Alissa Hawkins headshot Written by: Alissa Hawkins

The laws of good retention

Retaining employees will always be challenging. Business leaders have so much on their plate already, and it can be easy to forget how important retention is to the success of your business.

Turnover is costly and can have a negative impact, so it’s important that you’re always attuned to your employee’s needs, so you can adjust and put in motion your plan to retain them.

A good first step in retention is identifying what your employees want most out of a job—these are those things that are irrefutable and are always true when it comes to employees. If you can identify these tenets or “laws” of good retention, then you can start to understand what an employee needs in order to stay.

We’ve identified some of those laws of good retention below.

Money isn’t all your employees want
Compensation plays an important role in retaining any employee, but it’s not the only factor that matters to them. Employees want the opportunity to make a difference and feel like they are contributing to the greater success of the business. They want to feel like they are making an impact in their communities and that they are in a position at work to grow and better themselves as employees. They want to be proud of their employer’s name.

Employees want excellent compensation and benefits, but that isn’t what will ultimately keep them in place. They also need work-life balance, flexibility and the ability to learn new skills. 

Women at desk discussing recruiting in Atlanta.

Turnover is preventable
We wrote previously about the impact of “quiet quitting” on 2022 and how you can spot someone who is becoming disengaged at work. You’ll likely see the signs of someone who is looking to leave long before they actually quit or move on to a new position. Turnover happens—it’s part of life in a corporate work setting—but you can prevent some of it by spotting the signs early, meeting with employees regularly to talk about their job and seeing where you can help them become re-engaged. 

Actively working to retain your employees is a good practice and shows that your company has a culture that truly cares about its employees and is willing to put forth the effort to retain them.

A plan of action is essential
These insights are pointless without any sort of plan of action to retain your employees. If you want to retain your employees, you have to sincerely engage and build relationships with them. You can start by asking questions that help make their lives easier at work, and assessing their overall well-being and satisfaction just like you would any client that you serve.

We will often gladly move mountains to do whatever it takes to gain new clients, or to hire top talent, but will we put forth that same level of effort toward retaining our employees? Approaching retention in this same way is important for a business’s success, but retention is difficult without an honest understanding matched with a clear plan of action.

Retention and hiring go hand in hand, and that’s why we put together this comprehensive toolkit to help employers open up conversations with employees around retention. Our Retention Toolkit is a resource any business can use to address these laws of retention and create a clear plan of action around retention for 2023.