Employee retention is the ability of a company to keep or retain its employees (1). This is to keep them on the job for as long as possible in a company. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the performance and stability of employees in their jobs. The long-term success of any organization depends on the high retention of key employees (2).
Low levels of unemployment may force many organizations to re-examine their employee retention strategies (3). This is in order to maintain or increase high competitiveness in the job market. In this article, we have listed the main reasons why employees decide to leave their jobs. In addition, we will tell you what actions you need to take to overcome these employment issues effectively.
- Not paying attention to employee retention can be very costly.
- It is important to recognize the reasons why an employee chooses to stay on the job.
- It is necessary to constantly monitor the work environment and the opportunities that the company offers to employees.
5 reasons why employees choose to stay in their jobs
In the following part, you will find the 5 most common reasons why employees choose to stay with their companies. In addition, we have included the actions you should take to motivate them to work as a team. Also, there are recommendations and exercises to do so that the relationship between the company and its employees grows.
5. Rewards or recognition
This characteristic refers mainly to all the promises that the employee receives during the recruitment process. Acknowledging these actions helps organizations to be more aware of their employees’ needs.
On the other hand, if this is not fulfilled throughout the career path, it will lead to dissatisfaction. Which causes the employer to feel less committed to the company.
- Bonuses: Generally included for salespeople, however, also for those who perform better in their jobs.
- Fringe benefits: These may include travel reimbursement and childcare.
- Sports card: Especially to gyms, recreational facilities, spas or swimming pools.
- Food passes or coupons: May include discounts at cafeterias or on-site facilities. Or coupons for nearby restaurants or catering services.
- Compensation: Especially for those who suffer an accident at work and are unable to continue with their job.
Recommendations and activities
You can improve this characteristic by increasing the existing communication between the employee and his/her team leader or manager. This is mainly because it allows you to notice the energy, emotions, and performance of the employee.
Additionally, it is important to take into account all the achievements that each worker has. In other words, reward or recognize their efforts and not just the results. Here are some activities you can do to improve it.
Read more about Employee Recognition Ideas
4. Physical and cultural environment
This characteristic refers mainly to the facilities of the company or workplace, the relationships that exist between workers, and the space they have to express all their opinions. Generally, a company’s lack of flexibility towards its workers encourages them to leave their jobs.
Additionally, it is important to take into account employee burnout. In other words, the anxiety, stress, or uncertainty they may experience in the work environment. In the long run, these feelings can seriously affect the employee’s health and their job performance.
- Understanding of a multicultural work environment: especially for large organizations, which have several employees from different countries. Smaller companies are more influenced by the lifestyle and thinking of each employee. As long as they come from the same culture.
- Adequate work areas: this refers to good lighting, furniture in good condition, and all the necessary materials, such as computers or software. Maybe you can provide access to water, tea, juice, or coffee and cookies. Rest or entertainment areas, this can be the dining room or an area where they can relax or socialize. It is also essential that toilets are available close to the work area.
- Areas available for information and contact with different areas: such as management, human resources, technology department and all those you have available in your company
Recommendations and activities
This can be improved by having a talk or conducting a survey to workers and evaluating the pattern of behavior at work. Offer food, such as fruit, on certain days of the week free of charge. Check the facilities and provide maintenance if necessary. Here are some exercises to do to improve this characteristic.
3. Relationship with the manager or work team
This characteristic refers to the type of relationship that exists between employees and managers of a company. Trust allows workers to correct mistakes and help each other to improve. However, when this is mostly negative rather than positive, the working environment becomes a serious problem.
- Team relationship: maintaining a professional attitude is necessary, especially when the final result depends on the team. It is important to avoid tensions between members or to report them if they exist. Do this for team rotation and other activities to improve the relationship.
- Conflict resolution is between all team members. Each member is capable of dealing with a problem differently. However, in difficult moments, the tension in the team grows. This can lead to unhappiness that affects the team’s work performance.
- Provide help to grow as a team, and learn from each other: if the team is not willing to support its new members, it is necessary to strengthen group activities.
- Opportunity to ask questions: however repetitive, it is important to have a space to ask questions until the ideas are clear.
- Existing work overload: it is important to know how to distribute the work and meet the agreed deadlines to avoid work stress.
Recommendations and activities
This can be improved mainly when the manager or team leader is aware of all activities. Especially in those times when employees have a lot of work to do, the leader must be able to provide support.
