How to Build an Effective Employee Retention Plan


How to Build an Effective Employee Retention Plan

There’s no doubting how important your employees are to the success of your business. They’re the one dealing with customers and helping make the company’s vision a reality. However, for your workforce to truly be an asset, it also needs to be stable. High rates of employee turnover are going to make it hard for you to build a strong culture, and they will also make it hard to be as efficient as you can.

Hiring new people is also expensive, and once you’re company gets the reputation of being a revolving door, it can quickly feel like you’re spending all of your time, and money, replacing people who leave for another opportunity.

As a result, it’s important you make employee retention a key part of your human resources strategy. Developing and implementing initiatives designed to keep people around are going to make it easier for you to hold onto your top talents, making it much easier for you to move forward with the company.

Here are some things to keep in mind to help you build an effective employee retention plan.

Start Your Employee Retention Plan Right

To make an effective employee retention plan, you need to start thinking about it on the first day someone comes to work for you. The initial stages of a new job, also known as the onboarding process, have a significant effect on someone’s decision to stay with a company long term, so you need to make sure you’re doing everything to make this transition a positive one.

Some of the things you need to be doing to make sure new employees can have a good first experience are:

  • Make sure they have all the tools and software access needed to get started on day one
  • Put new employees in contact with their direct managers right away, and make sure there’s a discussion about what’s expected of them in the first few months
  • Help people get comfortable with company culture by outlining norms and best practices, and also by giving them the chance to ask questions about the way things are done.
  • Organize opportunities for new hires to get to know their colleagues. This will help break the ice and make it easier for someone to feel comfortable when they’re first starting out.

Pay Attention To Employee Needs

Nothing drives someone away from a job more than the feeling they’re being ignored. If an employer doesn’t give their employees the chance to express their concerns, or if employees feel as though nothing is being done to address these issues, then you can expect people to begin looking for other opportunities.

As a result, any effective employee retention campaign is going to be grounded in employee needs. For example, work-life balance has become something that’s very important to many people. You should be asking employees what stands in the way of them achieving this balance and what could be done to help make it easier for them to achieve it.

Offering perks such as the ability to set a flexible schedule or work from home, or implementing workplace wellness initiatives, are all good ways to help employees live a better life. And if you can make it clear that working for your company provides benefit to people’s lives, then you can expect employees to want to stick around for a long time.

Be Competitive

One of the most basic ways you can keep employees from leaving is to make sure your compensation packages are competitive with what else is out there. While people are considering more things when looking at jobs, salary and benefits are still the top priority, so make sure what you offer is at least on par with what you competitors are offering, as this will reduce the incentive for going out and looking for something else.

Designing competitive compensation programs you can also afford is a challenge. Specialized benefits management companies can help you take stock of your industry and design packages that will attract and retain people without setting you back.

An Employee Retention Plan Can Help People Grow

No one wants just any old job anymore. Instead, they want a place where they can grow and develop. In fact, one of the top reasons people leave a company is a lack of professional development opportunities. And this just means that an effective retention plan must give people the chance to get better.

There are a number of different ways you can do this. For example, you can offer to fund trips to industry conferences and symposiums, you can offer tuition assistance so that people can pursue additional degrees or specializations, or you can invest in an eLearning platform that gives people access to resources and materials that help them get better at what they do.

Again, perhaps the best thing is to ask your employees. This way you can be sure you’re offering things that are really useful, which will help make it harder for people to want to go in search of new opportunities.

Provide Recognition

Lastly, it’s important you go out of your way to recognize your employees. No one likes feeling what they do isn’t appreciated, and if this feeling persists, then people will eventually get tired and start looking for something else.

There are a number of different things you can do, such as:

  • Taking a moment during staff meetings to point out those who have gone above and beyond
  • Highlighting high achievers in the company newsletter
  • Stopping to simply say thank you when someone puts in extra efforts.
  • Holding regular one on one meetings where you can praise employees on their hard work and also offer them guidance for how to improve moving forward.

Be Patient

No matter what you do, you likely won’t see significant improvements in employee retention overnight. But if you incorporate the different elements mentioned here, then you will be able to develop a plan that will keep employees happy and working hard, bringing stability to your company and positioning it for long-term growth.



About the Author: Jock built and runs his own business brokerage. Part of his job is working with entrepreneurs to develop and implement a growth strategy that will also help raise the value of the business. This has given him the chance to learn a lot about what it takes to build a successful company and keeping your best team members is a core part of that success.

Adam McCoy

Adam McCoy (B. Comp. Computer Science & Software Engineering) is a software development expert with 15 years of experience in the industry. At HR Central he oversees the technical direction of the software platform, ensuring continued reliability and quality for our clients. He is a Certified Scrum Master, and working with an agile team is able to rapidly bring new functionality to HR Central's clients through the software offering. Adam is passionate about software and brings that passion to his work on a daily basis.

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