How to retain key employees in the team: 7 strategies and an innovative tool

15 September, 2021

The issue of staff retention is relevant for all companies

It is difficult to find a suitable new employee, but it is even more difficult to keep an existing specialist in the company. A valuable employee is often someone who has worked for a long time in the company, does not need to be trained and has good relations with most colleagues. You can always rely on them, they quickly grasp tasks and dives into the root of any problem. When replacing such a specialist, the company might face losses associated with the costs of hiring a new employee. It will be necessary to train them, spend time on adapting them to a new team and corporate culture, and getting them acquainted with the tasks. It should also be kept in mind that beginners often make mistakes in the process of work because they do not yet have all the necessary knowledge and skills. That is why retaining key specialists is one of the main tasks of any business. Nevertheless, specialists are leaving. Why this happens and how to avoid it, we will discover in this article.

To begin with, it is worth understanding the possible reasons for the departure of key specialists:
1. Insufficient income
2. Lack of development
3. Difficult relationships with colleagues or management
4. Feeling "out of place"
5. Excessive workload
5. Boredom, routine tasks
6. The imbalance between personal life and work
7. Lack of recognition

The motives for leaving can be different and unpredictable. What is left for the employer? How to understand the reasons for leaving and how to keep the most valuable employees in the company?

Employee retention strategies

Let's see what strategies should be followed to reduce employee turnover.

1. Hire people who share the values of your company

An employee can be trained in the necessary skills and abilities, but the commitment to the corporate culture can be hard to teach. The loyalty of specialists and their involvement in the future are determined by the degree of their agreement with the values and norms of the company. Initially, by hiring employees who will share the company's values, you will reduce the likelihood of their dismissal. It will be easier for such employees to join the team and start working. Therefore, even during the interview, it is worth asking the candidate about their attitude to the accepted norms in the company's culture and explaining their importance for working in your team.

2. Competitive salary and bonuses

Money matters. The issue of salary remains the key for most employees, so often the reasons for their departure are in its size. Financial stability motivates employees to stay in their workplace, so make sure that the salary level in your company corresponds to other enterprises in your industry. It is important to give a fair assessment of the work of each employee. The necessary package of competitive advantages may include salary increases, bonuses, and incentives.

3. Career growth for the best specialists

An employee may agree with the level of their salary but still be dissatisfied with their position. This happens when they realise that their work is boring and there are no further prospects for development. Simple tasks significantly reduce the motivation of an employee, so if you have an opportunity to promote a valuable specialist, you should not miss it. If there is none, then it is necessary to at least change the duties in the department, give new more complex tasks.

4. Analyze the atmosphere in the team

It is worth understanding the general mood inside the company. How friendly the team is, how often conflicts occur. All this is extremely important not only for the effectiveness of an individual employee but also for the entire company. Relationships with management also affect the condition of employees, so it is necessary to strive for a friendly atmosphere within the organisation. Corporate events, joint projects with managers as part of a team can help in this.

5. Increase the importance of the employee

Especially when there is no opportunity to promote the employee, it is worth allowing them to show leadership skills. Make them the head of a new project, give them subordinates or interns to train, show that you understand their importance to the company and trust them. It is not superfluous to be interested in the problems of an employee, especially in such difficult periods as divorce, loss of loved ones, quarrel with relatives. Not only financial but also moral support is necessary in such cases. A sincere informal conversation, an extra vacation will help the employee to cope with life problems and become closer to the company.

6. Help to maintain a work-life balance

Violation of the work-life balance negatively affects the employee's efficiency, their involvement in the business and motivation, and also causes burnout and, as a result, reduced productivity. To avoid this, you should distribute the workload evenly, provide hybrid work schedules, and prevent employees from overworking. Taking care of the well-being of colleagues not only in working moments will help to retain key employees.

7. Conduct an exit interview

If the specialist still decides to quit, then it is worth collecting feedback. This stage cannot be ignored, since a "farewell" conversation with an HR manager will help to collect as much information as possible about the reasons for leaving, highlight the negative aspects of work and the disadvantages in the processes. In addition, an exit interview also helps to maintain the loyalty of a specialist to the company and will be able to influence their desire to return to you.


The employee retention rate is one of the most important HR indicators. But not only this metric helps to assess the retention process. You should also pay attention to such indicators as the turnover of employees and its speed, the coefficient of voluntary and involuntary turnover of personnel and the average retention period.

The change in these indicators characterises the process of employee retention, allows you to track changes and identify problems, and therefore helps to make reasonable strategic decisions.


There are many tools for retaining employees. Their effectiveness depends on the specific situation, but nevertheless, they have some impact on the employee's decision to leave.

One of the main and effective tools is money. This includes quarterly bonuses, incentives, bonuses for long service, which will encourage employees to stay in the company longer. This also includes bonus schemes based on KPI, which are a reward for the fulfilment of strategic goals.

Benefits and facilities are another set of tools. Payment for medical care and fitness, life insurance, corporate pension programs and credit programs, preferential conditions for the purchase of corporate products, company stocks as a loyalty bonus. All this an employee could not get as a private person, so such measures contribute to their retention, strengthening loyalty to the company.

Moral tools are not less important. They include strong and developed corporate culture, diverse and interesting tasks and goals, recognition of employee merits, career prospects, professional development opportunities, and many others.

It is quite difficult to effectively implement all these tools at once, especially for small companies, but it is worth remembering the importance of an integrated approach to solving the problem of employee retention. By correctly combining these tools, you will be able to create favourable conditions for the work of colleagues, increase their involvement, motivation and pleasure from work. These efforts will have a positive impact on the results of the company's activities and its success.

An innovative tool

Workstories will help make the retention process easier and more efficient!
This is an innovative platform for internal communication that will help motivate and unite employees, quickly convey important information and collect feedback. Workstories can diversify the onboarding process, tell about the history of the company, introduce colleagues to each other. With the help of quick surveys and tests, learn about the experiences of colleagues, problems in the team, support employees and create a friendly and pleasant atmosphere. Increase your involvement in work processes and build loyalty. Create a healthy corporate culture that promotes employee retention and increases business efficiency.
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