Actionable Employee Retention Strategies You Can Use in 2021


Nearly 70% of businesses report that staff turnover has a negative financial impact due to the cost of recruiting, hiring, and training a replacement employee and the overtime work of current employees that are required until the organization can fill the vacant position. All things considered, it’s been estimated that a lost employee can cost 6 to 9 months of that employee’s salary on average. Employee turnover and staff retention is a major problem, and there are many factors at work, including generational factors, the economy, sweeping changes in the workplaces, and more.


In order to retain and engage your employees, you must truly care about them. No strategy will overcome a lack of empathy or appreciation for your employees.

With that said, NetworkESC professionals have put together a list of strategies that are designed to improve employee retention in the workplace:


1. Provide More Positive Feedback

We all know that employees need feedback to improve and to do their best work – both positive, and constructive advice. Positive feedback should be given frequently to motivate employees and to give them the determination they need to do their best work. Constructive and corrective feedback is also important, particularly when there’s an urgent issue that needs to be handled. The ideal ratio between positive and negative suggestions is 5.6 (positive) to 1 (corrective). Move the ratio towards six positive comments for every negative comment. Become more aware of how many negative comments you’re saying to your employees in relation to positive comments.


2. Encourage Employee Creativity

Although many companies say they value creativity, they don’t necessarily have any initiatives or policies in place to support it. If you’re going to encourage suggestions, take them seriously. Recognize and incentivize employees that contribute in a tangible way. Creativity will not come from a group of people that all think alike, so diversity is key. Managers should create opportunities for both public and private contributions or feedback.


3. Foster Respect In The Workplace

It is essential to empower your team members with the tools and resources they need. Demonstrate that kindness and thoughtfulness can go a long way. More than ever, people are looking for respect at their jobs. They don’t want to feel devalued or unimportant within an organization, which can result from a lack of respect.





4. Give Your Employees An Opportunity To Grow

Many companies promote people from outside of the organization and don’t offer ongoing training and education for their workers. Because there is no way to advance or improve, employees become disillusioned in their roles and are less likely to stay.

Ongoing education makes employees feel valued and gives them something to look forward to. When there is a clearly laid-out path for advancement, your workforce will feel like they are a critical part of the company’s success. By promoting from within or by leveraging outside resources and tools, you can create a powerful incentive for your team members to stay over the long haul.


5. Earn The Trust Of Your Employees

Employees perform better when they trust management and the people assigning them tasks. They are more likely to achieve the goals that are set for them when they believe in the person that’s getting them to do the work. As you’re looking to create more trust with your employees, it will be necessary to: build personal connections, emphasize honesty and transparency, motivate your team members, give credit and shoulder blame, avoid favoritism, and demonstrate competence in your work.


6. Encourage Your Employees To Give You Feedback

It’s one thing to give feedback to your employees, but you must also accept feedback from them. When workers don’t feel like their thoughts are being heard, they assume the company has no interest in improving or pursuing worthy ideas.

Many employees have a tendency of thinking that nothing will change, even if they do propose something new. Create a culture where staff members feel comfortable offering their thoughts.


7. Include Your Employees

No one wants to feel excluded in an organization they are a part of. A new hire wants to feel like they were hired for a reason, and that they are playing a key role in helping the business achieve its objectives. From hiring and leadership assessment to professional development and performance management, you will need to take a top-down approach to a culture of inclusion, and there are no shortcuts to getting there.


8. Challenge Your Employees In A Balanced Way

Doing the same thing day in and day out can lead to boredom and apathy.

On the other hand, getting your employees to complete difficult projects or jump through too many hoops could make them feel demoralized and ambivalent about their future in the company.


9. Encourage A Healthy Work-Life Balance

Many organizations have high expectations for their employees. But for workers, this can mean less time devoted to personal care, leisure activities, and family. When your team members are well-rested and have adequate time to care for themselves and their families, they will also perform better at work.


10. Connect With Your Team

Part of employee engagement and enablement is taking time to connect with your people, and we’ve already seen how employee engagement can have a dramatic impact on the effectiveness of your company. When your workforce feels connected, it gives them purpose. It helps them carve out a niche within their department or team, and it helps them see how they are contributing to big-picture objectives.


11. Offer A Competitive Base Salary or Hourly Wage

Your employees want to feel like the effort they put into work is worth their time. When it comes to employee retention, money isn’t everything, but offering a competitive wage can help your people feel like their work and time are valued. Your team members need to be able to cover their cost of living, and to feel like they are doing good, rewarding work. If you aren’t sure, research what a competitive salary would be for your employees and start paying them what they’re worth.


12. Avoid Sudden Changes In The Workplace

Change may be inevitable, but it can also be very stressful. You may need to introduce new initiatives and systems in your company to keep up with growth or to strengthen quality assurance. But forcing too much change too soon can affect employee retention.

Towers Watson found that employee attitude can be affected negatively by organizations going through significant change.


13. Create A Clean & Safe Environment For Your Employees

Dirtiness and clutter are distracting. And if people sense that danger is near, they’re going to have a hard time focusing on the work they need to do. Since your employees will be spending at least one-third of any given day in the workplace, if not longer, it’s important to create and maintain a comfortable working environment.


14. Give Your Employees The Tools They Need To Succeed

If you’re going to set goals for your workers, you need to give them the tools, resources, and information they need to succeed. All too often, employees are left to their own devices without any direction or guidance. If you want to help your employees succeed, you need to be in regular communication with them, asking them specifically about the project they’re working on, and if there’s anything you can help them with to bring it to completion.


15. Provide Adequate Rest Periods For Your Employees

In the US, long hours in the office are often worn like a badge of honor, and hardworking entrepreneurs are glorified and celebrated. But people are not machines, and when pushed too hard for too long, they will succumb to illness, fatigue, and unnecessary (but sometimes costly) mistakes. If employee retention is your goal, then it’s important to provide adequate rest periods for them. This will help reduce stress and sick days. Depending on the state, this is also a matter of regulatory compliance.

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