Are You Giving Your Employees Reasons to Stay?


A leading issue companies are facing in the changing world of work is employee retention. While some turnover is inevitable, there are steps you can take to help employees stay engaged and happy at work. Today we’ll be sharing some best practices for retaining your top talent, but first let’s look at some data.

One in five workers (twenty-one percent of full time employees) plan to leave their jobs in 2014, according to a study done by CareerBuilder. This is the largest amount in the post-recession era, and up from 17 percent in 2013!

Replacing an employee is no small feat. It’s costly and time-consuming. In 2012, Cornerstone OnDemand with Harris Interactive estimated companies would spend $2 trillion on employee churn.

Taking it a little further, an American Management Association (AMA) article from 2010, indicated that the average cost of replacing a single employee is 100 percent to 125 percent of the employee’s annual salary. Say your employee earned an annual salary of $81,000, the setback would be between $81,000 to $101,250.

The numbers surrounding retention are alarming and should be good enough reason to want it higher on the priority list. Keeping employees engaged at work should be seen as imperative.

Here are four tips to keep your top talent and reduce retention rates.

1.  Give Feedback on a Regular Basis

A Cornerstone OnDemand study from 2011 showed 37% of employees are unhappy with the amount of feedback they receive from their managers.

It’s too often that employees feel their manager is not aware of their contributions and progress. And let’s face it, a lack of feedback is seen as a lack of caring. This means companies are facing a high risk of losing employees if they don’t cultivate a feedback-oriented culture.

Regular feedback is crucial to boost employee morale, performance and happiness, and it’s an easy fix! Treat giving feedback as if you were giving a gift. Need some tips? We have you covered.

Also, go ahead and encourage peer to peer feedback. A 2011 report from reveals 43% of participants said peer feedback and opinions would be the most valuable to them.

2.  Provide Career Development for Employees and Leaders

A recent study revealed ‘too few growth and advancement opportunities’ as one of the top reported reasons employees left past jobs. When an employee’s desire to advance their career at their current company isn’t satisfied, they’re forced to look elsewhere. Don’t allow this to be the case at your company. Be flexible in providing employees with internal opportunities to take on new challenges, develop new skills, enter new roles, and set the right goals.

In a recent Forbes article, Josh Bersin, Principal and Founder of Bersin by Deloitte, emphasizes the importance of investing in good leadership. He writes, “ ‘Best places to work’ companies…invest in great management and leadership. They train and develop people so they can grow.”

Training should always reflect aspects of the company culture (e.g. openness, respect, transparency) that employees and managers should embrace in their work lives.

Career development should be a top priority, as it significantly increase employee engagement. Take the necessary time to find out what career development means in your organization and what you can do to provide continuous learning opportunities for your employees.

3.  Offer Competitive Pay and Benefits

Employees expect to be paid well for their time and effort. And while benefits and salary aren’t always the cause of an employee’s departure (89% of managers believe people leave their jobs due to compensation, but 88% of employees actually leave for other reasons), it’s important to offer competitive pay and benefits to keep them satisfied. It’s also a good showing of respect.

When possible, go the extra mile and offer benefits tailored to individual needs; think maternity and paternity leave, flexible schedules, remote work opportunities and education reimbursement. For a list of unique employee perks, check out this list on!

4.  Recognize and Reward Employees

“Not recognizing what’s important to employees can translate into more job dissatisfaction, lower productivity, and higher voluntary turnover,” says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of Human Resources at CareerBuilder.

Rewarding your employees doesn’t necessarily mean giving out physical trophies or gifts of monetary value. Believe it or not, expressing gratitude for the work being done and celebrating employees’ for their achievements and contributions is often what makes employees feel valued over anything else.

Outside of the familiar ways to recognize employees, Meghan M. Biro, CEO of Talent Culture, suggests that companies —

“…align informal recognition closely with your workplace culture. If you are leading an innovative startup with a lot of innovative, technical people, rewards may be less about money and more about time to work on side projects in areas that reflect the employees’ interests.”

In the words of Rosemary Haefner: “Employees want to feel valued. They want to be compensated well; they want to be challenged; they want to contribute to something meaningful; and they want to have a good work-life balance.”

So, are you giving your employees a good reason to stay? Please share your experiences with us in the comments below!

-Lolly Fitzpatrick

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