How to Engineer the Perfect Employee Retention Plan to Make them Fall in Love with your Organization!

There isn’t a better time than now to engineer the perfect employee retention plan. Do you know what it takes?

Human capital

Leen Sawalha

VP Product & Growth

Thursday, February 12, 2015


We constantly express our love to those most important to us; our friends, family, significant others… But there’s a group of individuals that we often forget to show our love and appreciation for; our employees!

Your employees are your resources, your workers, your intellectual thinkers, and your greatest asset. If those aren’t enough reasons to show them the love they deserve, I don’t know what is!

So let’s take this opportunity to show them we care by engineering the perfect employee retention plan that will surely make your employees love you as much as you love them!

Why should I even bother with an employee retention plan?

Well, I have two reasons for you:

  • Turnover is expensive;
  • Turnover is EXPENSIVE!

Yes, I know it’s the same point. And no, that was not a typo – turnover is just really, really expensive!

You have the direct, obvious costs, such as those associated with recruiting, selecting, and training the replacement employee, but there’s also the indirect costs, those associated with losing a talented and skilled employee, disturbance of team dynamics, loss of clients, difficult management, and even overall quality and productivity.

Why should I bother with a  retention plan now?

I’m sure the majority of employers understand that a good employee retention plan is important, just as I’m sure that many of you simply don’t have the time to take on such a project! But you know what? Sometimes, you just gotta do what you gotta do! And a retention plan is something you got to do.

Set your goal (in this case, having a retention plan!), and set your deadline. Ideally, you would start with one right away, but if you simply can’t, then just set a realistic deadline and make sure you stick to it.

What does it take to engineer the perfect employee retention plan?

Let’s take it one step at a time, shall we?

First thing’s first: Set a goal plan

You need to set a goal for this plan, and the goal should NOT be “retain my employees”. It should be: retain my best employees. You really don’t want to be wasting your time creating an employee retention plan that targets the wrong people!

Next step: who’s the best?

Find out who your best employees are, obviously! Conduct performance evaluations to identify your best employees, and while you’re at it, identify what makes them the best at what they do.

Try to be as thorough as possible. In terms of performance evaluations, the least you should do is have your employees’ immediate managers evaluate their performance.

If your organization has the resources to allow for 360-degree evaluations, then go for it. Gather this information and analyze it – find common denominators of what makes these employees so great; is it certain skills and competencies that make them valuable to your organization? Is it specific personality traits that they share? Or is it maybe a combination of both?

Third: Address the employees’ needs

It’s easy to create a retention plan that suits the organization, but it’s not as effective as one that suits the needs of the employees. It’s common sense, really: if you want your employees to stay with the company, then the company must give the employees what they want in return.

And what is it that your best employees want, anyway? A better salary? A more comprehensive benefits package? More paid time off? Developmental opportunities? Challenging work? Better work environment?

The possibilities may seem endless, and how can you even begin to uncover such information? The answer: Ask! It’s really that simple; just ask your employees what they want. If you don’t have the time or resources to go out and ask each one individually (as I assume is the case for everyone!), have them complete a form or questionnaire. Not only would this allow you to gather the information you seek, but it would also encourage employee engagement and employee loyalty because they’ll feel like the organization cares about them as much as they do it.

4th: Use your plan to encourage desired behaviors

I know this point seems contradictory given that the previous one was all about giving the employees what they want, but it’s actually an extension of it.

Consider this, you hire a results-driven, ambitious, and competitive woman; and these natural, innate characteristics are what makes her amazing at her job as a sales representative. The same can be applied to the employee you hired to provide your clients with the service and support they need. He has the listening skills, sensitivity, and customer-driven focus that allows him to well-identify and satisfy his clients’ need.

You hired them because they demonstrated the desired behaviors, and they enjoy and are good at their jobs because these behaviors are innate to them – it’s what makes them who they are. If you want an effective retention plan, you shouldn’t just encourage these behaviors, but reward them as well.

Engineering the perfect employee retention plan is not as easy task, but it certainly is a crucial one. It might be on your to-do list, but now is as good a time as ever to push it to the top. After all, is there ever a better time than now to show your employees your love and appreciation for their hard work and commitment? Just remember to identify the right employees, find out what makes them so valuable, give them what they want, and watch both the employees and the organization reap the benefits.

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