What is Employee Retention? 3 Strategies to Reduce Turnover

What is Employee Retention? 3 Strategies to Reduce Turnover

In a competitive job market, keeping and retaining top talent is a growing challenge for organizations. Factors such as inadequate pay, a lack of growth opportunities, and dissatisfaction with leadership are just some of the issues causing employee turnover, and causing employees to seek work that prioritizes their values.

As individuals chart their paths, employers are forced to reassess what truly makes their organizations compelling. By gauging employees’ perspectives on their roles and the organization, employers and leadership teams can see how employees truly feel about their jobs, their intentions to stay, and possible areas to improve overall engagement. 

If your organization is struggling with employee turnover and employee engagement, it’s time to explore effective employee retention strategies!

Understanding Employee Retention

Employee retention refers to an organization’s ability to keep their employees and leaders, preventing turnover. Strong employee retention involves creating a positive work culture, an engaged workforce, and implementing strategies to encourage employees to stay with the organization for an extended period.

Why Employee Retention Is Important

Employee retention is important to organizations for many reasons: 

  • Retaining employees is more cost-effective than recruiting and training new ones. High turnover leads to increased recruitment and onboarding expenses (source).
  • Experienced and committed employees often provide better customer service, enhancing overall customer satisfaction (source).
  • Experienced and engaged employees are generally more productive, as they are familiar with company processes and goals (source).
  • Long-term employees accumulate valuable company knowledge, contributing to organizational stability and efficiency (source).
  • Team members learn how to work together over time, leading to cohesion among departments.
  • A stable workforce can foster a positive workplace culture, boosting morale as employees feel secure and valued.
  • High retention rates contribute to a positive company reputation, making it an attractive workplace for potential candidates.

The Cost of High Turnover to an Organization

It can cost a minimum of two times an employee’s salary to hire and train a new employee (source), but the cost of high turnover goes beyond financial implications like recruitment costs, training and onboarding expenses. High turnover also drives negative aspects of organizational performance and well-being such as productivity loss, knowledge drain, negative impact on morale and culture, and reputational damage. 

With the clear benefits of retention, the pivotal question emerges: How can you effectively retain your employees? 

Through decades of research, Gallup has shown that “engaged employees produce better business outcomes than other employees – across industry, company size, and nationality, and in good economic times and bad.”

Measuring Employee Engagement for Retention Success

Employees who feel engaged and connected to their work and organization are more likely to stay, leading to higher retention rates and a stable workforce. Recognizing the correlation between employee engagement and retention highlights the importance of measuring employee engagement to cultivate a happy and dedicated team.

Measuring engagement requires actively listening to your employees and providing them with a platform to share their feedback. By offering an open channel for communication, organizations create an environment where employees feel valued, heard, and appreciated. It demonstrates a commitment to their well-being and professional growth. 

Encouraging open communication through employee feedback serves as one of the first steps in reducing turnover.


3 Strategies to Reduce Turnover By Increasing Employee Engagement

1. Encourage open communication by actively seeking feedback from your employees.

Organizations can stay tuned in to employee sentiment and engagement levels through regular Employee Engagement Surveys, open communication channels, and feedback mechanisms. Employee surveys play an important role in gauging engagement by providing a structured and measurable way to collect feedback directly from employees.

TalentClick, a global leader in employee assessments, offers an Employee Engagement Survey (EE) that serves as a diagnostic tool to analyze workforce sentiment, revealing the gap between leadership perceptions and actual employee experiences. This survey provides a platform for all employees to provide anonymized feedback – both qualitative and quantitative – on their intentions and perceptions of the organization. A clear summary of priorities that matter most to employees provides a great starting point for organizational leaders to gauge their strengths and possible areas for improvement regarding engagement. 

Image: TalentClick’s Employee Engagement Survey – Summary of Results

2. Evaluate your organizational priorities based on employee feedback.

The data collected from these surveys helps organizations identify their strengths and areas for improvement, enabling them to focus on targeted strategies to enhance employee engagement and retention based on the feedback received.

TalentClick’s Employee Engagement Survey provides reports encompassing key measures on workload, flexibility, and supervisory support, providing insights into employee intentions, commitment, and factors influencing retention. It also showcases engagement drivers that reflect employee perceptions of job features, supervisory behaviors, satisfaction, and commitment. The report highlights strengths and areas for improvement based on the highest and lowest satisfaction ratings for key items deemed most important by all employees.

Regularly conducting this type of survey creates a continuous feedback loop, allowing organizations to track changes in engagement over time. They can see how their initiatives are working and stay in touch with evolving employee needs, ultimately contributing to a more engaged and satisfied workforce with the intention to stay.

Image 2: TalentClick’s Employee Engagement Survey – Areas of Strength

3. Create an employee engagement action plan based on what you learned.

When organizations seek employee feedback through engagement surveys, they gain quantitative business intelligence that helps inform targeted organizational action plans and initiatives, as well as qualitative open-ended feedback on the specific needs of the workforce. Engagement action plans will differ based on findings but include action items such as; regular feedback sessions, development and training opportunities, recognition programs, team-building activities, wellness initiatives, and more. Employee feedback also directs leadership’s attention to areas within the organization that employees feel require improvement; such as diversity and inclusion, work-life balance, or growth opportunities.

A large Chemical Manufacturing company surveyed 150 employees across 3 locations. The administrators were able to probe deeper into all highlighted areas for improvement by looking into the open-ended feedback. Here they found additional details and suggestions for improvement specific to their organization and their employees’ needs, that they could immediately action.

For instance, employees’ benefits package was the top area for improvement based on its lowest satisfaction rating and highest importance rating. The majority of open-ended comments in this area noted two specific benefits that employees were looking for: RRSP matching and medical coverage for eye exams/eyewear. This common thread provided new awareness of how best to meet employee needs, which had not been previously identified by leadership.


The key to retention is not just asking for input; it’s the implementation of change and a positive organizational culture that strengthens trust, boosts satisfaction, fosters a sense of belonging, and addresses retention challenges effectively

Reduce Turnover With TalentClick

Harnessing the insights from employee engagement surveys, targeted organizational development, and actionable engagement plans can significantly bolster retention, foster a cohesive culture, and enhance overall organizational performance.

TalentClick‘s Employee Engagement Survey is a great tool for creating vibrant and engaging workplace environments by comprehensively assessing workforce sentiments. Through detailed insights, the survey identifies areas for improvement and strengths. This data-driven approach guides organizations in shaping positive cultures, aligning values, and fostering environments conducive to long-term employee satisfaction and retention.

Book a Demo of TalentClick’s Employee Engagement Survey, and reduce turnover today!