which keep tasks organized
  • Technology that aids remote work

Making use of technology to change the way workplaces run is called digital transformation, and getting on top of digital transformation and looking at how it can benefit employees is a fantastic way to hold onto them.

5. Invite ideas

One of the best staff retention strategies is to make sure that they are listened to, and to invite whatever ideas they have about running the company. Of course, there may be some – or many! – that need managerial approval, but just inviting ideas shows that you are a company that cares. 

It might be a good idea to have a monthly meeting to discuss how things are being run, and at that point as if anyone has any comments, concerns or questions. Keep an open dialogue between you and your staff, and they are much more likely to want to stay. 

employee retention methods

They are also more likely to come and ask if they have any concerns, rather than just be disconcerted with their roles and leave

6. Communicate goals clearly

You should make it clear what your goals are, both generally in the company and their individual employee goals. Inventing new goals for your staff is a recipe for disaster – they will become frustrated and may suffer a knock to confidence, and can easily become disconcerted. 

A way to ensure that this is not going to happen is to clearly specify, upon hiring, what an individual’s goals are. Make sure that they’re written down and that you both have a copy – and that it’s signed if needs be. Then revisit the goals list as much as you can, and make sure that you’re checking in with this often. If you want to add a new goal to the list, have a meeting with your employees and make them aware of it.

7. Have a bonus programme

If you can offer bonuses to staff members who are working well, this is a great way to retain employees. Offering bonuses for extra time and work both encourages employees to stay and work as hard as possible!

You could: 

If you aren’t in a financial position to offer bonuses, perks can also be allocated

  • Make sure that you have fun staff functions so people can get to know each other and make friends
  • Offer small incentives like free pizza on a Friday 
  • Provide free classes where possible, like the gym or dance classes
  • Suggest a birthday lie-in for staff!
employee retention techniques

Little things like this might not cost much company money, but make a big difference in employee’s lives. 

8. Internal promotion

Hiring internally, rather than externally, has great benefits for both employer and employee. As the employer, you already have an idea of how your staff member will perform; hiring from the outside is always a gamble. 

There are several pros and cons to promoting internally: cons include that it opens up a new job, that staff members may struggle to adapt to the new role’s expectations, and that it can increase competition, but generally if staff think that there are options to evolve their career in your company, they are more likely to stick around.

9. Create a liveable, sustainable workspace

Workplaces should be modern yet comfortable and inviting to staff members. Ways to make an office more comfortable include:

  • High-quality office chairs
  • Seating and standing desks
  • Lots of natural light
  • Plenty of space for all employees
  • High level of cleanliness

In addition, bosses may want to consider using technology to create a more flawless, put-together kind of workspace. This may include features like: 

  • Wireless charging, particularly in huddle rooms
  • The use of interactive displays
  • Tinted windows

Lastly, offices in 2020 should be sustainable. Creative working spaces are big at the moment, but more and more offices are aware of the need to protect our environment. 

Whether this means having a sustainable rooftop garden, offering tasty vegan meals at the staff cafeteria, or having strong recycling initiatives, it’s vital that offices implement some form of sustainability into their work.


Gone are the days when employees would work for one company their whole life; but there are many things that employers can do to ensure employee retention, that their staff will stick around for as long as possible. 

Generally listening to the staff’s requests and needs is a great first step, but implementing some of these suggestions is a great way to be a forward-thinking boss who is concerned about their employee’s welfare. 

It’s also important to not be seen as a backward company; as the world – and workplaces – is developing fast, employees want to know that their office is ahead of the game. 


Taking all of these things into account, employee retention in 2020 might be a little more challenging than previous decades but still shouldn’t pose a huge challenge to successful businesses. 

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