HR Glossary for HR Professionals

Glossary of the most common HR terms and acronyms to assist professionals navigating the ever-growing and ever-changing world of HR terminology.

Retention Strategy

What is a Retention Strategy?

A retention strategy is a plan that employers develop and implement to help with employee retainment.

Typical strategies attempt to lower employee turnover, prevent attrition, increase retention, and foster employee engagement.

Why Should Employers Develop a Retention Strategy?

Employers should develop a retention strategy because an effective plan will save them time, money, and stress by keeping high-performing employees on their team. 

According to a 2016 report from SHRM, the average cost-per-hire for companies is $4,129, and the average time needed to fill a position is 42 days. Given how much is asked of modern workers already, the stress alone from existing employees filling a role could generate even more burnout on a team.

How Do You Develop a Retention Strategy?

A number of factors impact employee retainment, so an active retention strategy is essential to keeping turnover low. Consider the following ways to keep employees engaged:

  • Stay Interviews: Instead of just hosting exit interviews, try conducting stay interviews with your team to see what’s working and what isn’t.
  • Better Benefits: Studies show that time and again, better benefits packages result in stronger retention rates. This can be as complex as generous healthcare coverage or as simple as a healthy work-life balance. 
  • Effective Onboarding: According to SHRM data, employee turnover can reach as high as 50% in the first 18 months of employment. Onboard with retention in mind to avoid these concerning statistics.
  • Regular 1:1s with Direct Reports: Skip the annual performance reviews and go with regular checkups to see what’s working and what isn’t with employees on a given project.

Related Terms: Stay Interview

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