Employee retention

Top talent is in high demand and the competition is fierce. Finding and hiring the right people takes time, money and effort. Once hired, keeping these valuable employees is crucial to building a successful business. The exit of critical personnel can affect morale, undermine work performance and reduce employee engagement. But, retaining employees is harder than hiring them! If you have high employee turnover at your company, what can you do to increase retention? How can you make sure your company is a great place to be?


Most employees leave their job because of:

  • Inadequate salary and benefits
  • Feeling overworked and/or unsupported
  • Limited opportunities for career advancement
  • A need for better work-life balance
  • Lack of recognition
  • Boredom
  • Unhappiness with management
  • Concerns about the company’s direction or financial health
  • Dissatisfaction with the company culture
  • The desire to make a change


There are a number of strategies for improving retention and holding on to top talent. Which techniques are most beneficial for your company will depend upon your individual needs and situation.

  • Hire the right people: To find the right candidate for your position, communicate your expectations clearly during the interview. Pay attention to possible misalignment in experience and culture. Look for someone who is interested in growing with your company rather than getting experience to take somewhere else.
  • Pay attention to the onboarding experience: Onboarding needs to be more than the signing of a contract, taking an office tour and setting up an employee desk. It should supply a positive first impression, set clear expectations for work and communicate what to expect. A good onboarding program helps new hires connect to the team and build relationships with coworkers. It provides structured opportunities for feedback and helps the employee learn about company culture.
  • Provide ongoing recognition and feedback: Employees need to feel valued and appreciated for their contributions. A company culture of feedback and recognition helps employees feel seen, heard and validated. To create this culture, use pulse surveys to gather employee feedback, provide frequent performance reviews and discuss career development. Talk with your employees about their short and long-term professional goals. Consider establishing opportunities for peer-to-peer recognition and public praise from managers. Try company awards and/or shoutouts. Acknowledge milestones, big and small.
  • Develop employees: Employee development is key for engaging and retaining top talent. Ask your personnel about their goals and expectations for development. Prioritize internal hires and promotions. Provide opportunities for coaching and mentorship. Make employee development a part of your performance conversations. Support further education, enabling personnel to gain new abilities and competencies as business requirements evolve. Give them time to attend virtual conferences, provide tuition reimbursement or pay for continuing education. A commitment to training is seen by employees as an investment in their worth and a powerful incentive to stay at the company.
  • Conduct exit surveys and act on the information: No matter the effort you invest, some turnover is inevitable. Use exit surveys to get feedback on why the employee is leaving and suggestions for improving your company. Act upon this information, making changes to reduce further turnover.
  • Encourage work-life balance: A healthy work-life balance is essential to job satisfaction. Encourage staff to set boundaries and take their vacation time. Model a healthy balance in your own life.
  • Empower employees: People want to be trusted to handle their responsibilities without micromanagement. Allow teams to share, access and interact with files and information directly. Include employees in decision-making.
  • Facilitate collaboration: Your company profits from a dynamic, collaborative team. Encourage all staff members to contribute ideas and solutions. Create opportunities for collaboration, accommodate individuals’ work styles and give employees the latitude to make decisions and course corrections. Try collaborative platforms (MiCloud, monday.comWrikeWorkplaceConnecteamSlack, etc.) as they improve communication, increase engagement and revive the work ecosystem.
  • Pay well: Loyal workers expect to be rewarded for staying. Pay your employees competitive compensation. Evaluate and adjust salaries regularly. Can’t pay more? Provide other forms of compensation, like bonuses, paid time off, opportunities for development, paid parental leave, health benefits and retirement plans.
  • Be flexible: Many workers have a preference for flexible working conditions and hours. Consider remote work, a compressed workweek, flextime and telecommuting.
  • Engage your personnel: Many employees leave their position because of dissatisfaction with their manager. Conduct stay interviews with employees to help understand any concerns they may have, and come up with ways to address them. Use an employee polling tool to get the pulse of your staff’s attitudes to their work and the organization’s overall vision.
  • Offer unique perks: Increase retention by coming up with creative perks (tickets to events, discounts at local retailers, massages, workplace library, noon-hour yoga classes, vacation bonuses, paid volunteer work, etc.).
  • Consider wellness offerings: Expand and improve your wellness offerings so employees feel supported and prioritized. Consider stress management programs, retirement planning services, reimbursement for fitness classes, smoking cessation programs, healthy snack choices, wellness challenges and support for stress/depression /anxiety.
  • Be visible: Be active in universities, tech organizations, professional organizations, local chambers, written publications and symposiums. Create a strong positive presence to attract high-quality talent.
  • Undertake succession planning: Some turnover is inevitable. A sudden vacancy in a critical position can leave your organization scrambling. Succession planning for high-level or hard-to-hire positions is key. Put succession management strategies in place ahead of time and minimize the effect these inevitable changes have on your business operations.

Your company’s ability to hold onto its top talent has ramifications on your ability to operate without disruption. Improving retention rates doesn’t have to be difficult. Try some of these strategies and make your company a great place to work, so great that employees want to stay.

Want to increase your retention rate? Interested in some expert advice and assistance when hiring employees? Call the Calgary recruiting agency, Equation Staffing Solutions at 1-844-367-9618. We are a reliable, innovative, collaborative agency here to support you in your search for a position and/or personnel. Our experience will assist you! Contact us today.