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Employee engagement · 

6 minutes

Cormac O'SullivanPiggy

Strategies for Employee Retention and Engagement

What is Employee Retention?

At its core, employee retention is about how well a company can keep its staff. In other words, it's the capacity of a business to hold onto its employees over a set period.

Employee retention is a mirror of the organization's ability to create an atmosphere that meets the needs of its team members.

When a business has high employee retention, it's a sign that they've built a healthy work environment. This environment encourages job satisfaction and fosters a sense of community, all integral parts of a company's culture.

The onboarding process also plays a role in employee retention. A well-designed onboarding experience helps new hires feel welcomed and prepared. This strong start can significantly influence an employee's decision to stay with a company long-term.

How to Calculate Employee Retention

Employee retention is often presented as a percentage. To calculate this rate, you need to know two things. First, how many employees have stayed with the company for the entire period. Second, the total number of employees at the start of the period.

Once you have these numbers, you use the following formula:

Employee Retention Rate = (Number of employees who've stayed for the entire period / Total number of employees at the start of the period) x 100

This formula gives you a percentage that represents your employee retention rate. It's wise to calculate this rate regularly. By doing so, you can keep a close eye on your organization's ability to retain its employees.

Why Employee Retention is Important: 15 Statistics

The importance of employee retention goes beyond maintaining a full staff. It's a critical factor for the success of a business. To illustrate this, let's look at some striking statistics:

  • Cost of Replacement: Finding and training a new employee can cost up to two times the employee's annual salary. This cost includes recruitment, onboarding, training, and the time it takes for the new hire to reach full productivity.

  • Loss of Productivity: When an employee leaves, productivity can drop. Companies often experience a 15-20% decrease in productivity due to employee turnover. It's not just about the work left behind. It's also about the time and effort it takes for the remaining team to absorb the extra workload.

  • Engagement and Profitability: Companies with high employee engagement have better bottom lines. Research shows that these companies experience 21% higher profitability. When employees are engaged, they're more invested in their work and their company's success.

These statistics highlight the need for robust retention strategies. They also show the role that employee engagement plays in maintaining a healthy organization.

Employee Retention Strategies

High turnover rates can be a problem for any company. But, with effective employee retention strategies, these rates can be reduced. Here are some strategies that can make a big difference:

Employee Recognition

Everyone wants to feel appreciated. Recognizing the hard work and achievements of your employees can boost their morale. It can also increase their job satisfaction, making them more likely to stick around.

A Gallup study found that employees who don't feel adequately recognized are twice as likely to quit. Simple actions like a thank-you note or a public acknowledgment can go a long way.

Career Development Opportunities

Employees are more likely to stay with a company that helps them grow. Offering training and development programs can be a game-changer. When employees see a clear path for advancement, they are more invested in their roles. A report shows that companies providing career development opportunities have significantly higher employee retention.

Regular Employee Feedback

Communication is key to employee retention. Regular feedback makes employees feel valued and heard. It's also a chance for managers to address any issues early on. Companies that foster a culture of open communication and feedback have seen increased employee retention.

Adaptability and Remote Work

The modern workplace is changing. More people are working from home, and flexible hours are becoming the norm. Companies that adapt to these changes can boost employee satisfaction and retention. A recent study showed that 98% of employees want to continue to work remotely (at least some of the time) for the rest of their careers.

The Role of Employee Experience in Retention

Employee experience is a fundamental factor in the equation of employee retention. It encapsulates everything an employee encounters, observes, or feels throughout their journey within an organization. From their first interaction during recruitment to their daily tasks, to their eventual exit or retirement, all these aspects shape the employee experience.

Building a Positive Employee Experience

A positive employee experience begins with a thoughtful onboarding process. This process should make new hires feel welcomed and prepared, which can significantly influence their decision to stay with the company long-term.

Another crucial aspect is creating a healthy work environment. This includes fostering a positive company culture, promoting work-life balance, and providing meaningful work. Employers must also consider the physical workspace and tools employees need to perform their tasks efficiently.

The Impact of Employee Experience on Retention

The quality of the employee experience can directly impact retention rates. When employees have a positive experience, they're more likely to stay with the company. According to a Gallup study, companies that successfully engage their customers and their employees experience a 240% boost in performance-related business outcomes.

To enhance employee experience, companies must solicit and act on employee feedback, recognize and reward employee efforts, and provide opportunities for growth and development. By doing so, they can increase employee engagement, job satisfaction, and ultimately, employee retention.

Employee Engagement and Retention: A Match Made in Heaven?

Employee engagement and retention go hand in hand. When employees are engaged, they're more likely to stay with a company. They feel a sense of belonging and value. They are committed to their work and contribute positively to the company culture.

This commitment leads to increased productivity and better company performance. According to Gallup's State of the American Workplace report, highly engaged business units have a 59% lower turnover.

Engagement is about more than just liking your job. It's about feeling a deep connection to your work, your team, and your company's mission.

This connection motivates employees to contribute actively to the success of the business. But when engagement is low, turnover rates can rise. This shift can harm the overall work environment and team performance.

Increasing Employee Engagement

Boosting employee engagement can lead to better retention. Here are some strategies to consider:

Foster a Positive Company Culture

A positive company culture is crucial for engagement. It creates a sense of belonging and drives employees to work towards common goals. A Deloitte survey found that a distinct workplace culture is crucial to business success.

Promote Work-Life Balance

Balancing work and personal life is important to employees. Companies that promote this balance tend to have 25% less employee turnover.

Implement Employee Satisfaction Surveys

Measuring employee satisfaction can pinpoint areas for improvement. The top three factors for job satisfaction are job security, opportunities to use skills and abilities, and the organization's financial stability.

By understanding the link between employee engagement and retention, companies can create strategies to boost both. This approach can lead to a more productive and harmonious work environment.


Employee retention is more than a numbers game. It's about creating an environment where employees want to stay and grow. By focusing on employee engagement, recognition, career development, and feedback, businesses can significantly enhance their employee retention rates.

As the work environment continues to evolve with emerging trends like remote work, businesses must be adaptable. They need to revise their retention strategies to meet employees' changing needs and expectations. For instance, providing options for flexible work schedules or remote work arrangements can help retain employees who value these aspects.

Emphasizing employee satisfaction is another crucial strategy. Satisfaction surveys can provide valuable insights into what employees value most in their jobs and where improvements can be made. Regular feedback and open communication can help foster a positive company culture where employees feel valued and heard.

When employees are satisfied and engaged, they are more likely to stay with a company. They will also be more productive and contribute more to the company's success. Investing in employee retention isn't just good for the employees—it's good for the entire business.

Remember, a retained and engaged employee is not just a number. They are a valuable contributor to your organization's growth and success. They are the ones who drive innovation, serve your customers, and achieve the goals that make your business thrive. By prioritizing employee retention, you're investing in the long-term success of your business.

In conclusion, the relationship between employee engagement and retention is indeed a match made in heaven. When businesses strive to engage their employees and make them feel valued, they create an environment that promotes longevity. The result is a thriving, productive workplace where everyone wins—the employees, the business, and the customers they serve.

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