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Employee Retention: What can you do to help keep them?


Companies understand the benefits of employee retention. It reduces recruitment and training costs and increases operational efficiency. The challenge many companies face, however, is determining the best way to foster an engaged, happy workforce. Not surprisingly, research has shown that financial compensation alone does not lead to job satisfaction. Here are some other steps companies can take to keep employees from heading out the door.


Encourage Work/Life Balance

Work/life balance encompasses more than allowing employees to occasionally work from home. It also includes empowering employees to manage their work hours. Flexible scheduling enables employees to adjust their workday to fit in medical appointments, family emergencies, etc. While flexible leave programs combine sick and vacation days into a general category, such as PTO (paid time off), that employees can use as needed. In addition, the workplace itself can also provide work/life balance, through features such as family friendly environments, the establishment of “great places to work,” fun committees, and personalized workspaces.


Engage Employee Perspectives on Big Decisions

Employees are more likely to buy into solutions if they have been included in the decision-making process. While forming large committees to make decisions is not always practical, ensuring that employees know their voices have been heard can play a critical role in a solution’s success. Engaging employee perspectives can also uncover obstacles that managers may not be aware of.


Create Clear Career Pathways

Developing clear career pathways helps prevent professional stagnation, which can lead to employee turnover. Companies benefit from fostering an environment where career growth conversations take place frequently. Similarly, employees are more likely to engage in career development opportunities if they believe their managers and the organizations they work for are committed to their professional advancement.


Remediate Toxic Environments

Numerous studies have demonstrated that a strong company culture ( contributes significantly to employee retention. The opposite also holds true. Regardless of career opportunities, compensation or work environment, few employees will stay with organizations that ignore toxic cultures. It is important to create a culture where employees can discuss workplace issues, and equally important for leaders to identify and remediate toxic issues when they arise.


Invest in Good Leaders

Despite the point above, the old adage about people leaving managers, rather than companies, still holds true. Good leaders go beyond management. They inspire, they provide clear direction, and they hold themselves accountable to the same standards they use for their direct reports. Employees stay with great leaders, not only because they provide a vision and purpose, but also because they engender trust. Employees stay with companies for the same reasons.