Want to Keep Employees? Here are the Best Strategies

Companies shine when they retain engaged employees who are motivated, productive, and willing to recommend your company to others. Here are 13 proven ideas to reduce unwanted turnover and boost employee engagement. 


1. Evaluate and address employee pain points: Want to uncover why employees want to leave? Ask them directly. Seek feedback through one-on-one conversations, team meetings, or employee engagement surveys. Once you have captured that feedback, listen and act.

2. Offer competitive pay and benefits: When your workforce doesn’t have to worry about financial stability, they’re motivated to do their job and do it right. Great benefits keep your workforce mentally and physically healthy.

3. Prioritize improving employee engagement: To increase employee retention, focus on improving employee engagement. When employees are engaged at work, they’re far less likely to leave. Create a connection that makes employees feel valued and appreciated. In return, they will bring their best to work every day.

4. Emphasize effective leadership and managing for retention: When your workforce feels leadership knows how to communicate and understands what’s really going on, they are more likely to stay. Put effort into developing strong leadership and hiring the right managers.

5. Focus on building a people-first culture: If you’re not intentionally building and nurturing a people-first culture, you’re left with a culture that will grow in the wild. Employees want to be somewhere that enhances relationships, promotes connection and inclusivity, and encourages two-way communication.

6. Improve employee work-life balance and prevent burnout: Employees look for great workplaces that respect their personal lives and prevent employee burnout. Pay attention to workplace flexibility and work-life balance. Done right, employees will be more productive, energized, and engaged.

7. Offer professional development and advancement opportunities: Employees want to know they are working toward something bigger and better than where they started. They’ll look elsewhere when they sense there’s little room for growth.

8. Recognize employees through positive feedback and awards: Who and what you celebrate tells employees a lot about the type of culture you have and the culture you want. Appreciation is one of the simplest, least expensive ways to show employees they are valued.

9. Encourage creativity in the workplace: Employees sometimes leave because of boredom. The same old work, day in and day out, can trigger a search for something new. To avoid that, incorporate ways to encourage creativity in the workplace. That sparks innovation, which is essential to growth and success.

10. Hire the right employees, and onboard effectively: Sometimes, the most talented and qualified candidate is not the best fit for the job. Hiring the right employees is the difference between a revolving door and a team that sticks around.

11. Build a strong employer brand: Employees want to work for a company that aligns with their personal beliefs. A strong employer brand and clear company values serve as a strong foundation that holds your company together, especially during challenging times.

12. Avoid significant and sudden changes: Jarring shifts can leave employees feeling anxious and unbalanced. Frequent changes can also cause them to pack up and leave. While change is inevitable, avoiding big, abrupt changes is in your company’s best interests. Being transparent about what’s happening sets expectations and helps employees to feel more secure.

13. Encourage collaboration: Collaborative teams are often more engaged and productive because they can rely on each other for support and motivation. That connection fosters new ideas and decreases the risk of burnout or disengagement. Just imagine how productive an organization can be when that collaboration crosses team lines and goes interdepartmental. 

Phoebe Finn is corporate communications specialist and Bob Helbig is media partnerships director at Energage, a Philadelphia-based employee survey firm. Energage is The Washington Post’s survey partner for Top Workplaces. To nominate your company as a Top Workplace, go to https://www.washingtonpost.com/nominate.

For more about our partnership with The Post, you can check out this article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2023/10/12/top-workplaces-2024/


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