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6 Factors That Influence Employee Retention And How You Can Improve Each

6 Factors That Influence Employee Retention And How You Can Improve Each
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People come, and they go—even at work! Some employees experience involuntary turnover, while some resign after a few years. 

But it would do companies well if those they hired stayed for the long term. Why? Because it costs an organization six to nine months of an employee’s salary to replace them. To illustrate: it will cost you $30,000 to $45,000 to hire and train a replacement for a $60,000 salary employee.

Simply put, businesses can't afford not to care about the happiness of their employees. That’s why job satisfaction is the name of the game nowadays! This is true now more than ever as top talents are becoming more and more difficult to find. 

Wondering how to improve employee happiness to keep a high retention rate? You must first understand the five factors that significantly affect it. Then, if you find any gaps in your processes, it would be better to improve them now than regret inaction later. 

Below we've also listed actionable strategies to address the factors influencing retention. 

1. Onboarding and Training

You’ve to realize early on that retaining both your non-exempt and exempt employees starts with recruiting. So, have you reviewed or upgraded your recruitment processes recently? 

The way you recruit, onboard, and train employees have an impact on employee turnover. Failing to address retention at this stage might result in losing the best employees immediately.

Do your employees leave within the first six months? Are they taking on lateral responsibilities at other businesses?  If you are having problems with onboarding new hires, then you have short-term retention problems that you need to address ASAP. 

What You Can Do: 

Most onboarding concerns come from inaccurate job depictions during the interview stage. Employees are less likely to stick around if you aren't clear! 

To address this, be honest. Give them the obligations that come with the role they are applying for. Make sure that all candidates are clear on expectations from the start. This will increase the likelihood that they will stay with your organization.

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2. People and Culture

Us humans are social creatures. Above all things, we want to create an emotional connection with the people around us. That's why there's an increasing average number of employees who want to be in workplaces where they feel like they belong.

While it may seem counterintuitive, creating a favorable work environment will work wonders for you and your employees! An enhanced company culture will reduce time spent worrying about productivity, employee engagement, motivation, and retention.

What You Can Do: 

Part of human resource’s responsibilities is to carefully examine the company's values and consider how you can convey them to your staff in a tangible way. 

If your organization emphasizes creativity and flexibility, engage with your team members to create flexible working arrangements that meet the demands of both the individual and the company. Here are some ways to go about this: 

  • If you value transparency, make it easy for employees to access relevant documentation and approach dispute resolution with empathy and honesty

  • If respect is a corporate value, offer diversity and inclusion training programs to tackle unconscious biases

  • You can also demonstrate that you care by acting on employee feedback 

3. Recognition

No one appreciates feeling unappreciated. Employee turnover can be influenced by a lack of recognition, which can reflect a poor management style. It will inevitably lead to employees seeking the attention they deserve elsewhere. 

Indeed, a lack of acknowledgment does not cost you your best employees immediately. However, failing to address it will result in low morale and decreased productivity. 

What You Can Do: 

Find ways for employees to feel heard and recognized. Everyone loves receiving feedback—whether they are positive or negative.

Employee retention is influenced by leadership's active listening and recognition of successes. In practice, this will look something like: 

  • implementing a reward system to recognize small and big wins 

  • providing yearly performance evaluations

  • training management personnel to provide positive reinforcement and leadership techniques 

  • recognizing the importance of one-on-one sessions between employees and their supervisors regularly

  • making sure that they are paid on a salary that is equal to the role they perform 


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4. Work-Life Balance

Nowadays, employees don’t want to be restricted from doing the things they love. They want to have time with their families, hobbies, and other activities outside of work. 

More and more employees want flexible work schedules that allow them to care for their professional and personal lives. So, make sure that there is no room for employee burnout in your workplace. 

Burnout happens when individuals feel out of control or under a lot of daily stress. Not only will this decrease their productivity, but it will also affect their mental and physical health. 

Every now and then, ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Do you regularly demand or expect employees to work after hours or on weekends? 

  • Is a 50-hour workweek really “normal”? 

  • Do you offer employees the tools, resources, and technologies they need to succeed? 

What You Can Do: 

Remote jobs are all the rage nowadays! Let your employees have time for themselves and their families. Rather than the traditional 9-to-5 model, consider offering remote working options

You can also start implementing flexible working arrangements. This will allow employees the flexibility to manage their working hours. Plus, they can work from home if they need to! 

You can also encourage employees to set limits and use vacation time. But, if late nights can’t be avoided, consider compensating them with more time off.

5. Relevant Benefits

Employees feel like a company cares about them when they receive competitive benefits. In fact, 44% of professionals care about robust workplace benefits! These include healthcare coverage, parental leave, and paid time off. 

Offering benefits that grow in value over time or get better with tenure will help prevent employees from leaving for greener pastures. That way, they don't have to start from scratch elsewhere.

What You Can Do: 

Now’s the best time to review and assess the current benefits you offer to your employees. If you currently don’t have benefits designed to improve over time, some examples are: 

  • Bonus structures that increase with tenure

  • Granting more paid time off for employees with greater lengths of service 

  • Administrative support 

  • Stock options with vesting periods 

  • 401(k) matching contributions with vesting periods 


For newer employees, you can look into enhancing your current health benefits. Alternatively, you can even offer unique benefits such as continuing education, discounts on products or services, laundry services, and free food. 


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6. Career Development

Your employees may sense a lack of growth opportunities within the company. Nobody enjoys completing the same monotonous tasks every day, especially when the scope of the work isn't expanding. 

Employees feel insecure about their jobs when there is little room for advancement. This is when they begin seeking other opportunities. 

Does your company have an employee retention program yet? If not, your employees are likely to look elsewhere. They’ll search for companies that recognize their contributions more quickly and offer prospects for growth.

What You Can Do: 

It is your responsibility to lay down a clear-cut career path for your employees. For their continuous growth, you can provide top performers with training programs, seminars and conferences, or in-company apprenticeships or mentoring.  Alternatively, you can also connect them to online courses.

Investing in your people shows that you care about their professional development and potential for advancement to more senior roles within the organization. This creates a good cycle of belonging, motivation, productivity, and retention.

Happy Employees Stay Longer

People leave when they are unhappy with their current situation. While it's ideal, you won't be able to keep your employees forever. Some of them will walk out that door sooner or later, and while this is the harsh reality, you should never avoid it. What you can do instead is to see what affects your employee retention. 

Regularly review, reassess, and reinvent your employee retention strategy. Ensure that you meet your employees' needs. 

Remember, retention will come easy if you boost employee happiness in every process you implement throughout the workplace.

For more insightful information and actionable tips on employee engagement strategies, recruiting, and a host of other HR functions, read more on our HR Cloud blog

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About Author:

This article is written by our marketing team at HR Cloud. HR Cloud is dedicated to providing powerful solutions for your HR teams and creating an exceptional employee experience. Our aim is to help your company improve employee engagement, onboarding, and to save you valuable time!

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