What is Employee Retention? (And How Can Consultants Help?)

Written by David Salters on March 8, 2022

Warren Averett employee retention image

Looking back as far as August 2020, 18.9 million Americans, or 11.4% of the workforce, were willing to switch jobs or leave the workforce completely. By 2021, one in four employees had already left their jobs. Today, the Great Resignation continues.

If the past few years have taught us anything about talent, it’s that the labor market can shift in an instant. The key to withstanding these ebbs and flows in the talent market—especially the ebb of employee turnover that many companies are currently experiencing—has to be prioritizing employee retention.

Most companies don’t hire employees with the expectation that they will leave in a year, two or even five. But, especially in today’s environment, employees can be swayed to leave an organization at any time for various reasons, making employee retention as challenging as it is vital to your business.

Employee Retention Definition

The employee retention definition is simply a business’s ability to keep valued and valuable employees on the payroll for the long term. Employee retention often centers around an organization’s efforts to keep employees engaged, satisfied and committed to staying and growing with the organization.

Warren Averett employee retention image

Effective employee retention practices can include:

  • Committing to effective hiring (finding the right candidate for the right role)
  • Providing onboarding and orientation approaches to set employees up for success
  • Offering appropriate compensation for the position and your market
  • Furnishing essential perks like flexible or hybrid work model arrangements and parental leave
  • Encouraging health and well-being with stress management programs, reimbursement for fitness memberships and retirement planning services
  • Welcoming open communication for everything from new ideas and desires for professional growth to any issues that arise
  • Providing continuous feedback on performance to reassure employees that they are moving in the right direction or offering them helpful insights into how they can improve

While these are just examples, there are many additional components that can improve retention. Employee engagement surveys may offer unique insights that allow you to identify the employee retention meaning and practices that are specific to your organization.

The Benefits of Prioritizing Employee Retention

Anything you can do to keep talented employees at your company is beneficial. When done correctly, retention management can benefit your organization in many different ways.

Warren Averett employee retention image

Here are just a few benefits that companies with high-functioning employee retention programs see:

1. Lower Employee Turnover Costs

Since resignations can cost a business about 33 percent of an employee’s annual salary or higher toward 50%, it’s obvious that reducing employee turnover also reduces expenses.

But the expenses go far beyond simply what you’d pay to train a replacement. Employee turnover costs include tying up your busy HR staff from their core responsibilities, lower morale for team members working extra to cover for an empty role, and time spent by those on your team who must now review applications and resumes, schedule interviews and negotiate salaries.

It’s no doubt that prioritizing employee retention is much more affordable than employee turnover.

2. Positive Employee Morale

Employee retention meaning is found in ensuring that employees feel valued beyond the salary and benefits you provide. Companies that show appreciation, give recognition and support the values of their employees are more likely than others to have happy team members and positive team morale.

Positive employee morale not only makes for more loyal, productive and effective team environments—it also catapults your employee retention efforts.

3. Highly Skilled and Knowledgeable Staff

The longer an employee works for your company, the more they develop skills and gain knowledge specific to your business and industry. Keeping employees around for the long term means more specialized knowledge and historical context for businesses.

With a revolving door, companies that don’t prioritize employee retention may lack innovative qualities, as new teams come and go, trying the same ideas that the last group had that weren’t effective.

How Can Talent Consultants Help With Employee Retention?

Whether you’re just getting started with employee retention or tweaking the retention management program you already have, talent consultants can offer help, and even an edge over your competitors.

Here are a few ways that partnering with a talent consultant could help your company’s employee retention efforts.

1. Benchmarking Your Employee Retention Efforts

It’s important to track your company’s success with the appropriate benchmarks or metrics, and measuring employee retention is no exception.

If you’re launching a new employee retention program, you might not know precisely what metrics to focus on. Your consultant will know which metrics are most meaningful to your employee retention program’s success, such as voluntary versus involuntary turnover rate, new employee satisfaction and retention rate per manager.

Further, a talent consultant will develop employee surveys and other confidential ways to collect meaningful data to provide context and meaning to make improvements.

2. Developing a Talent Acquisition and Retention Management Strategy

Talent acquisition and employee retention go hand in hand. A powerful talent acquisition strategy led by a committed talent acquisition specialist will work in tandem with a robust retention management strategy.

While your internal HR team might have too much on their collective plates to take on such a large task, a talent consultant can formulate a plan specific to your organization that both helps you retain current employees and acquire new ones that will take your company to the next level.

3. Offering Objective, Constructive Insights Into Your Current Strategies

You might already have all the right employee retention elements, but you may not know how to put them in action—or you may have an employee retention plan in place that isn’t doing its job to actually retain your team members.

A talent consultant can take an objective look at your current strategy and, along with their knowledge of what your competitors may be doing, enhance it to suit your organization and ensure employee happiness and retention.

Learn More about Employee Retention Management and Connect With a Talent Consultant

Our talent consulting team at Warren Averett Staffing & Recruiting is here to help you prioritize employee retention and find the new candidates you need in today’s competitive market.

Contact us to have one of our talent specialists reach out to you and start the conversation about how to maximize your company’s retention management and acquire talent for the future.

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