developing a retention strategy

The development of a retention strategy parallels developing resourcing strategies. This includes both short and long-term planning and being aware of what motivates employees to join, stay or leave; i.e. better career prospects and opportunities, work-life balance and family-friendly policies.

An effective retention strategy should be flexible and responsive, not a one-size-fits-all approach: the one-third of staff actively looking for new jobs within two years may not have the same requirements (e.g. career development) as longer-serving staff. The cost – or rather savings – of retention, particularly the cost and impact of employee turnover, are also worth establishing, if only as a powerful tool in building the business case for winning support for effective retention initiatives.

reasons for leaving

There are essentially only two general reasons why people leave jobs: they are either ‘pulled’ – by a better job, or changing circumstances – or ‘pushed’ by dissatisfaction with their current job or employer, typically by lack of career or training opportunities, and often by personal work factors. People still predominantly join organisations but leave managers.

Pull factors are outside employers’ control, but some common push reasons for employees to leave can be addressed:

  • poor recruitment, selection, induction or onboarding
  • dissatisfaction with supervision, management, organisational policies, procedures, communication, decision-making and involvement
  • lack of personal development/training opportunities (organisational structure, size of the business)
  • lack of career development and promotion, absence of talent management
  • issues with job satisfaction, job design, work environment, culture or values
  • inadequate appraisal, feedback and recognition(lack of performance management)
  • dissatisfaction with money, rewards and benefits, lack of innovation and creativity
  • work-life balance, stress, concern about relationships with others, team working

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