How to Improve Employee Retention

Employees are a direct reflection of the company they work for. While there’s a lot of focus on attracting new staff, retaining existing staff can sometimes be pushed on the backburner for many companies. 

It should be a priority for all businesses to focus on keeping their employees happy, engaged and motivated no matter their roles. In-turn this will help reduce overall staff turnover and improve overall office morale, motivation and culture. While to some degree this duty is placed on the employee themselves to be self motivated, as recent research finds most employees put this responsibility back solely on the employer. 

While retaining employees may be a bit of a mystery for some companies, recent research has revealed some of the key things employees look for in a workplace, as well as their motivators to staying with one. Here’s 5 of the top takeaways and findings from recently conducted research. 

  • Compensation 

This one will likely not be a surprise to many employees or companies. Employees want to be appropriately compensated for the work they do. When they don’t have to worry about making enough money to support themselves, they feel like they can concentrate and focus more on their roles to produce quality work. 

Rombaut & Guerry found that positive compensation was the most positive factor when it came to employee happiness and ultimately retention. While often associated with a form of compensation, it was also found that training and flexibility were not found to be a large motivator in employee satisfaction or retention. 

  1. Recognition

Aside from being compensated appropriately for work being done, being recognised for achievements and contributions at both a team and company level came in a close second in the research. 

Recognition was also found to have a positive effect on the entire staff of a company, improving the overall morale of a company and creating a community that celebrates each other’s wins. A key takeaway from this is to always empower and recognise your staff to create a positive work environment. 

  • Branding

While branding is often only associated with attracting new employees, it was also found very relevant with existing employee retention. The social and market perception and value of a company, as well as their overall image was a leading factor in whether an employee stayed with a company or not (Khan & Haque). 

Employees want to feel proud of their company when talking about it, and creating a brand that reflects the true vision and values of a company is a fantastic way to do this. 

  • HR Presence

Significant results in the research showed that a positive and active relationship between a company’s HR department and its employees was a growing factor in employee retention (Malik, Baig & Manzoor). How HR and employees interacted with each other, as well as how available and present they were directly contributed to how happy staff were. 

  • Open Communication

Having a commitment between executives and employees to openly communicate changes, updates, wins and losses in a company was directly correlated between employee retention and overall turnover of staff (Schaap & Olckers). 

When staff feel like they’re a part of the company and that they’re contributing to the larger picture, they were happier overall. Additionally, this improved their work ethic and motivation to excel in their roles as they felt involved in the overall success of the company. 

At Discovered, we specialise in placing the right candidate with the right company. We take time to learn your values, culture and what makes your business tick to help make sure you have staff they want to stay with you for the long haul. 

If you’re looking to hire, talk to our team here! 


Written by Ebony McCabe for Discovered People