4 Ways to Ensure High Employee Retention


When I finished college and took a job, I foolishly depended on my employer to guide me on a career path. However, my employer, a local newspaper in a southern college town, was not focused on growing and training young talent. In fact, the owner-​publisher was singularly focused on putting his new competitor out of business. He saw the upstart free-​distribution tabloid taking ad revenue and he could not tolerate it. In those days, grad students were waiting tables so I felt fortunate to have a paying job. Employers were not offering decent salaries, much less looking for high employee retention. I left after six months.

My early employment experience is relevant because it checks nearly all the boxes for how to discourage, disappoint, dishearten, and dismiss employees and to assure a business will fail. The Chapel Hill Newspaper existed for twenty years. Meanwhile the Village Advocate remains viable because they used partnerships never imagined by the short-​sighted, vindictive management of my former employer.

High employee retention requires unwavering commitment

In the language of business, the term “commitment” has many facets. For example, committing to a business plan requires more depth of thought than committing to a supplier. Committing to fill a customer’s order can be time sensitive whereas committing to an employee may require a broad assessment of company resources and devotion to high employee retention. Significantly, the Great Resignation has put employers on notice that making the commitment to keep good workers is well worth the effort and saves time and valuable resources in the long term.

Workers seek increased salary and advancement opportunities

According to a survey by Robert Half Talent Solutions, 41% of respondents are looking or plan to look for a new role before the end of the year. The survey is designed to guide employers on high employee retention. However, it also points out areas where managers can take a role in mitigating the talent drain. Admittedly, managers cannot randomly authorize wage increases, but they should realize that 65% of those surveyed want a boost in salary. Furthermore, 39% are looking for advancement opportunities. Less obvious in the data is that those seeking other opportunities are not rookies. Surprisingly, nearly half (49%) have five to nine years with their company.

Tips for employee retention

Building an attractive work culture and strengthening manager-​employee relations is key to a high employee retention strategy. The Robert Half article proposes 14 areas where deliberate action can result in worker retention and a more satisfied workforce. Some of the ideas require company-​wide initiatives and are beyond the scope of a single manager’s responsibility. However, there are several ideas that could be implemented immediately.

A solid start

Set up each new hire for success. This requires providing information about the specific job and how it contributes to the overall mission of the company. Orient newcomers to the company culture and how they can take advantage of benefits and perks. If possible, connect them with a mentor who offers a positive outlook and can provide ongoing assistance toward their onboarding.

Proactive communication

Open the lines of communication and check in often. Managers should promote the exchange of ideas, questions and concerns across the entire team. Also, be sure to let newbies know how their performance stacks up and recognize their early achievements. High employee retention is increased when workers feel listened to.

Emphasize teamwork

Innovative managers can create opportunities for collaboration. Interestingly, this allows individuals to contribute to the greater good and gives a sense of belonging.

Professional growth

Assessment tests are easily administered and can predict an employee’s success. Further, knowing their ambitions and desires allows you to contribute to their professional growth. These are the opportunities that can cause an employee to pause before taking the leap into another job.

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

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Tim Londergan

Tim Londergan

Tim is a research contributor at SalesFuel and he writes for SalesFuel Today. Previously, he worked as a Sales Development Manager, representing products such as AdMall and AudienceSCAN. Tim holds a B.S. from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University.