Top 10 Ways to Retain Employees

Shawnee Love   •  
June 14, 2010

If you have been following along, you know that I have reached the David Letterman’s magic number which means I am ready for a top 10 list. Drum roll please:

Love HR’s top 10 ways to retain employees:

10. Get the basics right like pay, vacation, safety, etc.
9.   Clear the barriers to employee success
8.  Truly respect employees (they can tell if you are just saying the words)
7.  Pay fairly and be prepared to prove it
6.  Make work interesting and challenging wherever possible
5.  Walk your talk and have your employees’ backs
4.  Ask for their opinions and then incorporate them
3.  Praise and say thanks for jobs well done (no matter the size) and good efforts
2.  Help employees grow through training & development

And the number one way to retain employees is:

Treat them like individuals (not numbers) and be flexible.

Interestingly, this list spans the generations, so amidst all the talk about differences between “veterans”, “boomers” “Gen Xers” and “Gen Y’s” and the challenges of a multi-generational workforce, these methods will work across the board if thoughtfully applied. The key to making them work in your workforce is to recognize that while each generation values these concepts, the execution and applications may need to differ to work for each generation. If we take flexibility as an example, you might:

  • offer earlier start and end times for employees with kids in daycare or an aging parent at home,
  • consider graduated retirement for older workers,
  • set up telecommuting options for workers who are comfortable with technology and prefer to spend their time skiing or surfing over commuting.

I admit, my Top 10 List isn’t as funny as Letterman’s, but keeping your employees can save you money, so you can laugh all the way to the bank.