Employee Retention – Making the Case for Staying

With rapid shifts in the economy and business landscape, retaining current employees feels like an important mandate. Employee retention is certainly vital for operations and continuity. It is also important to be objective in weighing both their value to you, and your value to them. Here are some questions to ask in this process.

How competitive are you in your market? Do you know where you fall with respect to pay, benefits, advancement opportunities, stability and potential compared to your competition? Where do you tend to lose people to? Being realistic about your positioning in the market can help you know how best to retain— which may include emphasizing certain benefits or considering whether salary adjustments are needed.

What is your unique value proposition? Why should people stay? We often focus on investing effort to keep people. It is also useful to consider what should make them want to stay. Don’t be afraid to sell the organization a bit! People want to work for a special organization, so remind them of what makes your team and workplace special and worth sticking with.

Who do you really need to keep? This can seem cold, but a natural part of succession planning is considering who your high performers are, and who you might not to be sad to see go. A certain amount of voluntary turnover may be fine if the fit wasn’t right. At the same time, you want to invest time in your high performers, and clearly define the criteria for recruiting future high performers when attrition occurs.

What are you doing for employee engagement? Are you taking actions that will encourage solid performers to stay? All engagement is a balance — you don’t want your employees to take you for granted, as that can lead to an entitlement culture, but you also don’t want to take them for granted. Be honest about where you need to make improvements, and where you should highlight your engagement activities, to remind employees why they should stay.

Employee engagement and retention is a dance — sometimes, the employee will have the upper hand in the market, and sometimes, your organization will be the best game in town. Engagement is not a static state — it must be continuously reevaluated, renewed and refreshed. However, simple questions like these can help you choose the most productive investments for the path ahead.