Critical components of employee retention


KEY employee retention and attraction is critical to the long-term health and success of any organisation.

It is not uncommon to realise that most organisations do not realise the importance of retaining their employees until they tender their resignation.
It reminds me of one organisation that I worked for some years back.

For my duration at this organisation, I never felt as if I was an important player until the day my departmental members were pouring out their views about me at a farewell reception organised for me when I had resigned.

This article will highlight why it is important to spare a moment to consider the importance of employee retention.

The ability to retain and attract your best employees ensures customer satisfaction, satisfied staff, retention of organisational knowledge and learning, and effective succession planning.

If an organisation fails to retain a key employee, it is costly because, apart from the cost associated with recruitment and selection, other issues such as training time and investment, lost knowledge and possibly insecure co-workers will all have a serious impact on the organisation.

It is not a secret that attracting and retaining of employees, in particular key employees, is a big challenge most organisations locally are facing.

It has been observed that traditional approaches to attraction and retention of employees are not as effective due in part to generational change and there is a need to take a more multi-dimensional approach to the issue. The following are some of the keys to employee retention:

Compelling future

This means that employees should perceive the organisation as one that is “going somewhere”, one which has ambitious but achievable goals for growth. The employees should see themselves playing an integral role in the future of the organisation.

Positive work environment

In this case, employees must be able show appreciation of the nature of the work they do as well as the team of people they work with.

They must feel that there is enough support and communication to accomplish their role in the organisation and that there is a link between the values of the organisation and their own personal values.

Opportunities for personal and professional growth

In this case, the employee must not feel as though their distinctive talents and abilities will only be used in the organisation, but they need to realise that they will be enhanced and strengthened in a way that leads to expanded roles, responsibilities and opportunities.

This implies not only that there is somewhere to go, but that the organisation knows how to get the most out of its human resources.

Financial rewards

This is perhaps the most obvious key to retention. With this issue, employees want to know that if they achieve the expectations the organisation has of them, they will be rewarded in a way that fulfils their current and future financial needs and goals.

So this calls for fair remuneration packages which the organisation is able to sustain.

Training and development

One of the most important things an employer can do to retain employees is to provide them with training and development.

l Paul Nyausaru is a training and development practitioner. You can contact him on email,, wesite Views contained in this article are personal