Do some research on how many joint activities are done as a team and how the employees feel about it. Here are some exercises to do to improve this characteristic.
2. Work-life balance
Flexibility in remote work is much more important nowadays. Especially after the pandemic (4), many workers consider a job offer primarily due to its flexibility. This refers to the opportunity for each employee to work at the desired location and hours.
Most importantly, your workers should feel happy with themselves. So they have time to spend with their family and friends, as well as extra activities, such as studying, playing sports or travelling.
The meaning of work-life balance is relative, as it depends on the lifestyle of each employee (5). In other words, there are various types of balance that relate to work. For example:
- Family. This includes conflicts and household chores.
- Friendships. The relationship with society.
- Life programs whether financial or time organization.
- Responsibilities such as debts or bill payments.
Initiatives. Objectives or goals set.
- The time an employee devotes to his company and his personal life: Generally, workers devote one-third of their daily time to a company. This means that their thoughts and actions are greatly influenced by the activities they perform.
- An employee’s understanding of separating the professional from the personal: although any impact that occurs in these two stages can affect the other, it is important to keep them separate. Especially in different areas. Generally, it is more difficult when doing remote work. The connection that exists between these two environments is often affected by each other. For example, personal problems can distract the worker from work activities.
- Regularity in the activities of each employee: performing the same daily activities can be tiring and often boring. Despite the fact that more experience can be generated by doing the same activities. It is also necessary to train workers to perform in other areas.
- The time spent by workers on commuting to the office: it is important to consider the location of the employee’s home, as they can often spend hours on travel alone.
Ways to improve, recommendations and activities
Mainly, consider the working time of each employee. Avoid contacting them outside their office hours. Be flexible in case of an emergency that may arise in their personal lives. Here are some exercises to do to improve this characteristic.
1. Career path
This refers to the lack of opportunities an employee has to grow professionally in his/her current job. Additionally, this relates to recognition for a well-performed job or achieved goals (6).
- Personal goals: these activities can be learning a language, improving skills, or starting a career.
- Lack of constant turnover of staff: performing a variety of activities is necessary. This can help the employee to develop or discover new skills.
- Development and training programs: this can include access to study programs, such as LinkedIn, Duolingo, Quizlet, and other educational platforms for free.
See the best Educational Software
- Employees’ perception of company support. Generally, recognition plays an important role in this area. Since it incentivizes the worker to keep improving.
Recommendations and activities
Take into account the different skills that each employee has developed. In addition, provide support and motivation so that they can continue to grow, this way the company also benefits.
Additionally, it takes into account the policies of growth, hygiene, satisfaction, and balance between work and general welfare (7). Here are some exercises to do to improve this characteristic.
Employee retention plays a major role in the success of a company. Not only because of the low cost involved. But also because of employee experience, which is the key to a company’s success. When you replace a permanent employee, you will have to invest time and money in training the new member. Which, unlike meeting the needs of the existing employee, is much less convenient.
There are several reasons why employees choose to stay in their jobs. However, learning how to support them, and finding ways to improve their skills are the main tasks to consider. However, as long as your employees feel good about their work as well. This will enable your company to provide better service to the final customer. Remember that most of a company’s success is achieved through its employees.
1. Van der Merwe M. Employee retention statistics and insights 2022 [Internet]. People Managing People.2022 .
2. Das BL, Baruah M. Employee retention: A review of literature. [Internet] Journal of business and management. 2013 Nov;14(2):8-16 
3. Sunil Ramlall PD. Review of Employee Motivation Theories and their implications for employee retention within organizations – Journal of American academy of business. 2004 Sep;5(1/2):52-63 [Internet]. Academia.edu. 2015 .
4. Van der Merwe M. Employee retention statistics and insights 2022 [Internet]. People Managing People.2022 .
5. Sunil Ramlall PD. Review of Employee Motivation Theories and their implications for employee retention within organizations – Journal of American academy of business. 2004 Sep;5(1/2):52-63 [Internet]. Academia.edu. 2015 .
6. Benitez Contreras KX. Professional development and retention of human talent in a Financial institution in Ecuador, 2022 [Internet]. DSpace Home. Universidad César Vallejo; 1970 .
7. Fonseca J, Garzón M, Rodríguez JC, Torres S. Staff retention versus the emotional wage model. [Internet]. Sergio Arboleda University Institutional Repository. Sergio Arboleda University; 1970 .