Employee retention: definition, strategies and how to improve it

Employee retention is closely linked to the performance of your company and its viability. Boosting it allows you to reduce...
9 February 2023

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Employee retention: definition, strategies and how to improve it

Employee retention is closely linked to the performance of your company and its viability. Boosting it allows you to reduce the turnover rate of your teams and improve the work environment. Betting on talent is betting on competitiveness and excellence while increasing your employees’ commitment to your company’s culture. 

In this article, we will talk about what employee retention is and what strategies and methods you can use to promote it in your organization beyond other means, such as offering salaries that match the skills of your employees or proposing family reconciliation and mental well-being policies.

What is employee retention?

The employee retention definition refers to the ability of a company or organization to keep its employees over a period of time. It is a measure of the stability and commitment of the workforce and can be influenced by factors such as job satisfaction, company culture, and compensation. High employee retention rates are generally seen as a positive indicator of a healthy and productive workplace.

Following this approach, talent retention seeks to make employees feel valued in the organization, using different strategies to ensure that the profiles with the best performance and commitment want to stay in the organization. 

Today, employees are looking for something more; they need to find meaning in their work and feel part of a winning team that makes them develop professionally, increasing their employability. 

In this sense, company culture is crucial for attracting and retaining talent.

Employee retention strategies

To maintain talent, you can implement measures such as training strategies, training, and long-term employee support through career plans

However, as we have already mentioned, the new generations are looking for added values that give meaning to their work experience in companies. 

This being the case, it is essential to design talent retention strategies that serve all the purposes above.

Employee retention

Foster a positive work culture

Share with your teams your story, long-term vision, and the values you stand for in your project. To do this, you can create a manifesto of the company’s philosophy and a good conduct handbook to generate commitment and loyalty. 

Set milestones in the calendar through annual events, monthly breakfasts, and other actions that allow you to get closer to your employees and practice active listening

Participate in sporting events or get involved in charitable causes. Make your employees feel proud to be part of your company.

Create a preboarding and onboarding strategy

The first contact between the company and the employee (pre-boarding) usually occurs during the recruitment interview

Work on employer branding to seduce the most talented candidates, organize open days, etc.  

As for the onboarding strategy, i.e. the process of welcoming the new employee, prepare it thoroughly so that the person feels integrated into the project from the beginning through customized integration programs.

Create experiences

Improve the employee experience (the experience of your employees in the company) by promoting internal careers that involve challenges and placing your employees at the center of your Human Resources (HR) strategies.


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Invest in leader development

The leaders of your company can be a great source of motivation for your teams. 

Bet on them, train them through executive coaching programs, make them your best internal ambassadors, and provide them with the tools to drive teams to excellence.

Encourage employee creativity

Creativity is always a source of inspiration, in addition to improving the competitiveness of companies. 

Integrate it into daily practices so that, without forgetting the individual value of each of your employees, they function collectively and work towards the same strategic objectives, sharing their skills to enrich each other mutually.

Why is employee retention important?


Employee retention is essential for a company’s growth, productivity and reputation and can help create a stable and engaged workforce. These are some of the reasons why:

  1. Cost-effective: Hiring and training new employees can be costly and time-consuming. High employee retention rates can help reduce these costs by minimizing the need for frequent recruitment and training.
  2. Knowledge and experience: Long-term employees often have a wealth of knowledge and experience acquired while working at the company. They can be a valuable resource for training new employees and can also help contribute to the company’s growth.
  3. Productivity: Engaged and satisfied employees are more likely to be productive and motivated to do their best work. High employee retention rates help ensure a stable and productive workforce.
  4. Company culture: Long-term employees are often well-versed in the company culture and can help maintain it. They also contribute to building a positive work culture that can attract new employees.
  5. Customer satisfaction: Long-term employees often have a better understanding of the customers and the company’s products or services, which helps provide better customer service and build customer loyalty.
  6. Innovation: Long-term employees have more experience and knowledge about the company and its industry, which can help them develop new and innovative ideas to drive the company’s growth.
  7. Reputation: Companies with high employee retention rates are often viewed as good places to work, which can help to attract top talent and improve the company’s reputation.
how to improve employee retention

How to improve the employee retention rate?

In addition to the strategies mentioned above, we would like to talk to you about 3 models that can help you build a comprehensive talent retention strategy and improve your employee retention rate.

OKR method

The OKR method (Objectives and Key Results) is a work management system that seeks to achieve a company’s objectives by measuring teams’ progress quantitatively and qualitatively.

Thus, it helps to organize tasks daily by allowing you to define and size work groups while tracking each employee’s progress. 

Thanks to this method, each person knows what is important and their value thanks to more precise communication.

Job satisfaction measurement and analysis

Job satisfaction can and should be measured. Only then can you improve and adapt your strategies to reduce turnover.  

You can use the eNPS (Employee Net Promoter Score) method. It is a metric that measures the satisfaction of your employees with a single question: “How likely are you to recommend your workplace to others?”. 

Responses are made based on a score from 1 to 10 that allows you to organize the information into 3 groups: 

  1. Detractors: with a score from 1 to 6.
  2. Passive: with answers from 7 to 8.
  3. Promoters: with a score between 9 and 10.

You can also use “pulse” surveys through short and frequent questionnaires, 1 to 1 meetings, or face-to-face interviews.

Employee talent retention plan

Employee talent retention plans focus on knowing who your employees are, what they are looking for, and their long-term commitment to your company. 

The objective is not to retain your employees at all costs but only those who find their place in your project and are committed to evolve in it. 

Internal promotion strategies are shown as a differentiating element within your talent retention plan. For example, reskilling and upskilling are tools that allow you to evaluate talent and maximize its potential. 

At Smowltech, we have solutions to help you create safe environments where you can deploy your human capital management strategies, such as our proctoring products

Request a free demo, and we will explain how to improve the experience of your teams in your talent assessment strategies.


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