The Society for Human Resource Management defines employee retention as the rate at which organizations maintain employees in positions. Employee retention is the opposite of turnover, which can have extreme costs, both financial and non-monetary, for the organization. Businesses that conduct effective employee retention strategies are better able to protect organizational resources than those that experience high turnover rates.
Increasing employee engagement is another common objective of employee retention. Without proper management, employee retention issues can have an extremely negative effect on organizational finances. Howard Adamsky, author of “Employee Retention: Notes from the Underground,” says, “Poor retention creates a “revolving door” culture within the organization, lowering morale and confidence.” Low morale, as well as low levels of confidence in the organization, can affect employee job satisfaction and productivity, which in turn affects the organization’s bottom line.
Reducing Turnover Cost
The reduction of the costs associated with high turnover is also a typical objective of employee retention. Turnover costs the organization time, money and a variety of other resources that are not always easily accounted for. For example, according to the Employee Retention Strategies website, high turnover also increases “job stress when remaining employees are burdened with the distribution of the departed employee’s workload.”
The retention of knowledge and skills is a common objective of employee retention and is essential to the long-term success of the organization. High turnover rates result in what is referred to in human resources as “brain drain.” This occurs when an organization is unable to maintain employees who are knowledgeable about the organization. Without access to such knowledgeable employees, organizations lose knowledge that is typically passed on from employee to employee rather than imparted in formal training programs.
Maintaining a diverse work force is another common objective of employee retention strategies. Diversity includes workers of varying sexes, ages and races as well as educational and workplace experiences. This is difficult to maintain within an organization that experiences high turnover. According to the Society for Human Resource Management website, organizations that maintain high retention levels, “typically have strong, sustainable corporate cultures that can act as key differentiators in the marketplace.”