How to Improve Employee Retention

Hiring a great employee is only half the battle, keeping them is the real challenge. Even as unemployment decreases in the United States, the truth is that many employed individuals are seeking to change their jobs. Many employed individuals are actively seeking a job, are passively looking to see what other opportunities are available – or are open to discussing a potential career change. Bottom line is: if your employee isn’t happy at their current job, there’s a good chance of them moving on. In fact, only 15% of employees are completely satisfied in their current position, meaning that there’s an 85% chance of your employee feeling at least somewhat open to a new role.

So the challenge for employers is to improve employee retention. By hiring and then paying little or no attention to the employee, or the work environment in general, you’re practically shoving them out the door. That’s why the employment professionals at Pascoe Workforce Solutions are here to discuss strategies for improving employee retention.

Provide Career Development Options

The worst thing an employee could feel is that they’re bored on the job. That leads to disengagement and unproductive behavior. If an employee is looking to take on additional responsibilities, be open to the idea, as it could be the change they need in their daily routine to feel happier. Allow your employees to use their skills in different areas of the organization, and let them become immersed in the company.

If you have a particularly enthusiastic employee with potential to grow in your company, provide them with opportunities for career development, such as allowing them to attend industry seminars, working on special projects, or company trainings. Let your employees learn more about their respective industries and stay up to date on trends so they can use them to improve your organization. By showing you’ll invest in your employee’s future, you show that you care about the employee, which builds loyalty to your company.

Promote from Within

Internal employees tend to feel disheartened if passed over for a promotion in favor of an outside applicant – especially if they’re more than qualified for the position. Many employees see this as their employer not thinking highly of them – or worse, that their efforts are for nothing. If continually passed over for promotions, employees may feel there are not opportunities for career advancement within the company – so in order to move up, they need to move out.

While not every employee may be a good fit for an upper-level promotion, consider your internal employees for vacant or newly-created positions, and interview them if they meet basic qualifications. If the employee has given your company multiple years of great work, there’s no reason for you not to at least consider them for upper-level positions.

Incentive Programs

Employees want to be rewarded for good work, especially if they continually meet or exceed goals. While your employees may not all be in sales – which carry incentives in the form of commission checks, it’s important to recognize employees who exceed their goals on a regular basis. By recognizing employees when they go above and beyond, employees have a reason to continue putting their best foot forward, and slackers will work harder to reap the benefits (and if they don’t begin delivering, maybe you should consider if they belong on your team).

Not all incentives need to be based around compensation, especially for smaller or start-up companies. Some fun perks could be allowing an employee to choose the radio station or dress casually for the day. Other incentives could be added time to lunch or even a half (or full) day off for top performers. Of course, everyone does love cash or monetary awards, so some ideas could be a gift card, dinner on the boss, or even a bonus at the end of the quarter.

Develop a Workplace Community

Disengagement includes feeling disengaged from fellow employees. Typically, an employee will feel happier if they get along with their co-workers, and it’s less likely for happy employees to actively seek alternative employment if they feel content on a personal level.

For even the most individual-driven positions (such as programming or accounting), try to develop projects where your employees can work in a team. If that isn’t feasible for your organization, think about creating an open work environment or sponsor a company event for employees to meet up after work hours to allow employees get to know each other and make personal connections. A happy employee tends to be a more productive employee – so if you have a great team of happy individuals, their overall productivity will increase, meaning it’s a win-win for your company.

Offer Competitive Benefits

There are many reasons why your company should offer great benefits – employee retention is only one of them. While benefits can be filed under ‘incentives’ – benefits are generally long lasting and have a more direct impact on a person’s daily life. As part of the compensation package, benefits are discussed during the interview process. If your company is not offering competitive benefits, at least within your industry, it could cause the prospective employee to reject a job offer. Alternatively, if the employee does come aboard, they may leave if their life situations change or are offered a better overall package.

A comprehensive benefits package generally includes health insurance (including vision and dental), disability insurance, vacation days/paid time off, as well as retirement fund/401k matching. Many companies will also offer extended benefits such as gym or club memberships, product/service discounts, stock options, dependent care, reimbursement for travel, and even more. It isn’t feasible for every company to offer top-tier benefits, but the more you can offer – especially if you fall in the average range of salary – the more likely your employees will feel satisfied with their compensation and benefits.


The best employees know their worth, and if your company is not meeting their needs or expectations – be it professional or personal, chances are they won’t hesitate to migrate to a place that will. As unemployment decreases, it will become harder to find the talent you need for your organization to prosper. Contact us today, and let Pascoe Workforce Solutions find the right employee to fit into your organization.